Young Writers Award

And the winner is ...  

Callum Brockett for his short story, 'Once/Now', which the judges called "a remarkable piece and one wholly deserving of winning the 2022 Young Writers Award". Congratulations, Callum!

Callum wins $2,000 and you'll soon be able to read his story, published by Griffith Review

Congratulations to the three runners-up who each receive $500 and Queensland Writers Centre membership: 

  • First runner-up: ‘Back Burning’ by Ellie Kaddatz
  • Second runner-up: ‘Six’ by Sasha Vucicevic
  • Third runner-up: ‘The Sea Behind My Eyelids’ by Maxwell Freedman

Thanks to all the young Queensland writers who sent us their stories, and our thanks to the judges, Griffith Review and Queensland Writers Centre for their support.  

WINNER: Callum Brockett, 'Once/Now'

Judges' comments

The judges were immediately struck by 'Once/Now' ... Like many of the piece’s in this year’s longlist, 'Once/Now' is ambitious – it does not shy away from difficult subjects, and its themes are ones that are often hard for even seasoned writers to convey. But it met this complexity with a simple, beautiful handling of tone and elegant structure.

About the author

Callum Brockett is a research assistant and writer based in Meanjin/Brisbane. His research and writing on environmental and human rights law has been published in international academic journals. He is also a published travel writer and enjoys writing short fiction. Callum was a runner-up in the 2020 State Library of Queensland Young Writers Award. 

First runner up: 'Back Burning' by Ellie Kaddatz 

Judges' comments

'Back Burning' is a compelling piece that works wonderfully with its veins of Australian literature. Through deft use of emotive language and imagery, it invokes beautifully that yearning that comes with growing up, young love, the possibilities of new lives and the questions left behind in the old. 

About the author

Ellie Kaddatz is an emerging writer based in Meanjin/Brisbane. She was runner-up in the 2021 State Library of Queensland Young Writers Award and has been published in ScratchThat magazine. Ellie writes about nature, magic, and relationships (and how all of those are actually the same thing). 

Second runner up: 'Six' by Sasha Vucicevic

Judges' comments

'Six' is a standout in its language, its summoning of mystery, its ability to unsettle and its strange, dream-like tone that draws the reader in while keeping them beautifully disoriented. Its brevity is used perfectly – the hallmark of a highly skilled writer. 

About the author

Sasha Vucicevic had her first published story in 'The Write Stuff'. Sasha is a high school English and Drama teacher working with secondary students to learn to love the art of writing. Underneath homework and piles of marking, Sasha has a journal full of poems and scripts and stories. Her latest project explores the mysteries and folklore in the tales from her Balkan grandmother. Taking inspiration from interviews in broken English, Sasha hopes to use creative mediums to show the wonder of these stories and find a way to carry them with her as a young woman living in Queensland.  

Third runner up: 'The Sea Behind My Eyelids' by Maxwell Freedman

Judges' comments

'The Sea Behind My Eyelids' is a highly entertaining piece, connecting via the originality of its voice, and an authenticity in its portrayal of themes of culture, family, mental health.  

About the author

Max Freedman is a writer from Brisbane. He has a Bachelor of Humanities from the University of Queensland, where he majored in English Literature. He likes to fiddle with poems, songs, and fan-fiction. At the moment, he is writing a dystopian romance novel inspired by The Bachelor Australia

2022 judges

Meet this year's panel of authors and editors.

Past winners

Read stories by past winners from 1998 to now. 

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