Young Writers Award

And the winner is ...  

Ellen Vickerman for her stunning short story, 'Sun Queens', which the judges called "confidently and evocatively written". Congratulations, Ellen!

Ellen wins $2,000 and her story will soon be published by Griffith Review

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

  • First runner up – Zarin Nuzhat for 'Friday'  
  • Second runner up – Ellie Kaddatz for 'Precious Cargo'  
  • Third runner up – Eden Annesley for 'Halcyon'

Thanks to all the young Queensland writers who sent us their stories. We look forward to reading your stories next year!

WINNER: Ellen Vickerman, 'Sun Queens'

Judges' comments

Style is the key strength of this piece and the element that really makes it stand out. ‘Sun Queens’ is confidently and evocatively written, with a vivid, palpable sense of place and impressive use of language.

About the author

Ellen Vickerman is currently an MPhil candidate at QUT, where she is researching the use of unconventional narrative forms in contemporary creative writing practice. When she finishes her thesis, she hopes to start a short story collection. Her work has previously been published in Griffith Review, and she won the 2019 Newcastle Short Story Award and the Sydney Writers Room Prize, among others. 

First runner up – Zarin Nuzhat, 'Friday' 

Judges' comments

This is a compelling and convincing story that is effectively structured and emotionally moving – its evocation of a traumatic real-life event feels authentic and precise. 

About the author

Zarin is a Bangladeshi Australian living in Brisbane. When she is not working as a junior doctor, she enjoys collecting stories from the world around her. She is inspired by her culture, history, and the stories passed down to her by family. Zarin was named runner-up in the Young Writers Award in 2017 and 2019.  

Second runner up – Ellie Kaddatz, 'Precious Cargo' 

Judges' comments

‘Precious Cargo’ has a strong voice and some expressive prose. It tackles a topical subject with emotional sensitivity and is a convincing and accomplished read. 

About the author

Ellie Kaddatz is an emerging writer, editor and artist based in Brisbane/Meanjin. She is a third-year creative writing student at QUT who has been published in ScratchThat magazine. Ellie writes about nature, magic, and the delicate balance of relationships, and dabbles in collage and digital art.  

Third runner up – Eden Annesley, 'Halcyon' 

Judges' comments

‘Halcyon’ has some striking turns of phrase and an intriguing narrative. It particularly stands out for its tone, which is impressively conjured and sustained. 

About the author

Originally hailing from country NSW, Eden has always had a passion for the arts, which has led her to study Classical Violin Performance at the Queensland Conservatorium. She writes and drinks coffee in her spare time, and is working towards completing a novel set in outback Australia. She was awarded the Somerset Storyfest National Novella Prize in 2021 and was published in the magazine Northerly.  

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