A dystopian tale of misogyny and abuse, and an exposition on motherhood, belonging and nostalgia have won two UNSW novelists a place on the 2016 Stella Prize longlist of the best writing by Australian women.

Stephanie Bishop, a creative writing lecturer in UNSW's School of the Arts and Media, and recent doctoral graduate Charlotte Wood, were among the top 12 authors selected by the Stella Prize judges for inclusion on the 2016 longlist, from more than 170 entries.

The $50,000 Stella Prize recognises and celebrates Australian women writers’ contribution to literature. The 2016 shortlist will be announced on March 10, with the winner to be unveiled on April 19.

Bishop’s The Other Side of the World traces the lives of Charlotte, a painter, and her Indian academic husband Henry as they move from wintry England to Western Australia in the 1950s – a tale of belonging, motherhood and nostalgia that recently won the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction and was shortlisted in the 2016 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards.

Also nominated is Wood’s The Natural Way of Things, a dystopian novel about ten women imprisoned and forced into hard labour on a remote property after each being involved in a public sex scandal.

Wood has been described as one of Australia’s most original and provocative writers, winning the 2013 People’s Choice medal at the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards with Animal People, which was shortlisted for the Christina Stead prize and longlisted for the Miles Franklin.

Chair of the judging panel Brenda Walker said the selected works demonstrated “the current strength of Australian women’s narrative, featuring both highly accomplished new writers and many works that represent a culmination of the skills of established writers”.

“Now in its fourth year, the Stella Prize celebrates Australian women’s literature at its most powerful and inventive,” she said.

The full Stella Prize longlist can be viewed here.