Exceptional Australian writers revealed as finalists in Queensland Literary Awards

Stories from Queensland’s most exciting young writers and new work from Australian publishing heavyweights are finalists in the prestigious Queensland Literary Awards for 2018.

Shortlists have today been announced across 13 award categories for fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and published and unpublished work.

Many prizes have increased from $10,000 to $15,000, with a total prize pool of $240,000.

The Queensland Literary Awards will this year mark 30 years of the David Unaipon Award for an Unpublished Indigenous Writer.  Past winners include Doris Pilkington Garimara AM (1990), Ruth Hegarty (1998), Larissa Behrendt (2002), Ellen van Neerven (2013) and Paul Collis (2016).

Public voting for The Courier-Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year award also opens today, with literary fans invited to cast their vote online by 5pm, Monday 1 October.

The Queensland Literary Awards will be held at State Library of Queensland on Tuesday 23 October, with a livestream of the ceremony broadcast from 6.30pm.

Quotes from the Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch:

“The Queensland Government supports the Queensland Literary Awards to recognise exceptional writers and to champion new talent.”

“Past award winners Bill Wilkie, Cathy McLennan, David Malouf, Michelle Law, Shaun Tan, Libby Connors and Ellen van Nerveen are just some of the incredible home-grown writers who have helped to create a powerful literary force in Queensland.”

“I congratulate each of the 2018 finalists and encourage readers to discover and connect to their work.”

Quotes from State Librarian and CEO Vicki McDonald:

“State Library of Queensland is committed to inspiring possibilities through knowledge, stories and creativity.”

“The Queensland Literary Awards play a vital role in our support for writing, publishing and reading, both in print and online.”

“We are grateful for the role our key partners play in the continued growth of these awards, including the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, The University of Queensland, Griffith University, University of Southern Queensland, QUT, Copyright Agency Cultural Fund, The Courier-Mail and Jenny Summerson.”

The full list of 2018 finalists follows.

For more information: qldliteraryawards.org.au.

2018 Queensland Literary Awards shortlists

Queensland Premier's Award for a Work of State Significance ($25,000)          

  • The Saltwater Story (Cairn Tor Books) by Benjamin Allmon and David Kelly
  • Please Explain (Penguin Random House) by Anna Broinowski
  • White Woman Black Heart: Journey Home to Old Mapoon (CreateSpace) by Barbara Miller
  • We'll Show the World: Expo 88 (UQP) by Jackie Ryan
  • Brisbane Houses with Gardens (Beth Wilson) by Beth Wilson

Queensland Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Award (two awards of $12,500)

  • Anna Jacobson
  • Ella Jeffery
  • Bri Lee
  • Emily O'Grady
  • Yen-Rong Wong

The University of Queensland Fiction Book Award ($15,000)

  • Flames (Text Publishing) by Robbie Arnott
  • The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree (Wild Dingo Press) by Shokoofeh Azar
  • The Fish Girl (Brio Books) by Mirandi Riwoe
  • Taboo (Pan Macmillan) by Kim Scott
  • The Shepherd's Hut (Penguin Random House) by Tim Winton

The University of Queensland Non-Fiction Book Award ($15,000)

  • The Enigmatic Mr Deakin (Text Publishing) by Judith Brett
  • The Year Everything Changed: 2001(Penguin Random House) by Phillipa McGuinness
  • Call of the Reed Warbler: A New Agriculture - A New Earth (UQP) by Charles Massy
  • Korea: Where the American Century Began (Hardie Grant Books) by Michael Pembroke
  • Tracker (Giramondo Publishing) by Alexis Wright

Griffith University Children's Book Award ($15,000)

  • The Storm Whale (Allen & Unwin) written by Sarah Brennan, illustrated by Jane Tanner
  • The Elephant (UQP) by Peter Canarvas
  • Go Go and the Silver Shoes (Penguin Random House) written by Jane Godwin, illustrated by Anna Walker
  • The Shop at Hoopers Bend (HarperCollins) by Emily Rodda
  • Swan Lake (Allen & Unwin) by Anne Spudvilas

Griffith University Young Adult Book Award ($15,000)

  • In the Dark Spaces (Hardie Grant Egmont) by Cally Black
  • The Dream Walker (Hachette) by Victoria Carless
  • Sparrow (Allen & Unwin) by Scot Gardner
  • Amelia Westlake (Hardie Grant Egmont) by Erin Gough
  • Because of You (UQP) by Pip Harry

University of Southern Queensland History Book Award ($10,000)

  • The Enigmatic Mr Deakin (Text Publishing) by Judith Brett
  • Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Australia (Black Inc) by Billy Griffiths
  • Beautiful Balts: From displaced persons to new Australians (NewSouth Publishing) by Jayne Persian
  • We'll Show the World: Expo 88 (UQP) by Jackie Ryan
  • The Battle Within: POWs in postwar Australia (NewSouth Publishing) by Christina Twomey

University of Southern Queensland Short Story – Steele Rudd Award ($10,000)

  • Bird Country (Text Publishing) by Claire Aman
  • Common People (UQP) by Tony Birch
  • Habits of Silence (Finlay Lloyd Publishers) by Stephanie Buckle
  • Pulse Points (Text Publishing) by Jennifer Down
  • Trick of the Light (UQP) by Laura Elvery

QUT Digital Literature Award ($15,000)

  • Our Cupidity Coda by Mez Breeze
  • A Place Called Ormalcy by Mez Breeze
  • Core Values (Australian Poetry) by Benjamin Laird
  • Little Emperor Syndrome by David Thomas Henry Wright, with Chris Arnold

State Library of Queensland Poetry Collection – Judith Wright Calanthe Award ($10,000)

  • click here for what we do (Vagabond Press) by Pam Brown
  • Chatelaine (Giramondo Publishing) by Bonny Cassidy
  • I Love Poetry (Giramondo Publishing) by Michael Farrell
  • The Honeymoon Stage (Giramondo Publishing) by Oscar Schwartz
  • Lost Lake (Vagabond Press) by Bella Li

Unpublished Indigenous Writer – David Unaipon Award ($15,000)

  • The Making of Ruby Champion by Kirstie Parker
  • Why Worry Now by Melanie Saward
  • Jilba's Song by Wendy Somerville
  • Song - the story of a girl, a bird and a teapot by Waiata Telfer
  • Destinations Past Present Future: Diving through timelines by Teila Watson

Glendower Award for an Emerging Queensland Writer ($15,000)

  • fate, revenge and chipburgers by Karen Herschell
  • On Either Side by Laura Kenny
  • Garrison Town by Melanie Myers
  • Hidebound by Christopher Przewloka

The Courier-Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award ($10,000)

  • Burning Down (UQP) by Venero Armanno
  • Danger Music (Allen & Unwin) by Eddie Ayres
  • To Become a Whale (Allen & Unwin) by Ben Hobson
  • The Yellow House (Allen & Unwin) by Emily O'Grady
  • The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart (HarperCollins) by Holly Ringland
  • We'll Show the World: Expo 88 (UQP) by Jackie Ryan
  • A Life Underwater (Penguin Random House) by Charlie Veron
  • Brisbane Houses with Gardens (Beth Wilson) by Beth Wilson

For more information: qldliteraryawards.org.au

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