Each year, The Sydney Morning Herald names the authors it considers to be the best young fiction writers in the country. In the 27th year of the prestigious awards, Melanie Kembrey, editor of Spectrum, leads a discussion with this year's winners, Jay Carmichael (Marlo), Katerina Gibson (Women I Know) and George Haddad (Losing Face), about their works and writing processes. A must-see event for emerging writers and supporters of Australian literature.

Previous SMH Best Young Australian Novelist winners include Gillian Mears, Christos Tsiolkas, Hannah Kent and Elliot Perlman. In 2022, the winners were Diana Reid, Ella Baxter and Michael Burrows.

Jay Carmichael (Australian)

Jay Carmichael

Jay Carmichael’s first novel, Ironbark, was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction in 2019. Marlo is Jay’s second book. 

Katerina Gibson (Australian)

Katerina Gibson

Katerina Gibson is the author of Women I Know (Scribner 2022) which was recently nominated for the 2023 Christina Stead Prize. Her work has appeared in Granta, HEAT, Meanjin, Island and elsewhere. 

George Haddad (Australian)

George Haddad

Dr George Haddad is a writer and artist practising on Gadigal land. His novella, Populate and Perish, was the winner of the 2016 Viva La Novella competition and his short story Kátharsis was awarded the 2018 Neilma Sidney Prize. George’s debut novel, Losing Face, was published by UQP in 2022. He is currently a sessional tutor at the Writing and Society Research Centre, Western Sydney University.

Melanie Kembrey (Australian)

Melanie Kembrey

Melanie Kembrey has been a journalist at The Sydney Morning Herald for more than a decade and is currently editor of arts and culture publication Spectrum.