Queensland Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Award

2021 Shortlist 

Congratulations to the finalists! 

Rebecca Cheers

Judges' comments 

As a poet, essayist, playwright, theatre critic, performer, editor and publisher, Rebecca’s growing body of work reflects the many and varied pathways emerging writers take to establish a career as a writer while challenging the nature of the industry itself.

About the author 

Rebecca Cheers is a writer living and working on Jagura and Turrbal land. She has written poetry, plays, essays and zines, and was a founding editor of Woolf Pack, a collaborative zine. She recently completed a Masters of Philosophy at QUT, researching lyric poetry as a mode of feminist history writing. Her work has appeared in Overland, Voiceworks, Blue Bottle Journal, the Brisbane Anywhere Festival, and in the 2018 anthology The Conspirator as part of her House Conspiracy artist residency. She is the awards administrator for Queensland Poetry.

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Allanah Hunt

Judges' comments 

Having already created an assured body of work, Allanah will, no doubt, continue to build a career as a writer who peers unflinchingly into Australia’s past and present to tell stories which reclaim place, truth and voice.

About the author 

Allanah Hunt is a Barkindji writer, a 2020 Next Chapter fellow, winner of the inaugural Boundless Indigenous Writer's Mentorship and a former Junior Editor with black&write! at State Library of Queensland. Allanah recently completed her PhD in Creative Writing at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, UK, and won the 2019 Nakata Brophy Prize for her short story, 'Running to home'. Allanah has published several short stories, and two of her manuscripts were highly commended in the black&write! inaugural writing fellowship. 

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Jonathan O'Brien

Judges' comments 

To think of young writers and editors as being at the beginning of their careers is somewhat naive. Like Jonathan, they are producers, academics, collaborators and award winners. And, like Jonathan, the body of work they produce makes the task of judging challenging each and every year.

About the author 

Jonathan O'Brien is a Brisbane-based writer, educator, and creative freelancer, described as “a fresh and exciting voice” by The Guardian Australia. His fiction and research has won several awards and been published across Australia.  In 2016, he founded the artist residency space House Conspiracy, and has since served as a judge for the Matilda Awards, a fiction reader for Overland, and a publisher for Pseudonaja Group.  Currently, Jonathan is undertaking big data research focused on arts employment, and is developing an online course focused on professional freelance skills for creatives. Both these projects are due for release in 2022.

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Ellen Wengert

Judges' comments 

Having been previously shortlisted for this Award, Ellen simply continued to write and create a body of work suffused with wry insights into familiar places and the tangled politics of everyday life.

About the author 

Ellen Wengert lives in Meanjin (Brisbane) and works as a primary school teacher. Her writing has been published in The Guardian, ABC, Griffith Review, Kill Your Darlings, Scum Mag, Voiceworks and the One Book Many Brisbanes anthology. Ellen has been shortlisted for the Queensland Premier's Young Publishers and Writers Award and in 2018 she won the State Library of Queensland Young Writers Award. She recently became a mum and is working on her first novel.

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