The Miles Franklin literary award is an annual literary prize given to fiction describing Australian stories. It is the most prestigious award of its kind, and has grown in importance since it began in 1957.
In 2009, the short list of five was all male. This event was widely referred to as the “sausage fest.” In response to the perceived gender bias suggested by this result, the female only Stella Awards were created as a response (by editor Aviva Tuffield and author Sophie Cunnigham).
The latest Miles Franklin award short list contains three females and no males. No pejorative “fest” term has described it as yet. And nor should it, unless one believes that there has been some intrinsic bias in the selection process. Is a result of either zero or five males from five (nominally a 1 in32 shot) evidence of gender bias?