Got a story to tell? State Library offers young writers chance to win $2,000

Aspiring young writers are invited to enter State Library's Young Writers Award, for a chance to win great prizes and kick start their literary career.

Now in it's twentieth year, this annual short story competition which has traditionally been open to Queenslanders aged 18-25, is this year introducing a new age category for 15-17 year olds.

State Librarian Janette Wright said the Young Writers Award demonstrated State Library's commitment to cultivate the talents and careers of emerging young writers in Queensland.

"The competition is a great opportunity for budding wordsmiths to gain invaluable exposure to the publishing industry, and share in a selection of great prizes and professional opportunities," Ms Wright said.

"We've lowered the minimum entrant age because we want to provide the support, encouragement and industry exposure that talented teenage writers need to confidently pursue a literary career.

"For 20 years, the Award for a short piece of writing has helped kick-start the literary careers of many prominent Queensland authors, including Christopher Currie (The Ottoman Motel), Alasdair Duncan (Sushi Central), Chris Somerville (We Are Not The Same Anymore), Benjamin Law (The Family Law) and Tara June Winch (Swallow the Air).

"I encourage all 15 to 25 year old Queenslanders to channel their creativity and determination, and share the stories that are meaningful to them," she said.

Since last year's competition, 2014 winner Michael Day has had two memoir short stories published in print magazines, and begun work on a novella-length project based on some of the same themes as Zen Master, his Young Writers Award entry.

Michael said the main benefits of winning the award were getting to meet so many other young writers, and gaining confidence to pursue what he loves.

"I now know what I like writing about and feel a little more comfortable calling myself a writer," Michael said.

The winner of the 18-25 year old category will receive $2,000 prize money, along with a 12 month membership to the Queensland Writers Centre and the Australian Writer's Marketplace online, a Brisbane Writers Festival pack and admission to a Queensland Writers Centre industry seminar.

The winner of the 15-17 year old category will receive an Apple iPad air 2, a $100 iTunes gift voucher, a 12 month membership to the Queensland Writers Centre and admission to a Story Lab holiday workshop at State Library of Queensland.

Entries close at 5pm on Friday 17 July 2015. For competition guidelines, writing tips and to read last year's winning stories see SLQ's Young Writers Award.

The Young Writers Award is funded by State Library of Queensland and supported by Queensland Writers Centre, Brisbane Writers Festival and Australian Writer's Marketplace.

Media enquiries:
Stephanie Birch, SLQ Communications
07 3840 7748 | stephanie.birch@slq.qld.gov.au

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