2024 Stella Prize shortlist videos

Stella presents Abandon Every Hope, performed by Caroline Lee.

abandon every hope

Award-winning actor Caroline Lee gives life to a scene from Hayley Singer’s debut essay collection Abandon Every Hope: Essays from the Dead.


About the book: Abandon Every Hope is a lament, a deranged encyclopaedia and a diary of anxiety. How can anyone document the vastness of violence against animals in a bloated industrial age? Singer investigates the literatures of the slaughterhouse to map the contours of a world cut to pieces by organised and profit-driven death. In her compelling and poetic prose, she asks how we may write the life of the dead; the smell of an egg factory; of multispecies PTSD; of planetary harm and self-harm: of the horror we make on Earth. Where does the slaughterhouse begin and how can it end? Read more … 

About the actor: Caroline has worked professionally as a theatre, television, film and voice actress for over thirty years. She has worked with the Malthouse, STC, MTC, Bell Shakespeare, Back to Back Theatre, Red Stitch Actors Theatre and Chamber Made Opera. Recent television appearances include a supporting role in The Newsreader series 1, 2 and 3. Caroline has received four Green Room Awards, three AudioFile Earphones Awards and an OAM for her work in the performing arts.

Filmed and edited by Samantha Meuleman

Produced by Fiona Sweet and Claudia Nankervis

Make up: Annie Rose Foretti for for MECCA M-POWER

“I knew I wanted to write, but I didn’t really believe that I’d be allowed to, in the same way that I wasn’t allowed to play footy, even though I loved it and stole every moment of game time that I could. The more accessible authors are, the more accessible the idea of writing becomes.”

What do you think or hope the benefits of the Stella Prize Schools Program, and the recommended texts will be for students?

Fair and proportional representation among books that reflect Australia’s truly diverse society – on every level, whether that be culture, religion, sexuality, ability, any perceived ‘difference’. Not just because it’s right and fair, or because I believe in equality, but because anything less than this robs the next generation of a rich and full understanding of the world. And because as someone much smarter than me said, every child should be able to find themselves in stories.

What Australian authors should young readers get to know?

Kate Grenville, Rebecca Lim, Melissa Keil, Sally Rippin, Stella (Miles) Franklin, Tony Birch… That’s a good start.

What advice would you give to young aspiring writers?

Read everything you can get your hands on, and write every day.

Explore the latest from Stella

This month we celebrate Sarah Holland-Batt’s poetry collection The Jaguar, winner of the 2023 Stella Prize. The book opened a much-needed conversation …

2024 Past Judges

Beejay Silcox – Chair Beejay is a writer, literary critic, and the Artistic Director of the Canberra Writers Festival. Her reviews and …

Meet our partners: Kat Francis – managing director at Canyon We sat down with Kat Francis, managing director at Canyon, to talk …

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