I was honoured to be invited to this year’s Queensland Literary Awards. The ceremony took place last night at the State Library of Queensland to celebrate outstanding writers over a range of categories. Being in the same room as some of Brisbane’s (and Australia’s) most prestigious writers was way too exciting! It was like author I-Spy, which is perhaps the dorkiest and coolest thing ever.
A Bit of History
After former premier, Campbell Newman, scrapped government funding for the Queensland Literary Awards in 2012, a passionate, not-for-profit association of volunteers rallied community support. The I Love Literature campaign was born.
May this year, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszcuk brought back public funding for the awards, even creating a new category for a work of state significance, mentorship for writer’s development, and doubling the support for the young writer’s category. Isn’t that really something? It’s incredible to look back on how much support the awards have received from a community that realises their importance.
Queensland Premier’s Award for a Work of State Significance (Prize: $25,000)
Winner: Warrior, Libby Connors
University of Queensland Fiction Book Awards (Prize: $10,000)
Winner: The Golden Age, Joan London
University of Queensland Non-Fiction Book Award (Prize: $10,000)
Winner: The Bush: Travels in the Heart of Australia, Don Watson
Griffith University Young Adult Book Award (Prize: $10,000)
Winner: The Pause, John Larkin
Griffith University Children’s Book Award (Prize: $10,000)
Winner: A Single Stone, Meg McKinlay
University of Southern Queensland History Book Award (Prize: $10,000)
Winner: ANZAC, The Unauthorised Biography, Carolyn Holbrook
University of Southern Queensland Australian Short Story Collection – Steele Rudd Award (Prize: $10,000)
Winner: Merciless Gods, Christos Tsiolkas
State Library of Queensland Poetry Collection – Judith Wright Calanthe Award (Prize: $10,000)
Winner: Waiting for the Past, Les Murray
Queensland Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Awards (Prize: $10,000 Each)
Winners: Megan McGrath and Rebecca Jessen
Unpublished Indigenous Writer – David Unaipon Award (Prize: $10,000)
Winner: The First Octoroon or Report of an Experimental Child, Andrew Booth
Emerging Queensland Writer – Manuscript Award (Prize: $10,000)
Winner: Aurora, Elizabeth Kasmer
2015 Queensland Writers Fellowships ($15,000 Each)
Winners: Inga Simpson, Krissy Kneen, and Karen Foxlee
The Courier Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year (Prize: $10,000)
Winner: On the road…with the kids, John Ahern
SLQ 2015 Young Writers Award
Now, you may ask, why was yours truly invited to go along to this event in the first place? I was one of four highly commended entries in the 18-25 category of State Library of Queensland’s 2015 Young Writers Award!
I only found out a week ago that my children’s short story ‘Eyes and Ears’ had been shortlisted. It was surreal seeing my name projected up onto the same screen as some of Australia’s great writers.
All of the highly commended and winning entries are available to read online. Please go check them out! My fellow finalists are all beautiful writers and so deserve this recognition for their work.
15 – 17 Category 1,500 Word Short Story (Prize: $2,000)
Winner: The Washing of Iniquity, Rosie McCrossin
Runner up: Cher Pere, Clara Harin Lee
18 – 25 Category 2,500 Word Short Story (Prize: $2,000)
Winner: Surface, Grace McCarter
Runner up: January Days, Faith Mudge
So there you have it! There are so many books I need to add to my to-read list after hearing about the finalists. Several of my lecturers and tutors at QUT had shortlisted books, which I can’t wait to get my hands on.
Expect another post soon all about some the ceremony and the people I had the honour of meeting. It was an amazing night.
Queensland Literary Awards
State Library of Queensland