Congratulations to the 2018 winners and finalists. Queensland Premier's Award for a work of State Significance Awarded to an outstanding work, by an Australian writer, focused on documenting, discussing or highlighting a uniquely Queensland story. Prize $25,000 Winner We'll Show the World: Expo 88 (UQP) by Jackie Ryan Judges’ comments Jackie Ryan provides the definitive account of World Expo 88. Meticulously researched, this book describes the ‘behind the scenes’ political manoeuvring leading up to the event, and the challenges in ensuring that the Expo site on the south bank of the Brisbane River was retained as a public space for future generations. We’ll Show the World captures the ways in which Expo contributed to Queensland’s evolution from an inward-looking state to one that embraced a more cosmopolitan sense of itself. Finalists The Saltwater Story (Cairn Tor Books) by Benjamin Allmon and David Kelly Please Explain (Penguin Random House) by Anna Broinowski White Woman Black Heart: Journey Home to Old Mapoon (CreateSpace) by Barbara Miller Brisbane Houses with Gardens (Beth Wilson) by Beth Wilson We'll Show the World: Expo 88 Jackie Ryan The Saltwater Story Please Explain White Woman Black Heart Brisbane Houses with Gardens book cover Queensland Writers Fellowships Awarded to three (3) established Queensland authors to advance a writing project over a 12-month period. Prize: three Fellowships of $15,000 each The Queensland Writers Fellowships are supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland; State Library of Queensland; and Crowd Giving 2018 donors through the Queensland Library Foundation. Queensland Writers Fellowships are administered by Queensland Writers Centre. 2018 Winners Michael Gerard Bauer Gaps and Silences is a Young Adult novel that takes place over one long, hot Queensland summer holidays when a 14 year old boy is forced to confront and question the unknowns and mysteries of life, along with his image and understanding of himself, in a way that will change him forever Judges’ comments The panel members were equally drawn to Michael’s project which seeks to explore how we fill the ‘gaps and silences’ we create as we craft and re-craft the stories that help us make sense of our own existence. Queensland’s children’s and YA authors have a reputation for tackling challenging subject matter, and Michael’s project seeks to build on that legacy as well as challenge his own identity as a children’s and YA author. Laura Elvery Medallion is a collection of eighteen short stories based on the lives, work and influence of the Nobel Prizes for science that have been awarded to women, beginning with Marie Curie’s first of two medals in 1903. Each story takes a different approach in timeframe, character and narrative separation from the scientists, seen through domestic, physiological and geographical lenses. Judges’ comments Laura’s project has an intriguing literary challenge at its heart - build a cohesive short story collection based on the lives of the 18 women who have won the Nobel Prize for science. While a range of new titles highlight the real contribution of women scientists, Laura’s fiction project will explore their imagined reach. Jackie Ryan Alfred Russel Wallace: Optimist and Dissenter is about Alfred Russel Wallace who was, and seems destined to remain, ‘the other one’. In a historic flash of insight in 1858, he formulated a theory of evolution that was almost identical to one that Charles Darwin had been quietly working on for twenty years. In an equally historic flash—this time of unwelcome enthusiasm—Wallace committed this theory to paper and sent it ‘by the next post to Mr. Darwin, in the full expectation that it would be as new and startling a revelation to him as it had been to myself.’ Darwin was indeed startled. Their papers were delivered as a joint presentation. But joint acclaim did not follow, a fact made most evident in the name by which their theory came to be known: Darwinism. The Victorian scientific community partially erased Wallace’s efforts when it became apparent that he was not interested in science so much as the extent to which information gleaned through it could advance humanity in moral and ethical terms. This book seeks to redress the balance by examining his work and his treatment in the context of his time, and by removing some of the scientific strictures through which his contributions have previously been judged. Judges’ comments Jackie has a proven capacity to tackle subjects in which thousands of everyday punters have a personal stake. The panel members are keen to see how the author will step up and into a space with higher stakes and where erasure has played a significant role in defining scientific, public and political discourse, and myth. Michael Gerard Bauer Laura Elvery Jackie Ryan portrait Queensland Writers Fellowship past recipients Read more about the success of the Queensland Writers Fellowships here. Queensland Premier's Young Publishers and Writers Awards Awarded to two (2) outstanding Queensland writers up to 30 years of age. Prize: two awards of $10,000 plus career development support to the value of $2,500 each Winners Anna Jacobson Bri Lee Judges’ comments Anna Jacobson’s interdisciplinary work and bold collage poetry show she is a writer who takes risks, which often pay off. Anna is also one of the emerging writers helping to forge a distinct Queensland voice which holds cultural diversity, respect, and a shamelessly critical eye at its core. It is heartening to see a young writer and publisher find their voice, their place in the literary community and in the broader public sphere. Eggshell Skull is an important book for many reasons, not least because of the strength of Bri Lee’s writing, the vital message she drives home, and the conversations happening as a result. Bri’s commitment to supporting other writers via Hot Chicks with Big Brains is also indicative of the heart, creative eye, and vision needed to succeed in an ever-changing industry. Finalists Ella Jeffery Emily O'Grady Yen-Rong Wong Anna Jacobson Bri Lee Ella Jeffery Emily O'Grady Yen-Rong Wong Glendower Award for an Emerging Queensland Writer Awarded for an outstanding manuscript by an unpublished Queensland writer. This category is sponsored by Jenny Summerson. Prize: $15,000, plus publication with the University of Queensland Press (UQP) Winner Garrison Town by Melanie Myers Judges’ comments Garrison Town is a polished, multi-layered narrative that reveals the simmering tensions in WWII Brisbane between visiting US soldiers and Australian troops. Told through the perspective of several female characters, it is a well-researched historical fiction that expertly weaves epistolary into a modern-day narrative. The author elegantly mirrors the challenges and limitations faced by wartime women with contemporary themes of violence and sexism. Finalists fate, revenge and chipburgers by Karen Herschell On Either Side by Laura Kenny Hidebound by Christopher Przewloka Supported by the University of Queensland Press Melanie Myers Karen Herschell Laura Kenny Christopher Przewloka David Unaipon Award for an Unpublished Indigenous Writer Awarded for an outstanding manuscript by an unpublished Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander writer. Supported by the Copyright Agency through the Cultural Fund. Prize: $15,000, plus publication with the University of Queensland Press (UQP) Winner The Making of Ruby Champion by Kirstie Parker Judges’ comments One of the achievements of this manuscript is the way it seamlessly draws together the outback Aboriginal grassroots experience with the urban Black story. Both settings are deeply and authentically Blak, and the humour and characters expressed by the author shine as a rough diamond from the heart of Aboriginal Australia. Finalists Why Worry Now by Melanie Saward Jilba's Song by Wendy Somerville Song — The Story of a Girl, a Bird and a Teapot by Waiata Telfer Destinations Past Present Future: Diving Through Timelines by Teila Watson Supported by the University of Queensland Press. Kirstie Parker Melanie Saward Wendy Somerville Waiaita Telfer Teila Watson QUT Digital Literature Award Awarded to an exceptional work of transmedia or digital literature showcasing innovation in storytelling. Prize: $15,000 Winner Little Emperor Syndrome by David Thomas Henry Wright, with Chris Arnold Judges’ comments An elegantly simple execution of a wickedly complex narrative, ‘Little Emperor Syndrome’ makes clever use of database-driven web coding — an accessible choice of platform — to achieve a multi-threaded narrative. The author has introduced a stunning number of permutations for experiencing the different modes and yet still the story works as a cohesive whole. It is a remarkable feat of narrative craft. Finalists Our Cupidity Coda by Mez Breeze A Place Called Ormalcy by Mez Breeze Core Values (Australian Poetry) by Benjamin Laird Little Emperor Syndrome Chris Arnold and David Thomas Henry Wright Our Cupidity Coda A Place Called Ormalcy Core Values cover image The University of Queensland Fiction Book Award Awarded to an outstanding work of fiction by an Australian writer. Prize: $15,000 Winner Taboo (Pan Macmillan) by Kim Scott Judges’ comments A confronting but ultimately hopeful book that probes Australia’s heart of darkness in poetic and masterly prose. Scott just gets better and better in a novel that is brutal but also idealistic. He should be regarded as an important voice in world literature. Finalists Flames (Text Publishing) by Robbie Arnott The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree (Wild Dingo Press) by Shokoofeh Azar The Fish Girl (Brio Books) by Mirandi Riwoe The Shepherd's Hut (Penguin Random House) by Tim Winton Taboo Kim Scott Flames The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree The Fish Girl The Shepherd's Hut cover image The University of Queensland Non-Fiction Book Award Awarded to an outstanding work of non-fiction by an Australian writer. Prize: $15,000 Winner Tracker (Giramondo Publishing) by Alexis Wright Judges’ comments This book is stunningly innovative in the way it brings the life and story of Tracker Tilmouth to the printed page. Tracker was a visionary Aboriginal leader who used his knowledge of economics to further opportunities for his people. This book is operatic in form, soaring to great heights and depths, always fascinating and ultimately illuminating about this Indigenous leader who remains unknown to many non-Indigenous Australians. Finalists The Enigmatic Mr Deakin (Text Publishing) by Judith Brett The Year Everything Changed: 2001 (Penguin Random House) by Phillipa McGuinness Call of the Reed Warbler: A New Agriculture — A New Earth (UQP) by Charles Massy Korea: Where the American Century Began (Hardie Grant Books) by Michael Pembroke Alexis Wright Tracker The Enigmatic Mr Deakin The Year Everything Changed: 2001 Call of the Reed Warbler Korea: Where the American Century Began Griffith University Children’s Book Award Awarded to a work, suitable for children up to 12 years old, by an Australian writer. Prize: $15,000 Winner The Elephant (UQP) by Peter Carnavas Judges’ comments Peter Carnavas has illustrated his debut novel, The Elephant, with simple, evocative line drawings. How Olive and her grandad cope with her mother’s death and father’s overwhelming grief is shown through consummate, heartfelt storytelling. The sensory, lyrical writing is exquisite and the symbols are profound yet ultimately light-filled and hopeful. Finalists The Storm Whale (Allen & Unwin) written by Sarah Brennan, illustrated by Jane Tanner Go Go and the Silver Shoes (Penguin Random House) written by Jane Godwin, illustrated by Anna Walker The Shop at Hoopers Bend (HarperCollins) by Emily Rodda Swan Lake (Allen & Unwin) by Anne Spudvilas The Elephant Peter Carnavas Storm Whale Go Go and the Silver Shoes The Shop at Hoopers Bend Swan Lake book cover Griffith University Young Adult Book Award Awarded to a work, suitable for young adults aged 13 to 19, by an Australian writer. Prize: $15,000 Winner In the Dark Spaces (Hardie Grant Egmont) by Cally Black Judges’ comments This brutally realistic sci-fi novel enfolds a heart-wrenching family story. The norms of race, class, social justice, and personal responsibility are confronted by our young protagonist, Tamara, as she collides and colludes with an alien culture in a quest to rescue her baby cousin and find a way home. Finalists The Dream Walker (Hachette) by Victoria Carless Sparrow (Allen & Unwin) by Scot Gardner Amelia Westlake (Hardie Grant Egmont) by Erin Gough Because of You (UQP) by Pip Harry In the Dark Spaces Cally Black The Dream Walker Sparrow book cover Amelia Westlake Because of You University of Southern Queensland History Book Award Awarded to an outstanding non-fiction history book by an Australian writer. Prize: $10,000 Winner We'll Show the World: Expo 88 (UQP) by Jackie Ryan Judges’ comments Jackie Ryan’s Expo 88 is an engaging history of Queensland in the 1970s and 1980s giving an extraordinary insight into Queensland’s distinctive political and commercial machinations, as well as its social history. Ryan’s achievement in analysing the many dimensions of the Expo story — its boosters, doubters, and opponents of its social dislocation — with such pacey economy is extraordinary. Ryan’s literary writing style demonstrates that scholarly excellence can still be accessible to all readers. Finalists The Enigmatic Mr Deakin (Text Publishing) by Judith Brett Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Australia (Black Inc) by Billy Griffiths Beautiful Balts: From Displaced Persons to New Australians (NewSouth Publishing) by Jayne Persian The Battle Within: POWs in Postwar Australia (NewSouth Publishing) by Christina Twomey We'll Show the World: Expo 88 Jackie Ryan The Enigmatic Mr Deakin Deep Time Dreaming Beautiful Balts: From displaced persons to new Australians The Battle Within University of Southern Queensland Short Story Collection — Steele Rudd Award Awarded to an outstanding collection of short stories by an Australian writer. Prize: $10,000 Winner Pulse Points (Text Publishing) by Jennifer Down Judges’ comments It’s exceedingly rare to see astonishing talent in a writer so young. Pulse Points is a daring, compelling, and refreshing collection of stories that covers diverse territory. Each story is emotionally evocative, surprising the reader at every turn. This is a collection of an author to watch. Finalists Bird Country (Text Publishing) by Claire Aman Common People (UQP) by Tony Birch Habits of Silence (Finlay Lloyd Publishers) by Stephanie Buckle Trick of the Light (UQP) by Laura Elvery Pulse Points Jennifer Down Bird Country Common People Habits of Silence Trick of the Light State Library of Queensland Poetry Collection Judith Wright Calanthe Award Awarded to an outstanding collection of poetry by an Australian writer. Prize: $10,000 Winner I Love Poetry (Giramondo Publishing) by Michael Farrell Judges’ comments One of the country’s foremost poets, Michael Farrell opens a door and invites the reader to step beyond the threshold of disbelief into a new and dazzling world. In I Love Poetry, his commitment to Australia as subject, and to poetry as a mode of thought, gains power with each fearless interrogation. Farrell remixes the Australian experience though a multiplicity of word play, bush poetic, irony, fragmented joy, and surprise cameos from Australian icons such as INXS and Waleed Aly. A truly inventive book, I Love Poetry brings a whole new dimension to Australian camp: extravagant, subversive, and hilarious, but also profound in its capacity to reimagine the terms with which we inhabit this complex continent. In the great tradition of queer Australian landscape poetics, like Patrick White, David Malouf, and Martin Harrison, Farrell recombines Australian ecology, history, and mythology into glorious, and very funky, new forms. But despite the book’s grand canvas, many of the poems feature a startling intimacy: the poet has become as open to the details of his self as he has always been to the currents and conjectures of pop culture, literature and philosophy; all is vibrant, viable material for this lyrebird of Australian poetry. Finalists click here for what we do (Vagabond Press) by Pam Brown Chatelaine (Giramondo Publishing) by Bonny Cassidy The Honeymoon Stage (Giramondo Publishing) by Oscar Schwartz Lost Lake (Vagabond Press) by Bella Li I Love Poetry Michael Farrell Click Here for What We Do Chatelaine The Honeymoon Stage Lost Lake The Courier-Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award Awarded to an outstanding book by a Queensland author. The winner is determined by public vote. Prize: $10,000 Winner Brisbane Houses with Gardens (Beth Wilson) by Beth Wilson Finalists Burning Down (UQP) by Venero Armanno Danger Music (Allen & Unwin) by Eddie Ayres To Become a Whale (Allen & Unwin) by Ben Hobson The Yellow House (Allen & Unwin) by Emily O'Grady The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart (HarperCollins) by Holly Ringland We'll Show the World: Expo 88 (UQP) by Jackie Ryan A Life Underwater (Penguin Random House) by Charlie Veron Brisbane Houses with Gardens book cover Beth Wilson Burning Down Danger Music To Become a Whale The Yellow House The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart We'll Show the World: Expo 88 A Life Underwater Find all past Queensland Literary Awards winners here. Back to Queensland Literary Awards home page.