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The State Library of NSW announced today the launch of the inaugural Mona Brand Award for Women Stage and Screen Writers with prize money totalling $40,000, the only award of its kind in Australia.

The Mona Brand Award recognises outstanding women writers for the stage and screen, with a major prize of $30,000 and an additional $10,000 prize for a writer in the early stages of her career, this award will be presented for the first time at the State Library in November 2016.

To be awarded biennially, the Mona Brand Award has been made possible by the generous bequest of the late Mona Alexis Fox nee Brand (1915–2007) and the State Library of NSW Foundation.

Brand was a trailblazing Australian poet and author whose prolific output included over 20 plays. Her work, which often addressed socially relevant and controversial topics, has been performed on stage, radio and television in Australia, England, Eastern Europe and India.

As the custodian of Mona Brand’s literary papers, the State Library of NSW will administer and present this award in honour of her rich legacy and the extraordinary work of Australia’s women writers today. The State Library of NSW is delighted to deliver this new award through this important philanthropic gift.

Kim Williams AM, Senior Judge and Chairman of the State Library of NSW Foundation, commented that “scriptwriters make a vital contribution to the cultural fabric of Australia.

Through these awards we celebrate Mona Brand’s legacy and those outstanding Australian women who have created stories which have led to brilliant, memorable and engaging performances for Australian and international audiences.”

“The State Library of NSW is the home of literature and the work space for many established and emerging writers, and I’m delighted this new award will recognise and encourage break through female talent,” said Dr Alex Byrne, NSW State Librarian & Chief Executive.

The conditions of entry and nomination form are available on the State Library website.

Entries close at 5pm on Friday 12 August 2016. The inaugural winners will be announced at the State Library of NSW in November 2016.

For more information, contact Vanessa Bond (02) 9273 1566, 0411 259 898,