Previous winners and runners up
- Shastra Deo, ALS Gold Medallist and author of the poetry collection The Agonist (UQP).
- Rebecca Jessen, the multi-award winning poet and author of Ask Me About the Future (UQP) and Gap (UQP).
- Chris Somerville, author of the short story collection We Are Not the Same Anymore (UQP).
- Tara June Winch, author of two short story collections Swallow the Air (UQP) and After the Carnage (UQP), and the novel The Yield (Penguin Random House).
- Christopher Currie, author of the YA novel Clancy of the Undertow (Text) and Commonwealth Book Prize finalist The Ottoman Motel (Text).
- Benjamin Law, multi-disciplinary author, screenwriter and journalist. Ben’s books include The Family Law (Black Inc.), Gaysia (Black Inc.) and Law School (Brow Books).
- Megan McGrath, author of the short story collection All Hands (Spineless Wonders).
- Romy Ash, author of Floundering (Text).
From 2001 to 2011 the Maureen Donahoe Encouragement Award was given in memory of the late Maureen Donahoe, a promising young writer who was the first runner up in the Young Writers Award 1998.