Flat White Thawley Prize

2018 Thawley Essay Prize winners

23 July 2019

7:02 PM

23 July 2019

7:02 PM

It is with great delight that we announce the winner and the runner-up of the 2018 Spectator Australia Thawley Essay Prize.

2018 saw a record number of entries into the essay competiton – now in its fifth year – and, to be frank, it did take quite some time to read them all. And of course there was that minor matter of winning the federal election that did distract some of the judges for several weeks.


The prize was established by Sam Thawley in 2014 to foster new talent in Australian essay writing. Michael Thawley, former Prime Minister John Howard and Rowan Dean are the judges. On top of an extremely generous $5,000 prize for the winner, both winning essays will be published in the magazine over the next few months and both writers will enjoy a slap-up dinner with the judges.

The theme for 2018 was ‘the next great hashtag’.

First prize goes to Joan McCaul for her #SaveOurComedians essay, and the runner-up is Craig Pett for #newedition.

Our heartiest congratulations to both writers and our thanks to all who entered the prize. You made it a very difficult choice! And our gratitude to Michael and Sam Thawley and Mr Howard. The theme for the 2019 Spectator Australia Thawley Essay Prize will be announced later in the year.


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