2021 Queensland Literary Awards shortlists

The Queensland Literary Awards recognise and celebrate the exceptional literary talents of esteemed and emerging Queensland writers.
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Finalists announced

Congratulations to the finalists for the Queensland Literary Awards 2021!

The Queensland Literary Awards celebrate outstanding writers from Queensland and around Australia, across published and unpublished categories. The awards also offer fellowships and development awards for Queensland writers, and emerging Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander writers, Australia-wide.  

Stay up to date by following the Queensland Literary Awards on Twitter and Facebook.

Winners’ announcements live stream

The winners’ announcements will be live streamed on State Library’s website and Facebook Live on 6pm Thursday 9 September 2021. Register now

Voting now closed

Voting has now closed for The Courier-Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award. View the finalists.

Queensland Premier's Award for a work of State Significance

$25,000 | Supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland

Cover of Car Crash A Memoir by Lech Blaine showing a stylised street scape blackboard chalk and red and blue emergency lights

Car Crash
Lech Blaine
Black Inc.

Ordinary Matter by Laura Elvery UQP

Ordinary Matter
Laura Elvery
University of Queensland Press

Biting the Clouds by Fiona Foley UQP

Biting the Clouds
Fiona Foley
University of Queensland Press

cover of A Question of Colour by Pattie Lees with Adam C Lees

A Question of Colour
Pattie Lees with Adam C Lees
Magabala Books

Change Machine by Jaya Savige UQP

Change Machine
Jaya Savige
University of Queensland Press

Queensland Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Award

$12,500 each (two awards) | Supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland

Rebecca Cheers

Allanah Hunt

Jonathan O’Brien

Ellen Wengert

The University of Queensland Fiction Book Award

$15,000 | Supported by The University of Queensland

Friends and Dark Shapes by Kavita Bedford A blue peach and green painting shows several bodies faces and limbs entwined

Friends & Dark Shapes
Kavita Bedford 
Text Publishing

Revenge Murder in Three Parts by S L Lim Transit Lounge

Revenge
S. L. Lim
Transit Lounge

The Labyrinth by Amanda Lohrey Text Publishing

The Labyrinth
Amanda Lohrey
Text Publishing

The Last Migration by Charlotte McConaghy Penguin Random House

The Last Migration
Charlotte McConaghy
Penguin Random House

Song of the Crocodile by Nardi Simpson Hachette

Song of the Crocodile
Nardi Simpson
Hachette Australia

The University of Queensland Non-Fiction Book Award

$15,000 | Supported by The University of Queensland

Car Crash by Lech Blaine Black Inc

Car Crash
Lech Blaine
Black Inc

Into the Loneliness The unholy alliance of Ernestine Hill and Daisy Bates by Eleanor Hogan Newsouth Books

Into the Loneliness
Eleanor Hogan 
NewSouth Publishing    

Truth Telling by Henry Reynolds NewSouth Books

Truth-Telling
Henry Reynolds
NewSouth Publishing

Amnesia Road by Luke Stegemann NewSouth Books

Amnesia Road
Luke Stegemann
NewSouth Publishing    

The Carbon Club by Marion Wilkinson Allen  Unwin

The Carbon Club
Marian Wilkinson
Allen & Unwin

Children’s Book Award

$15,000 | Supported by Susan Hocking and Ian Mackie, and their family, through The Hocking Mackie Trust at APS Foundation

The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Dangerous Animals by Sami Bayly Hachette

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dangerous Animals
Sami Bayly
Hachette Australia  

How to Make a Bird by Meg McKinlay illustrated by Matt Ottley Walker Books Australia

How to Make a Bird
Meg McKinlay and illustrated by Matt Ottley 
Walker Books Australia    

The Stolen Prince of Cloudburst by Jaclyn Moriarty illustrated by Kelly Canby

The Stolen Prince of Cloudburst
Jaclyn Moriarty and illustrated by Kelly Canby
Allen & Unwin

We are Wolves by Katrina Nannestad ABC Books

We Are Wolves
Katrina Nannestad and illustrated by Martina Heiduczek
ABC Books

Bindi by Kirli Saunders illustrated by Dub Leffler Magabala

Bindi
Kirli Saunders and illustrated by Dub Leffler
Magabala Books

Griffith University Young Adult Book Award

$15,000 | Supported by Griffith University

The End of the World is Bigger than Love by Davina Bell Text Publishing

The End of the World is Bigger than Love
Davina Bell
Text Publishing 

Tiger Daughter by Rebecca Lim Allen  Unwin

Tiger Daughter 
Rebecca Lim  
Allen & Unwin    

The Boy from the Mish by Gary Lonesborough Allen  Unwin

The Boy from the Mish
Gary Lonesborough
Allen & Unwin

Metal Fish Falling Snow by Cath Moore Text Publishing

Metal Fish, Falling Snow 
Cath Moore
Text Publishing

The Erasure Initiative by Lili Wilkinson Allen  Unwin

The Erasure Initiative
Lili Wilkinson
Allen & Unwin

Library Shop

Read the stories for yourself! Find them in The Library Shop.

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

$15,000 | Supported University of Southern Queensland

Ordinary Matter by Laura Elvery UQP

Ordinary Matter 
Laura Elvery
University of Queensland Press 

Smokehouse by Melissa Manning - the cover shows a glass jar against a white background with black and grey smoke inside

Smokehouse
Melissa Manning  
University of Queensland Press   

Smart Ovens for Lonely People Elizabeth Tan

Smart Ovens for Lonely People
Elizabeth Tan
Brio Books

The cover of Born Into This by Adam Thompson showing stylised mountains sky and water in reds yellow blue and black

Born Into This
Adam Thompson
University of Queensland Press

Broken Rules and Other Stories Barry Lee Thompson

Broken Rules and Other Stories
Barry Lee Thompson
Transit Lounge

Judith Wright Calanthe Award for a Poetry Collection

$15,000 | Supported by Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund

Drop Bear Evelyn Araluen

Drop Bear
Evelyn Araluen
University of Queensland Press 

Airplane Baby Banana Blanket Benjamin Dodd

Airplane Baby Banana Blanket
Benjamin Dodds  
Recent Work Press  

Change Machine by Jaya Savige UQP

Change Machine
Jaya Savige
University of Queensland Press 

Homecoming Elfie Shiosaki

Homecoming
Elfie Shiosaki 
Magabala Books

Terminally Poetic Ouyang Yu

Terminally Poetic
Ouyang Yu
Ginninderra Press

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

$15,000 | Supported by Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund

'Mekauwe= Tears Volume #1 (Notes For Song) 1970-2020'
Ngankiburka-mekauwe (Senior Woman-of Water) Georgina Williams

'Politiks'
Chella Goldwin

Glendower Award for an Emerging Queensland Writer

$15,000 | Supported by Jenny Summerson through the Queensland Library Foundation

'On the Exhale'
Jason Gent

'The Whitewash'
Siang Lu

'The Luminous Heart'
Natalie Sprite

'It’s Chemical'
Lillian Telford

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

$10,000 | Supported by The Courier-Mail

Major partners

Category sponsors

Principal benefactors

The Glendower Award for an Emerging Queensland Writer is supported by Jenny Summerson through the Queensland Library Foundation.

Children's Book Award is supported by Susan Hocking and Ian Mackie, and their family, through The Hocking Mackie Trust at APS Foundation.

The Queensland Writers Fellowships are supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland and State Library of Queensland.

Supporters

Help support writers

The Queensland Literary Awards are supported through the Queensland Library Foundation. You can be part of this celebration of literature and help nurture Australian writers at all stages of their careers. 

Find the finalists in your library

Borrow the books from State Library or find them in your local public library.

More QLA Awards

Meet the 2021 judges

Get to know the judges and judging process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Find the answer to your FAQ.

2020 winners and finalists

Uncover the stories and writers from 2020.

Queensland Writers Fellowship

Celebrate the success of the Queensland Writers Fellowship recipients.  

2019 winners and finalists

Get to know the writers and stories from 2019.

Latest news

Read the latest media releases.