West Girls longlisted for the Stella

Scribe is delighted to share that West Girls by Laura Elizabeth Woollett has been longlisted for the 2024 Stella Prize. 

Selecting the longlist out of over 230 books, the 2024 Stella Prize judges have said that it was a wonderful year for Australian women and non-binary literature.

They describe West Girls as ‘smart, salty, [and] vicious.’

They commented that, ‘In her fourth book, Laura Elizabeth Woollett gives us a Western Australia rarely seen before in fiction — a structurally violent world of girlhood ambition and desire, peopled by vivid characters jostling to stay afloat amid cutthroat hierarchies of race, class, and beauty. Darkly funny, this is a formally ambitious and original tale of interconnected female lives — part novel, part story collection. In unflinching prose as sharp as a teenage tongue, Woollett captures the parochial cruelty festering beneath Perth’s mining wealth and cloudless skies. Everyone is bruised, everyone is implicated. Moving from suburban malls to modelling catwalks, empty highways to crowded Instagram feeds, West Girls is as real as it is painful. Woollett has written a novel of sad girls that is the refreshing antithesis of the sad girl novel.’

Congratulations to Laura on this achievement, and to the other longlisted writers.


Laura Elizabeth Woollett is the author of a short story collection, The Love of a Bad Man (Scribe, 2016), and two novels, Beautiful Revolutionary (Scribe, 2018) and The Newcomer (Scribe, 2021). The Love of a Bad Man was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction and the Ned Kelly Award for Best First Fiction. Beautiful Revolutionary was shortlisted for the 2019 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Fiction, the Australian Literature Society Gold Medal, and the Kathleen Mitchell Award. Laura was the City of Melbourne’s 2020 Boyd Garret writer-in-residence and a 2020-22 Marten Bequest scholar for prose.

West Girls

‘I chose the jagged rocks, the broken bones, the spattered brains. I chose beauty. I'd choose it again.’

Luna Lewis is white. But her friends aren’t, nor are her brothers, nor her one-time Princess of Indonesia–finalist stepmother. After transforming from pudgy preteen to ‘exotic’ beauty, Luna reinvents herself as ‘Luna Lu’ and takes her ticket out of the most isolated city on earth. However, as her international modelling career approaches its expiry date, Luna must grapple with what she’s sacrificed — and who she’s become — in her mission to conquer the world.

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Laura Elizabeth Woollett

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West Girls

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