Congratulations to the finalists! Bianca Millroy 'The Solitary Light' by Bianca Millroy Judges' comments Bianca Millroy’s elegant historical novel, The Solitary Light, is inspired by true events that occurred during WWII on Australia’s most isolated island. The Solitary Light is a gothic tale rich in love, family secrets and connection, and takes readers on a transportive tale with delightfully unexpected turns. About the author Bianca Millroy is an emerging Australian writer of historical eco-fiction and magic realism. Her stories have been published in anthologies such as Visible Ink. In 2019, Bianca was on the editorial for the anthology eMerge, and in 2020 was selected as the lead editor for Lighthouse, a forthcoming anthology from QWC's GenreCon. Bianca’s manuscript, ‘The Solitary Light’ is inspired by true events surrounding one of Australia’s most isolated lighthouses. After penning the first chapter, Bianca discovered a family connection. Bianca is a proud team member of AustLit and holds a Master of Professional Writing. She lives in Brisbane on Yugara-Turrbal country, and feels most at home near the water, especially if there is a lighthouse nearby. Jonathan O'Brien 'Daddy & Other Father Figures' by Jonathan O'Brien Judges' comments Jonathan O’Brien’s fine collection of stories explores fathering and masculinity in varying guises. Infused with humour, 'Daddy & Other Father Figures' offers characters who attempt to navigate the anxieties of modern parenting in often surreal situations, and invites readers to reflect upon idealised conceptions of fatherhood. About the author Jonathan O'Brien is a Brisbane-based writer, educator, and creative producer, described as “a fresh and exciting voice” by The Guardian Australia. He has been awarded the Lord Mayor's Young and Emerging Artists Fellowship (2020), the State Library of Queensland Young Writers Award (2017), and the QUT Undergraduate Creative Writing Prize (2014). In 2016 Jonathan founded artist residency space House Conspiracy, and in 2018 he edited and designed arts anthology The Conspirator. You can see more of his work at jonobri.com. Fiona Robertson 'If You're Happy' by Fiona Robertson Judges' comments Fiona Robertson’s accomplished story collection, 'If You’re Happy', has an impressive range in terms of its settings and themes. Her stories display subtlety and empathy as they reveal people at moments of change or crisis, grappling with how to repair fractures in their lives and relationships, in the pursuit of happier existences. About the author Fiona Robertson is a writer and doctor from Brisbane. Her short fiction has been published in anthologies and literary journals in Australia and the UK, and has been shortlisted for international competitions. An extract of her recently completed story collection was shortlisted for the Richell Prize in 2018. Jenny Ruge 'Without a Word' by Jenny Ruge Judges' comments 'Without a Word' is a compelling and well-written YA novel, dealing with important and timely issues, such as suicide, grief, bullying, drought and the country–city divide. Jenny Ruge has skilfully created a main character who readers will care deeply about by the book’s end. About the author Jenny Ruge is a former teacher and primary school principal. Originally from country NSW, she lived for many years in the Blue Mountains before settling in Redcliffe after retiring six years ago. Her lifelong passion for books and reading, especially children’s and young adult literature, has inspired her to pursue a new career as a writer. She has recently completed several online writing courses with the Australian Writers’ Centre, and is currently working on her second novel. Siall Waterbright 'As We Knew It' by Siall Waterbright Judges' comments 'As We Knew It' is a beautifully written work of autofiction. From an unnamed location during isolation, the narrator looks back on her youth in Florida and life in her adopted home city, Brisbane, in order to understand how she, and we, reached this moment. A delicate exploration of identity and solitude in a time of uncertainty. About the author Siall Waterbright’s poetry and short stories have appeared in publications including Island Magazine, Cordite Poetry Review and Australian Poetry Journal. Siall’s writing has previously placed or received commendations in competitions including the Thomas Shapcott Prize, the Val Vallis Prize, and the Josephine Ulrick Prize. Siall Waterbright holds bachelor’s degrees from New College of Florida and Queensland University of Technology and a PhD from Queensland University of Technology. Siall is currently working on a graphic novel relating to perceptions of childhood and colonialism.