Stella Prize winner Vicki Laveau-Harvie (The Erratics), Strega Prize winner Helena Janeczek (The Girl with the Leica) and Stella Prize longlisted author Yumna Kassab (The House of Youssef) join Executive Director of the Stella Prize, Jaclyn Booton, to discuss the importance of prizes for women’s writing.

Presented in partnership with the Stella Prize.

Helena Janeczek (International)

Helena Janeczek

Born in Munich to a Polish Jewish family, Helena Janeczek has been living in Italy for more than 30 years. Her novel The Girl with the Leica was awarded the Strega Prize, Italy’s most prestigious literary award, and was a finalist for the Campiello Prize.

Vicki Laveau-Harvie (Australian)

Vicki Laveau-Harvie

Vicki Laveau-Harvie was born in Canada and lived for many years in France before settling in Australia. She has three passports and treasures the unique perspective this quirk of fate affords her. In France, she worked as a translator and a business editor, despite being a specialist in 18th century French literature. In Sydney, she lectured in French Studies at Macquarie University. After retiring, she taught ethics in a primary school. She has won prizes for her short fiction and poetry. Her memoir, The Erratics, won the 2019 Stella Prize, was shortlisted for the 2019 NSW Premier's Literary Awards, and was awarded the 2018 Finch Memoir Prize. Vicki lives in Sydney.

Yumna Kassab (Australian)

Yumna Kassab

Yumna Kassab was born and raised in Western Sydney. She completed her schooling in Parramatta, except for two formative years when she lived in Lebanon with her family. She went on to study medical science at Macquarie University and neuroscience at Sydney University. She currently teaches in regional New South Wales. The House of Youssef is her first book.

Jaclyn Booton (Australian)

Jaclyn Booton

Jaclyn is the Executive Director of the Stella Prize, a major literary award celebrating Australian women’s writing, and an organisation that champions cultural change. Now in its eighth year, the Stella Prize – named after Stella Maria Sarah “Miles” Franklin – actively intervenes in the under-representation of women as winners of literary prizes, as authors of books reviewed in the major newspapers and literary journals, and as authors of books on Australian school curricula.