Jay Carmichael wins SMH Best Young Australian Novelist of the Year

We are thrilled to announce that Jay Carmichael has been selected as one of this year’s Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Australian Novelists! He was unanimously selected by the judges for his 2022 novel, Marlo.⁠

Judges Fiona Kelly McGregor, Bram Presser, and Melanie Kembrey describe the novel as ‘a perfectly crafted story of love between two men set in conservative post-war Melbourne’, that ‘makes history immediate, every page pulsing with heart and sensuality’. 

In this year’s selection, Jay has been recognised this year alongside George Haddad and Katerina Gibson. These young novelists join the ranks of previous winners who have included Christos Tsiolkas, Hannah Kent, and Diana Reid. 

Jay will also be appearing in conversation with his George and Katerina at the Sydney Writers’ Festival on 3.30pm, Sunday May 28. Tickets are available here

Congratulations to Jay!


Jay Carmichael is a writer and editor whose first novel, Ironbark, was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction in 2019, and whose writing has been published by Beyond Blue and appeared widely in print and online, including in Overland, The Guardian, SBS, and The Telling Tree project. Jay lives and works in Melbourne.


The stunning new novel from the author of Ironbark.

It's the 1950s in conservative Australia, and Christopher, a young gay man, moves to ‘the City’ to escape the repressive atmosphere of his tiny hometown. Once there, however, he finds that it is just as censorial and punitive, in its own way.

Then Christopher meets Morgan, and the two fall in love — a love that breathes truth back into Christopher’s stifled life. But the society around them remains rigid and unchanging, and what begins as a refuge for both men inevitably buckles under the intensity of navigating a world that wants them to refuse…

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Jay Carmichael

Jay Carmichael is a writer and editor whose first novel, Ironbark, was…

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