Young Writers Award

Congratulations to the four finalists!  

Thanks to all the young Queensland writers who sent us their stories. Thank you to this year's judges. 

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The winning story will be published by Griffith Review. Winners and runners up will receive membership to Queensland Writers Centre.

Thomas Alan, 'Dogs' 

Judges' comments

There is a propulsive, lively energy to this story, and a confident, gripping narrative voice. It has real narrative tension and a well-developed sense of place throughout. 

About the author

Thomas Alan graduated from the University of Queensland with a major in creative writing. His recent works focus on his own formative years and magnifies the condition of an Australian society that never truly comes of age. For the last five years he has worked as a carpenter, banging nails into things and swearing at pieces of timber.

Callum Brockett, 'Bunya Pine' 

Judges' comments

In this story, the writer conveys their character’s emotions—or repression of emotions— in a way that feels subtle and genuine. The prose is beautiful and tender, and the writer has a deft handle on their subject.

About the author

Callum Brockett is a writer in his final year of a Law/Fine Arts dual Bachelor degree. Callum typically writes literary fiction and semi-autobiographical tales about his travels in North Africa, Europe and Asia. While he prefers the escapism of creative writing, Callum also researches and writes about Environment and Human Rights Law. Otherwise, Callum spends his spare time scuba-diving shipwrecks, underwater caves, and reefs, filming the diverse sea life he encounters along the way. 

Emily Humphreys, 'This is not a happy story' 

Judges' comments

A powerful subject matter carried by evocative imagery and language. The descriptions of the ocean are captivating and the story itself is devastatingly beautiful. The voice is commanding, and the powerful sense of narrative urgency makes for memorable storytelling.

About the author

Emily Humphreys is currently a student at Griffith University, where she studies a double degree of law and arts; with majors in security studies and international politics. When she isn’t studying, Emily can be found reading, volunteering with local not-for-profits or dreaming of her next big trip around the world. She has been writing since she was 12 and loves to incorporate themes and ideas from her travels and the people that she has met into her stories. She aspires to pursue a career in human rights law and one day publish a novel, but until then will continue writing whenever she can find time.

Ellen Vickerman, 'Unit K13'

Judges' comments

Unit K13 is an utterly original, clever and thought-provoking read. The story takes narrative risks, and the daring, experimental structure is perfectly executed, skilfully mirroring the story’s nuanced questioning of fate and choice.

About the author

Ellen Vickerman is a Brisbane-based emerging writer. She studied a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative and Professional Writing at QUT, and in 2020, began a Master of Philosophy, where she is researching narrative structure through experiments in her fiction. She is currently interested in telling stories of climate change, family, and the uncanny. She aspires to one day write something funny. Ellen has previously won the Newcastle Short Story Award, Sydney Writers’ Room Prize, and Allen & Unwin’s QUT Undergraduate Writing Prize, and categories in the Scarlet Stiletto Awards, among others.

Khalid Warsame YWA judge

Meet this year's judges.

State Librarian with winners holding their certificates

Read stories by past winners from 1998 to now. 

Close up of a Young Writers Award certificate

Congratulations to the 2019 winners, runners-up and highly commended writers.