2019 Queensland Literary Awards Shortlist

Congratulations to the 2019 Queensland Literary Awards finalists! 

2019 Shortlist 

The 2019 Queensland Literary Awards attracted a record number of nominations. 

Congratulations to the finalists in the running for a share of the $253,500 prize money.

The winners will be announced at State Library of Queensland on Tuesday 12 November.

A livestream of the ceremony will be broadcast from 6pm.


Queensland Premier's Award for a work of State Significance

Prize $25,000

  • The Night Dragon (UQP) by Matthew Condon
  • Boy Swallows Universe (HarperCollins) by Trent Dalton  
  • meditations with passing water (Rabbit) by Jake Goetz  
  • Wintering (Text) by Krissy Kneen  
  • Too Much Lip (UQP) by Melissa Lucashenko

This award is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.

Queensland Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Award

Two awards of $12,500 each

  • Ella Jeffery                              
  • Emily O'Grady
  • Ellen van Neerven                                 
  • Yen-Rong Wong

This award is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.

The University of Queensland Fiction Book Award

Prize $15,000

  • Bodies of Men (Hachette) by Nigel Featherstone
  • Too Much Lip (UQP) by Melissa Lucashenko
  • Shell (Scribner) by Kristina Olsson
  • Exploded View (Text) by Carrie Tiffany
  • Daughter of Bad Times (Allen & Unwin) by Rohan Wilson

The University of Queensland Non-Fiction Book Award

Prize $15,000

  • Dr Space Junk vs The Universe: Archaeology and the Future (NewSouth) by Alice Gorman
  • An Unconventional Wife: The Life of Julia Sorell Arnold (Scribe) by Mary Hoban
  • Shakespeare’s Library: Unlocking the Greatest Mystery in Literature (Text) by Stuart Kells
  • The Eastern Curlew (Affirm) by Harry Saddler 
  • Sea People: The Puzzle of Polynesia (HarperCollins) by Christina Thompson

Griffith University Children's Book Award

​​​​Prize $15,000

  • Leave Taking (UQP) by Lorraine Marwood
  • Black Cockatoo (Magabala) by Carl Merrison and Hakea Hustler
  • The Slightly Alarming Tale of the Whispering Wars (Allen & Unwin) by Jaclyn Moriarty
  • His Name was Walter (HarperCollins) by Emily Rodda
  • Chalk Boy (Allen & Unwin) by Margaret Wild and Mandy Ord

Griffith University Young Adult Book Award

Prize $15,000

  • Small Spaces (Walker) by Sarah Epstein
  • How It Feels to Float (Pan Macmillan) by Helena Fox
  • Lenny’s Book of Everything (Allen & Unwin) by Karen Foxlee
  • The Bogan Mondrian (UQP) by Steven Herrick 
  • Catching Teller Crow (Allen & Unwin) by Ambelin Kwaymullina and Ezekiel Kwaymullina

University of Southern Queensland History Book Award

Prize $10,000

  • From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage: How Australia got Compulsory Voting (Text) by Judith Brett
  • An Unconventional Wife: The Life of Julia Sorell Arnold (Scribe) by Mary Hoban
  • Kindred: A Cradle Mountain Love Story (MUP) by Kate Legge
  • A New History of the Irish in Australia (NewSouth) by Elizabeth Malcolm and Dianne Hall
  • You Daughters of Freedom: The Australians Who Won the Vote and Inspired the World (Text) by Clare Wright

University of Southern Queensland Steele Rudd Award for a Short Story Collection

Prize $10,000

  • Zebra: And Other Stories (Pan Macmillan) by Debra Adelaide     
  • The True Colour of the Sea (Penguin Random House) by Robert Drewe             
  • The Drover’s Wives (Brio) by Ryan O’Neill  

Judith Wright Calanthe Award for a Poetry Collection

Prize $10,000

  • Hot Take (Hunter) by Liam Ferney                     
  • Newcastle Sonnets (Giramondo) by Keri Glastonbury 
  • That Sight (Cordite) by Marjon Mossammaparast                       
  • The Lost Arabs (UQP) by Omar Sakr     
  • Blakwork (Magabala) by Alison Whittaker

This award is supported by the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund. 

QUT Digital Literature Award

Prize $15,000

  • V[R]ignettes by Mez Breeze
  • Gothic Body, in Two Parts by Eda Gunaydin
  • Psychometric Researches by Benjamin Laird     
  • ITERATION - Part 3/Chapter 3 by CB Mako and MJ Flamiano
  • The Wonders of Lost Trajectories by Jason Nelson

Glendower Award for an Emerging Queensland Writer

Prize $15,000

  • Little Birds by Sue Goldstiver
  • The Still Point of Being by Karen Hollands
  • Apparitions by Jack Lio
  • Henry Hamlet’s Heart by Rhiannon Ratcliffe Wilde

This award is supported by Jenny Summerson through the Queensland Library Foundation.

The Courier-Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award

Prize $10,000

  • Boy Swallows Universe (HarperCollins) by Trent Dalton  
  • Requiem with Yellow Butterflies: A Memoir (UWA Publishing) by James Halford
  • Wintering (Text) by Krissy Kneen 
  • Too Much Lip (UQP) by Melissa Lucashenko 
  • Brisbane’s Greek Cafes: A Million Malted Milks (Teacup) by Toni Risson
  • Charles Ulm (Allen & Unwin) by Rick Searle 
  • Adani, Following its Dirty Footsteps (Spinifex) by Lindsay Simpson 
  • Daughter of Bad Times (Allen & Unwin) by Rohan Wilson

The winner is determined by public vote. Voting closes Monday 14 October, 5pm. 

David Unaipon Award for an Emerging Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Writer 

  • Eligible entrants will receive author development activities through State Library including mentorship, editorial advice, and guidance on opportunities, pathways and artistic development, in consultation with the Award partners, Copyright Agency Cultural Fund and University of Queensland Press.

This award is supported by the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund.