In collaboration with our long-term cultural partners The Saturday Paper, we established The Horne Prize in 2016 to celebrate and advance longform narrative non-fiction, and promote writers of merit. Valued at $15,000, it is the richest Australian literary award devoted solely to essay-writing. The prize is named for the late Donald Horne AO, whose contribution to Australian literature and academia left an indelible legacy on public discourse. In honour of his work, we seek outstanding essays of up to 3,000 words – founded in reportage – that shed light on a significant aspect of contemporary Australian life. Entrants need not be published or professional writers, but craft skills of professional calibre are essential.
An eminent author, editor, journalist, academic and public intellectual, Donald Horne AO (1921-2005) is widely remembered for his book The Lucky Country, an incisive critique of Australian culture first published in 1964. His writing career began in 1945; from then until the late 1970s, he worked predominantly as a journalist and editor on newspapers and magazines including The Daily Telegraph, The Observer and The Bulletin. Later, he held senior academic and executive roles at several universities, chaired the Australia Council and other cultural organisations, and contributed to several bodies focused on constitutional reform – writing numerous books in tandem. His work is distinguished by erudition, candour, and unflagging intellectual curiosity.
We are proud to have partnered with The Saturday Paper since 2014, not only for The Horne Prize, but also at various writers’ festivals around Australia, and for national ‘Coffee and Papers’ events – an annual series of occasional conversations between the editor and prominent Saturday Paper contributors about topics covered in the edition of the day. While a newspaper and a skin care company may seem to be strange bedfellows, we have always nurtured a passion for the written word, believing literature to be integral to a life well lived. And we could not want for more a more compatible collaborator.
‘A city is more than a place in space, it is a drama in time.’