Australian Book Review is one of Australia's leading arts and literary reviews. Created in 1961 ABR is an independent non-profit organisation that publishes articles, reviews, commentaries, essays, and new writing. The aims of the magazine are 'to foster high critical standards, to provide an outlet for fine new writing, and to contribute to the preservation of literary values and a full appreciation of Australia's literary heritage'.
Australian Book Review was established by Max Harris and Rosemary Wighton as a monthly journal in Adelaide, Australia, in 1961. In 1971 production was reduced to quarterly releases, and lapsed completely in 1974. In 1978 the journal was revived by the National Book Council and, moving to Melbourne, began producing ten issues per year.
ABR is currently in partnership with Monash University and Flinders University, and supported by various organisations including the Australia Council for the Arts, Creative Victoria, Arts SA, and Copyright Agency Limited.
The Calibre Essay Prize is an annual Australian Book Review initiative intended to generate brilliant new essays and to foster new insights into culture, society, and the human condition. The Prize, first awarded in 2007, is currently worth a total of A$7,500.
The prize is open to authors around the world writing in English. ABR welcomes entries from published authors commentators, and emerging writers. All non-fiction subjects are eligible,
Australian Book Review established its annual Poetry Prize in 2005, and in 2011 renamed it the Peter Porter Poetry Prize in memory of the Australian poet Peter Porter (1929-2010). The Prize is one of Australia’s most lucrative and respected awards for poetry, and guarantees the winning and short-listed entries wide exposure through publication in ABR. To date, Judith Bishop is the only poet to win the prize twice. The prize is open to poets around the world writing in English.
Entrants can submit a single poem of no more than 75 lines. Multiple entries are permitted, and all poems are judged anonymously.
Australian Book Review revived its annual short story competition in 2010, and in 2011 renamed it the ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize in memory of the late Australian writer, Elizabeth Jolley (1923-2007). The total prize money is now $12,500, thanks to the support of ABR Patron Mr Ian Dickson. The prize is open to authors around the world writing in English.
In 2012, Australian Book Review launched a major extension of its coverage of Australian culture, Arts Update, now known as ABR Arts. ABR Arts presents stylish reviews of major film and television, plays, operas, concerts, dance, and art exhibitions. Our critics offer timely reviews of performances from Australia and overseas. With ABR Arts, ABR, is now a comprehensive arts magazine. ABR Arts reviews are available freely via the ABR website.
In 2015, Australian Book Review launched two podcasts – Poem of the Week and The ABR Podcast. Both podcasts can be found on iTunes (Poem of the Week and The ABR Podcast) and SoundCloud (Poem of the Week and The ABR Podcast) and can also be listened to on the ABR website. Shownotes are available for every episode.
ABR's Fellowship program began in 2011. Funded by ABR’s generous Patrons and by philanthropic foundations, the Fellowship program is intended to reward outstanding Australian writers and to advance the magazine’s commitment to critical debate and literary values. ABR will offer two to four such Fellowships each year. Most ABR Fellowships are now worth $7,500.
Each year Australian Book Review offers a one-year, full-time Editorial Internship. Interns are paid $45,000 and work closely with the Editor, Peter Rose.