• ALS Gold Medal. To be awarded annually for an outstanding literary work published in the preceding calendar year. For details see the ALS Gold Medal page.
  • Walter McRae Russell Award. To be given to the best book of literary scholarship on an Australian subject published in the preceding two calendar years. For details see the McRae Award page.
  • Mary Gilmore Award. To be given for the best first book of poetry published in the previous two calendar years (until 1999 for the best first book of poetry published in the previous calendar year). For details see the Mary Gilmore Award page.
  • A A Phillips Award. An occasional award to be made on the recommendation of the ASAL executive when a work or the work of an author is considered to merit attention as an outstanding contribution to Australian literature or literary studies. For details see the Phillips Award page.
  • Magarey Medal for Biography. To be given to the best biographical writing on an Australian subject by a female author. The awarding of the prize and medal is to be administered and judged by a panel set up by the Australian Historical Association and the Association for the Study of Australian Literature. For details see the Magarey Medal page.
  • A.D. Hope Prize. Prize will be awarded annually for the paper judged to be the best ASAL July annual conference paper delivered by a postgraduate student. The paper is to be sent to the judging panel, in publishable form, after the conference (date to be announced each year). The winning paper will receive publication in JASAL and $500. For details see the A.D.Hope Prize page.

The ASAL Executive appoints three judging panel conveners from among its number each year–each convener to come from a different state to the convener for the award in the previous year. Nominations for each of the awards can be made to the chair of the respective prize committee or through any member of the executive.


The procedure for deciding the winners of the ALS Gold Medal, the Walter McRae Russell Award, and the Mary Gilmore Award is the following:

  • that state representatives chosen by the executive should convene a panel consisting of themselves and two other ASAL members
  • that all ASAL members be invited to nominate potential award winners to the Prize Panel or Executive
  • that the panels seek out suitable winners by checking publishers’ catalogues and book reviews, and by approaching publishers
  • that the convener should bring a short list and brief report to the February executive meeting
  • that the executive can make suggestions on the basis of this report, but that the panel has the final say on the winner
  • that the name of the winner should be given to the annual conference organisers by the beginning of May
  • and that a written report on the award winner should be presented to the July executive meeting and published on ASAL’s website following the annual conference