• Evelyn Araluen. The newly-minted author said she is "beyond thrilled" to win the award. (Supplied)Source: Supplied
Evelyn Araluen has taken out the national women's writing award for her collection of poetry and prose, 'Dropbear'
Dan Butler

28 Apr 2022 - 8:13 PM  UPDATED 28 Apr 2022 - 8:13 PM

Goorie-Koori author Evelyn Araluen has been announced as the 2022 winner of the highly-coveted Stella Prize. 

The annual women's award recognises outstanding writing by a local author, and furnishes the winner with a lucrative prize. 

The poet, researcher and editor was announced as this year's successful author on Thursday evening, winning for her debut collection of prose and poetry, 'Dropbear'.

"There aren’t words to explain how thrilled I am to win," said the newly-minted author. 

"... when I wrote 'Dropbear' I never imagined it would be considered for such a celebrated award.

"I’m deeply interested in the lives, histories, and dreams of women and gender diverse writers in Australian publishing, and it’s an honour to be recognised by a prize designed to champion those stories."

A special gala at the State Library of Victoria saw Araluen presented with the award by Bundjalung author, and the chair of the 2022 judging panel, Melissa Lucashenko. 

“When you read Evelyn Araluen’s 'Dropbear' you’ll be taken on a wild ride," said Lucashenko, a former nominee herself.

"[It] is remarkably assured for a debut poetry collection, and I think we can safely say it announces the arrival of a stunning new talent to Australian literature." 

The win will come as scant surprise to many: following the Dropbear's release last year, one reviewer declared that the book "repurposes Biblical themes, Australiana kitsch and settler-colonial tropes to astonishing effect".

The Stella Prize, celebrating its tenth year, simultaneously announced that the $3 million dollars necessary to sustain the award "in perpetuity" had been secured. 

In happy news for this year's winner, and future hopefuls, the prize money has been increased to $60 thousand dollars.

It won't be the only financial windfall for Ms Araluen: according to Nielsen BookScan data supplied to The Guardian, the nine previous winners of the Stella Prize saw books sales rise by 875 per cent (on average) in the week following their win. 

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