SLQ Young Writers Award

The 2018 SLQ Young Writers Award is now open for entries until 30 April.

The Young Writers Award (YWA) is an annual short story competition for Queensland residents aged 15 to 25.

There are two categories in the competition

  • Writers aged 18–25 (short stories up to 2,500 words)
  • Writers aged 15–17 (short stories up to 1,500 words)

For each category, the judging panel selects one winner and one runner up, along with up to four highly commended entries.

Prizes

For writers aged 18–25
  • Winner: $2,000 prize money, Queensland Writers Centre membership
  • Runner up: $500 prize money, Queensland Writers Centre membership
  • Highly commended: Queensland Writers Centre membership
  • All winners receive a complimentary ticket to the Young Writers Conference at the State Library of Queensland
For writers aged 15–17
  • Winner: $500 prize money, Queensland Writers Centre membership
  • Runner up: $200 prize money, Queensland Writers Centre membership
  • Highly commended: Library Shop book pack, Queensland Writers Centre membership
  • All winners receive a complimentary ticket to the Young Writers Conference at the State Library of Queensland

How to enter

Entries for the 2018 Young Writers Award open on Friday 16 March.

  • Read the Conditions of entry.
  • Format your story using the YWA story template.
  • Enter your details in the Online entry form and attach your story as a Word or .rtf document. Please do not send your story as a PDF.
  • Entries close Monday 30 April, 5pm.

Hints on writing a great short story

  • Focus on one idea.
  • Get to know your characters and what they want - this will help drive the plot.
  • Start close to the action to hook the reader.
  • Use language that comes naturally to you.  
    Most importantly, have confidence and write the story you want to tell.

For more writing tips, visit Queensland Writers Centre or read some of the past winning stories.

Past winners

The YWA has a 20 year history of encouraging young Queensland writers. Past winners and runners up include authors Rebecca Jessen (Gap), Shastra Deo (The Agonist), Chris Somerville (We Are Not the Same Anymore), Tara June Winch (After the Carnage) and Christopher Currie (Clancy of the Undertow).

Congratulations to the 2017 winners!

Writers aged 18-25: winner Jonathan O'Brien for Every Idea I Had For My Australian Literature Short Story Collection, and runner up Zarin Nuzhat for Mango Chutney
Writers aged 15-17: winner Gina Song for We Cut Strings, and runner up Jesse Hyden for The Lucky Country.

View all the previous winners and read past winning stories here.

More information

Phone: 07 3840 7415
Email: readingwriting@slq.qld.gov.au

Young Writers Award is presented by the State Library of Queensland and supported by Queensland Writers Centre.

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