Queensland Literary Awards past winners

The Queensland Literary Awards showcase outstanding authors from across Australia, celebrating emerging and established authors across a range of genres. State Library of Queensland is proud to manage the awards in collaboration with sponsors, the literary community, and industry partners. The Queensland Literary Awards provide investment in the careers of debut, mid-career and established writers. It creates pathways to publication and success for emerging Queensland writers and First Nations writers around Australia.

On offer are categories for outstanding published books by Australian writers, illustrators and creators, as well as prizes for unpublished manuscripts and emerging creatives.

Queensland Premier's Award for a work of State Significance 

Winner
Wounded Country by Quentin Beresford (NewSouth)

Finalists
Muddy People by Sara El Sayed (Black Inc. Books) 
The Burnished Sun by Mirandi Riwoe (University of Queensland Press) 
Operation Jungle by John Shobbrook (University of Queensland Press) 
Another Day in the Colony by Chelsea Watego (University of Queensland Press) 

Queensland Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Award 

Winners
Rebecca Cheers 
Marilena Hewitt

Finalists 
Miranda Hine 
Sean West 

Queensland Writers Fellowships

Winners
Melissa Ashley, 'The Celebrated Bodies of Anna Morandi' 
Geneve Flynn, 'The Red Dowager: All Debts Must be Repaid’  
Mary-Rose MacColl, ‘In These Mountains’  

The University of Queensland Fiction Book Award

Winner
The Other Half of You by Michael Mohammed Ahmad (Hachette Australia)

Finalists
Cold Enough for Snow by Jessica Au (Giramondo Publishing)  
The Furies by Mandy Beaumont (Hachette Australia) 
The Keepers by Al Campbell (University of Queensland Press)
Australiana by Yumna Kassab (Ultimo Press)

The University of Queensland Non-Fiction Book Award

Winner
Lies, Damned Lies by Claire G. Coleman (Ultimo Press)

Finalists
Muddy People by Sara El Sayed (Black Inc. Books)
The Mother Wound by Amani Haydar (Pan Macmillan)
The Three Burials of Lotty Kneen by Krissy Kneen (Text) 
Another Day in the Colony by Chelsea Watego (University of Queensland Press)  

Griffith University Children’s Book Award

Winner
Kunyi by Kunyi June Anne McInerney (Magabala Books)

Finalists
My Brother Ben by Peter Carnavas (University of Queensland Press)  
A Glasshouse of Stars by Shirley Marr (Penguin Random House)
The Boy Who Tried to Shrink His Name by Sandhya Parappukkaran and illustrated by Michelle Pereira (Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing)
The First Scientists by Corey Tutt and illustrated by Blak Douglas (Hardie Grant Explore)

Griffith University Young Adult Book Award

Winner
Girls in Boys' Cars by Felicity Castagna (Pan Macmillan)

Finalists
Katipo Joe: Wolf’s Lair by Brian Falkner (Scholastic)
Morrison and Mr Moore by Michael Hyde (In Case of Emergency Press) 
Social Queue by Kay Kerr (Text Publishing)
Sugar by Carly Nugent (Text Publishing)

University of Southern Queensland Steele Rudd Award for a Short Story Collection

Winner
Dark as Last Night by Tony Birch (University of Queensland Press)

Finalists
The Kindness of Birds by Merlinda Bobis (Spinifex Press)  
The Burnished Sun by Mirandi Riwoe (University of Queensland Press)
If You're Happy by Fiona Robertson (University of Queensland Press)
Lake Malibu and Other Stories by Su-May Tan (Spineless Wonders)

Judith Wright Calanthe Award for a Poetry Collection

Winner
Stasis Shuffle by Pam Brown (Hunter Publishers)

Finalists
TAKE CARE by Eunice Andrada (Giramondo Publishing)
accelerations & inertias by Dan Disney (Vagabond Press)
At the Altar of Touch by Gavin Yuan Gao (University of Queensland Press)
Bees Do Bother: An Antagonist's Carepack by Ann Vickery (Vagabond Press)

David Unaipon Award for an Emerging Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Writer

Winner
‘Always Will Be – stories of Goori sovereignty, from the future(s) of the Tweed’ by Mykaela Saunders

Finalists
‘Finding Billy Brown’ by Edoardo Crismani 
‘Wawun, Judulu and The Big Storm’ by Julie-Ann ‘Garrimaa’ Moore
'untitled manuscript' by Rick Slager
‘Unplanned Journey: A personal account of one Indigenous woman’s life’ by Aunty Joan Tranter

Glendower Award for an Emerging Queensland Writer

Winner
'Things Left Unsaid' by Yen-Rong Wong

Finalists
'Do you like the artist Georgia O’Keeffe?' by A E Macleod
'The Interventions' by John Richards 
'Sunshowers' by Emily Winter

The Courier-Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award

Winner
Another Day in the Colony by Chelsea Watego (University of Queensland Press)

Finalists
Whole Notes by Ed Ayres (ABC Books)
The Keepers by Al Campbell (University of Queensland Press)
Muddy People by Sara El Sayed (Black Inc. Books)
Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray by Anita Heiss (Simon & Schuster)
The Three Burials of Lotty Kneen by Krissy Kneen (Text Publishing)
Red Heaven by Nicolas Rothwell (Text Publishing)
Crime Writer by Dime Sheppard (Ruby Books)

Queensland Premier's Award for a work of State Significance 

Winner
Biting the Clouds by Fiona Foley (University of Queensland Press)

Finalists
Car Crash by Lech Blaine (Black Inc.) 
Ordinary Matter by Laura Elvery (University of Queensland Press) 
A Question of Colour by Pattie Lees with Adam C Lees (Magabala Books) 
Change Machine by Jaya Savige (University of Queensland Press)

Queensland Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Award 

Winners
Allanah Hunt
Ellen Wengert

Finalists 
Rebecca Cheers 
Jonathan O'Brien

Queensland Writers Fellowships

Winners
Tabitha Bird, ‘The Healing Giggle of Wonder’  
Ella Jeffery, ‘Split Level’  
Kali Napier, ‘Preserving: Stories’ 

The University of Queensland Fiction Book Award

Winner
Song of the Crocodile by Nardi Simpson (Hachette Australia)

Finalists
Friends & Dark Shapes by Kavita Bedford (Text Publishing)   
Revenge: Murder in Three Parts by S.L. Lim (Transit Lounge)  
The Labyrinth by Amanda Lohrey (Text Publishing) 
The Last Migration by Charlotte McConaghy (Penguin Random House)

The University of Queensland Non-Fiction Book Award

Winner
Amnesia Road by Luke Stegemann (NewSouth)  

Finalists
Car Crash: A Memoir by Lech Blaine (Black Inc. Books) 
Into the Loneliness – The Unholy Alliance of Ernestine Hill and Daisy Bates by Eleanor Hogan (NewSouth) 
Truth Telling  History, Sovereignty and the Uluru Statement by Henry Reynolds (NewSouth)  
The Carbon Club by Marian Wilkinson (Allen & Unwin)  

 Griffith University Children’s Book Award

Winner
Bindi by Kirli Saunders and illustrated by Dub Leffler (Magabala Books)

Finalists
The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Dangerous Animals by Sami Bayly (Hachette Australia) 
How to Make a Bird by Meg McKinlay illustrated by Matt Ottley (Walker Books) 
The Stolen Prince of Cloudburst by Jaclyn Moriarty illustrated by Kelly Canby (Allen & Unwin) 
We are Wolves by Katrina Nannestad illustrated by Martina Heiduczek (ABC Books)

Griffith University Young Adult Book Award

Winner
Metal Fish, Falling Snow by Cath Moore (Text Publishing)

Finalists
The End of the World is Bigger than Love by Davina Bell (Text Publishing) 
Tiger Daughter by Rebecca Lim (Allen & Unwin)  
The Boy from the Mish by Gary Lonesborough (Allen & Unwin) 
The Erasure Initiative by Lili Wilkinson (Allen & Unwin)

University of Southern Queensland Steele Rudd Award for a Short Story Collection

Winner
Ordinary Matter by Laura Elvery (University of Queensland Press)

Finalists
Smokehouse by Melissa Manning (University of Queensland Press)   
Smart Ovens for Lonely People by Elizabeth Tan (Brio Books) 
Born Into This by Adam Thompson (University of Queensland Press) 
Broken Rules and Other Stories by Barry Lee Thompson (Transit Lounge)

Judith Wright Calanthe Award for a Poetry Collection

Winner
Terminally Poetic by Ouyang Yu (Ginninderra Press)

Finalists
Dropbear by Evelyn Araluen (University of Queensland Press) 
Airplane Baby Banana Blanket by Benjamin Dodds (Recent Work Press) 
Change Machine by Jaya Savige (University of Queensland Press) 
Homecoming by Elfie Shiosaki (Magabala Books)

David Unaipon Award for an Emerging Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Writer

Winner
'Mekauwe = Tears Volume #1 (Notes For Song) 1970-2020' 
by Ngankiburka-mekauwe (Senior Woman-of Water) Georgina Williams

Finalists
'Politiks' by Chella Goldwin

Glendower Award for an Emerging Queensland Writer

Winner
'The Whitewash' by Siang Lu

Finalists
'On the Exhale' by Jason Gent 
'The Luminous Heart' by Natalie Sprite  
'It's Chemical' by Lillian Telford

The Courier-Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award

Winner
Mary’s Last Dance by Mary Li (Penguin Random House Australia)

Finalists
All Our Shimmering Skies by Trent Dalton (HarperCollins) 
With My Little Eye by Sandra Hogan (Allen & Unwin) 
Flyaway by Kathleen Jennings (Picador Australia) 
From Where I Fell by Susan Johnson (Allen & Unwin) 
Banks by Grantlee Kieza (ABC Books) 
A Question of Colour by Pattie Lees with Adam C Lees (Magabala Books) 
All the Murmuring Bones by A.G. Slatter (Titan Books)

Queensland Premier's Award for a Work of State Significance 

Winner
Heartland: How Rugby League Explains Queensland by Joe Gorman (University of Queensland Press)

Finalists
Meet Me at Lennon's by Melanie Myers (University of Queensland Press) 
Stone Sky Gold Mountain by Mirandi Riwoe (University of Queensland Press) 
Hearing Maud by Jessica White (UWA Publishing)

Queensland Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Award 

Winners
Zenobia Frost 
Yen-Rong Wong

Finalists 
Sara El Sayed 
Ellen Wengert

Queensland Writers Fellowships

Winners
Sara El Sayed, 'The Blind Pussy Cat' 
Anna Jacobson, 'Anxious in a Sweet Store' 
Amanda Niehaus, 'Relativity'

The University of Queensland Fiction Book Award

Winner
Stone Sky Gold Mountain by Mirandi Riwoe (University of Queensland Press)

Finalists
Act of Grace by Anna Krien (Black Inc. Books) 
The Returns by Philip Salom (Transit Lounge) 
The Adversary by Ronnie Scott (Penguin Random House) 
The Yield by Tara June Winch (Penguin Random House)

The University of Queensland Non-Fiction Book Award

Winner
Olive Cotton: A Life in Photography by Helen Ennis (HarperCollins)

Finalists
Bedlam at Botany Bay by James Dunk (NewSouth Publishing) 
Friends and Rivals by Brenda Niall (Text Publishing) 
Truganini by Cassandra Pybus (Allen & Unwin) 
The Watermill by Arnold Zable (Text Publishing)  

Griffith University Children’s Book Award

Winner
As Fast As I Can by Penny Tangey (University of Queensland Press)

Finalists
Detention by Tristan Bancks (Penguin Random House) 
Winston and the Wondrous Wooba Gymnastics Club by Tamsin Janu (Omnibus Books) 
Fly by Jess McGeachin (Penguin Random House) 
Nop by Caroline Magerl (Walker Books)

Griffith University Young Adult Book Award

Winner
Ghost Bird by Lisa Fuller (University of Queensland Press)

Finalists
Deep Water by Sarah Epstein (Allen & Unwin) 
How to Grow a Family Tree by Eliza Henry-Jones (HarperCollins) 
It Sounded Better in My Head by Nina Kenwood (Text Publishing) 
This is How We Change the Ending by Vikki Wakefield (Text Publishing)

University of Southern Queensland Steele Rudd Award for a Short Story Collection

Winner
Lucky Ticket by Joey Bui (Text Publishing)

Finalists
A Constant Hum by Alice Bishop (Text Publishing) 
The House of Youssef by Yumna Kassab (Giramondo Publishing) 
A Couple of Things Before the End by Sean O'Beirne (Black Inc. Books) 
Here Until August by Josephine Rowe (Black Inc. Books)

Judith Wright Calanthe Award for a Poetry Collection

Winner
Heide by Pi.O (Giramondo Publishing)

Finalists
Enfolded in the Wings of a Great Darkness by Peter Boyle (Vagabond Press) 
Lyre by Stuart Cooke (UWA Publishing) 
Nganajungu Yagu by Charmaine Papertalk Green (Cordite Books) 
Throat by Ellen van Neerven (University of Queensland Press)

David Unaipon Award for an Emerging Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Writer

Winner
'The Space Between the Paperbark' by Jazz Money

Finalists
'Valley of Cane and Crows' by Boyd Quakawoot 
'Last Rites of Spring' by Mykaela Saunders 
'Burn' by Melanie Saward

Glendower Award for an Emerging Queensland Writer

Winner
'If You're Happy' by Fiona Robertson

Finalists
'The Solitary Light' by Bianca Millroy 
'Daddy & Other Father Figures' by Jonathan O'Brien 
'Without a Word' by Jenny Ruge 
'As We Knew It' by Siall Waterbright

The Courier-Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award

Winner
A Lifetime of Impossible Day by Tabitha Bird (Penguin Random House)

Finalists
The Kowloon Kid by Phil Brown (Transit Lounge) 
A River with a City Problem by Margaret Cook (University of Queensland Press)
Feeding the Birds at Your Table by Darryl Jones (NewSouth) 
Meet Me at Lennon's by Melanie Myers (University of Queensland Press)
The Breeding Season by Amanda Niehaus (Allen & Unwin) 
Stone Sky Gold Mountain by Mirandi Riwoe (University of Queensland Press)
Hearing Maud by Jessica White (UWA Publishing)

Queensland Premier's Award for a Work of State Significance 

Winner
Too Much Lip by Melissa Lucashenko (University of Queensland Press)

Finalists
The Night Dragon by Matthew Condon (University of Queensland Press) 
Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton (Fourth Estate) 
meditations with passing water by Jake Goetz (Rabbit) 
Wintering by Krissy Kneen (Text Publishing) 

Queensland Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Award 

Winners
Ella Jeffery  
Ellen van Neerven

Finalists 
Emily O’Grady 
Yen-Rong Wong

Queensland Writers Fellowships

Winners
Claire Christian, ‘The Invisibles’ 
Sarah Holland-Batt, ‘Spiral Separator’ 
Emily O’Grady, ‘Feast’

The University of Queensland Fiction Book Award

Winner
Exploded View by Carrie Tiffany (Text Publishing)

Finalists
Bodies of Men by Nigel Featherstone (Hachette Australia) 
Too Much Lip by Melissa Lucashenko (University of Queensland Press) 
Shell by Kristina Olsson (Scribner) 
Daughter of Bad Times by Rohan Wilson (Allen & Unwin) 

The University of Queensland Non-Fiction Book Award

Winner
An Unconventional Wife: The Life of Julia Sorell Arnold by Mary Hoban (Scribe)

Finalists
Dr Space Junk vs The Universe: Archaeology and the future by Alice Gorman (NewSouth) 
Shakespeare’s Library: Unlocking the greatest mystery in literature by Stuart Kells (Text Publishing) 
The Eastern Curlew by Harry Saddler (Affirm) 
Sea People: The puzzle of Polynesia by Christina Thompson (HarperCollins)  

Griffith University Children’s Book Award

Winner
The Slightly Alarming Tale of the Whispering Wars by Jaclyn Moriarty (Allen & Unwin)

Finalists
Leave Taking by Lorraine Marwood (University of Queensland Press) 
Black Cockatoo by Carl Merrison and Hakea Hustler (Magabala Books) 
His Name was Walter by Emily Rodda (HarperCollins) 
Chalk Boy by Margaret Wild and Mandy Ord (Allen & Unwin)

Griffith University Young Adult Book Award

Winner
Lenny’s Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee (Allen & Unwin)

Finalists
Small Spaces by Sarah Epstein (Walker Books) 
How it Feels to Float by Helena Fox (Pan Macmillan) 
The Bogan Mondrian by Steven Herrick (University of Queensland Press) 
Catching Teller Crow by Ambelin Kwaymullina and Ezekiel Kwaymullina (Allen & Unwin)

University of Southern Queensland Steele Rudd Award for a Short Story Collection

Winner
Zebra: And Other Stories by Debra Adelaide (Pan Macmillan)

Finalists
The True Colour of the Sea by Robert Drewe (Hamish Hamilton) 
The Drover’s Wives by Ryan O’Neill (Brio Books)

University of Southern Queensland History Book Award 

Winner
An Unconventional Wife: The Life of Julia Sorell Arnold by Mary Hoban (Scribe)

Finalists
From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage: How Australia got compulsory voting by Judith Brett (Text Publishing) 
Kindred: A Cradle Mountain love story by Kate Legge (Melbourne University Publishing) 
A New History of the Irish in Australia by Elizabeth Malcolm and Dianne Hall (NewSouth) 
You Daughters of Freedom: The Australians who won the vote and inspired the world by Clare Wright (Text Publishing)

Judith Wright Calanthe Award for a Poetry Collection

Winner
Blakwork by Alison Whittaker (Magabala Books)

Finalists
Hot Take by Liam Ferney (Hunter Publishers) 
Newcastle Sonnets by Keri Glastonbury (Giramondo) 
That Sight by Marjon Mossammaparast (Cordite) 
The Lost Arabs by Omar Sakr (University of Queensland Press)

David Unaipon Award for an Emerging Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Writer

Not awarded in 2019. Entrants were offered individualised author development packages with the black&write! editing team. 

Glendower Award for an Emerging Queensland Writer

Winner
‘Henry Hamlet’s Heart’  
by Rhiannon Ratcliffe Wilde

Finalists
‘Little Birds’ by Sue Goldstiver 
‘The Still Point of Being’ by Karen Hollands 
‘Apparitions’ by Jack Lio

QUT Digital Literature Award 

Winner
V[R]ignettes by Mez Breeze 

Finalists
Gothic Body, in Two Parts by Eda Gunaydin 
Psychometric Researches by Benjamin Laird 
ITERATION – Part 3/Chapter 3 by C B Mako and M J Flamiano 
The Wonders of Lost Trajectories by Jason Nelson

The Courier-Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award

Winner
Adani, Following Its Dirty Footsteps: A Personal Story by Lindsay Simpson (Spinifex Press)

Finalists
Brisbane’s Greek Cafes: A Million Malted Milks by Toni Risson (Teacup Books) 
Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton (HarperCollins) 
Requiem with Yellow Butterflies: A Memoir by James Halford (UWA Publishing) 
Wintering by Krissy Kneen (Text Publishing) 
Too Much Lip by Miles Franklin Award-winner Melissa ­Lucashenko (University of Queensland Press) 
Charles Ulm by Rick Searle (Allen & Unwin) 
Daughter of Bad Times by Rohan Wilson (Allen & Unwin)

Queensland Premier's Award for a Work of State Significance 

Winner
We'll Show the World: Expo 88 by Jackie Ryan (University of Queensland Press)

Finalists
The Saltwater Story by Benjamin Allmon and David Kelly (Cairn Tor Books) 
Please Explain by Anna Broinowski (Penguin Random House) 
White Woman Black Heart: Journey Home to Old Mapoon by Barbara Miller (CreateSpace) 
Brisbane Houses with Gardens by Beth Wilson (Beth Wilson)

Queensland Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Award 

Winners
Anna Jacobson 
Bri Lee

Finalists 
Ella Jeffery  

Queensland Writers Fellowships

Winners
Michael Gerard Bauer, ‘Gaps and Silences’ 
Laura Elvery, ‘Medallion’  
Jackie Ryan, ‘Alfred Russel Wallace: Optimist and Dissenter’

The University of Queensland Fiction Book Award

Winner
Taboo by Kim Scott (Pan Macmillan)

Finalists
Flames by Robbie Arnott (Text Publishing) 
The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree by Shokoofeh Azar (Wild Dingo Press) 
The Fish Girl by Mirandi Riwoe (Brio Books) 
The Shepherd's Hut by Tim Winton (Penguin Random House)

The University of Queensland Non-Fiction Book Award

Winner
Tracker by Alexis Wright (Giramondo)

Finalists
The Enigmatic Mr Deakin by Judith Brett (Text Publishing)  
The Year Everything Changed: 2001 by Phillipa McGuinness (Penguin Random House) 
Call of the Reed Warbler: A New Agriculture  A New Earth by Charles Massy (University of Queensland Press) 
Korea: Where the American Century Began by Michael Pembroke (Hardie Grant Books)

Griffith University Children’s Book Award

Winner
The Elephant by Peter Carnavas (University of Queensland Press)

Finalists
The Storm Whale by Sarah Brennan, illustrated by Jane Tanner (Allen & Unwin) 
Go Go and the Silver Shoes by Jane Godwin, illustrated by Anna Walker (Penguin Random House) 
The Shop at Hoopers Bend by Emily Rodda (HarperCollins) 
Swan Lake by Anne Spudvilas (Allen & Unwin)

Griffith University Young Adult Book Award

Winner
In the Dark Spaces by Cally Black (Hardie Grant Egmont)

Finalists
The Dream Walker by Victoria Carless (Hachette Australia) 
Sparrow by Scot Gardner (Allen & Unwin) 
Amelia Westlake by Erin Gough (Hardie Grant Egmont) 
Because of You by Pip Harry (University of Queensland Press)

University of Southern Queensland Steele Rudd Award for a Short Story Collection

Winner
Pulse Points by Jennifer Down (Text Publishing)

Finalists
Bird Country by Claire Aman (Text Publishing) 
Common People by Tony Birch (University of Queensland Press) 
Habits of Silence by Stephanie Buckle (Finlay Lloyd Publishers) 
Trick of the Light by Laura Elvery (University of Queensland Press)

University of Southern Queensland History Book Award 

Winner
We'll Show the World: Expo 88 by Jackie Ryan (University of Queensland Press)

Finalists
The Enigmatic Mr Deakin by Judith Brett (Text Publishing) 
Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Australia by Billy Griffiths (Black Inc. Books) 
Beautiful Balts: From displaced persons to new Australians by Jayne Persian (NewSouth) 
The Battle Within: POWs in postwar Australia by Christina Twomey (NewSouth)

Judith Wright Calanthe Award for a Poetry Collection

Winner
I Love Poetry by Michael Farrell (Giramondo)

Finalists
click here for what we do by Pam Brown (Vagabond Press) 
Chatelaine by Bonny Cassidy (Giramondo)  
The Honeymoon Stage by Oscar Schwartz (Giramondo)  
Lost Lake by Bella Li (Vagabod Press)

David Unaipon Award for an Emerging Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Writer

Winner
‘The Making of Ruby Champion’ by Kirstie Parker

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

Glendower Award for an Emerging Queensland Writer

Winner
‘Garrison Town’ by Melanie Myers

Finalists
‘fate, revenge and chipburgers’ by Karen Herschell  
‘On Either Side’ by Laura Kenny                
‘Garrison Town’ by Melanie Myers  
‘Hidebound’ by Christopher Przewloka

QUT Digital Literature Award 

Winner
Little Emperor Syndrome by David Thomas Henry Wright, with Chris Arnold

Finalists
Our Cupidity Coda by Mez Breeze 
A Place Called Ormalcy by Mez Breeze 
Core Values by Benjamin Laird (Australian Poetry)

The Courier-Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award

Winner
Brisbane Houses with Gardens by Beth Wilson (Beth Wilson)

Finalists
Burning Down by Venero Armanno (University of Queensland Press) 
Danger Music by Eddie Ayres (Allen & Unwin)  
To Become a Whale by Ben Hobson (Allen & Unwin)  
The Yellow House by Emily O'Grady (Allen & Unwin) 
The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart by Holly Ringland (HarperCollins)  
We'll Show the World: Expo 88 by Jackie Ryan (University of Queensland Press) 
A Life Underwater by Charlie Veron (Penguin Random House)  
Brisbane Houses with Gardens by Beth Wilson (Beth Wilson)

Queensland Premier's Award for a Work of State Significance 

Winner
The Daintree Blockade: The Battle for Australia's Tropical Rainforests by Bill Wilkie (Four Mile Books)

Finalists
Little Fish Are Sweet by Matthew Condon (University of Queensland Press)  
For a Girl by Mary-Rose MacColl (Allen & Unwin) 
Saltwater by Cathy McLennan (University of Queensland Press)

Queensland Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Award 

Finalists 
Lech Blaine 
Mindy Gill

Finalists 
Anna Jacobson 
Emily O'Grady  
Bonnie Stevens

Queensland Writers Fellowships

Winners
Zenobia Frost, ‘Museum of Dwellings’ 
Linda Neil, ‘People are Kind’ 
Mirandi Riwoe, ‘A Gold Mountain Woman’

The University of Queensland Fiction Book Award

Winner
The Birdman's Wife by Melissa Ashley (Affirm Press)

Finalists
Vancouver by Nick Earls (Inkerman & Blunt) 
A Hundred Small Lessons by Ashley Hay (Allen & Unwin) 
The Good People by Hannah Kent (Pan Macmillan) 
The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose (Allen & Unwin)

The University of Queensland Non-Fiction Book Award

Winner
Saltwater by Cathy McLennan (University of Queensland Press) 

Finalists
Songs of a War Boy by Deng Adut and Ben Mckelvey (Hachette Australia) 
Ghost Empire by Richard Fidler (HarperCollins) 
For a Girl by Mary-Rose MacColl (Allen & Unwin) 
Position Doubtful by Kim Mahood (Scribe)   

Griffith University Children’s Book Award

Winner
The Grand, Genius Summer of Henry Hoobler by Lisa Shanahan (Allen & Unwin)

Finalists
Somewhere Else by Gus Gordon (Penguin Random House) 
A Different Dog by Paul Jennings (Allen & Unwin) 
How to Bee by Bren MacDibble (Allen & Unwin) 
Dragonfly Song by Wendy Orr (Allen & Unwin)

Griffith University Young Adult Book Award

Winner
Words In Deep Blue by Cath Crowley (Pan Macmillan)

Finalists
The Hounded by Simon Butters (Wakefield Press) 
The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon (Hachette Australia) 
The Road to Winter by Mark Smith (Text Publishing)  
This is My Song by Richard Yaxley (Scholastic)

University of Southern Queensland Steele Rudd Award for a Short Story Collection

Winner
The Circle and the Equator by Kyra Giorgi (UWA Publishing)

Finalists
Letter to Pessoa by Michelle Cahill (Giramondo) 
The Circle and the Equator by Kyra Giorgi (UWA Publishing) 
After the Carnage by Tara June Winch (University of Queensland Press)

University of Southern Queensland History Book Award 

Winner
Into the Heart of Tasmania by Rebe Taylor (Melbourne University Publishing)

Finalists
The Tim Carmody Affair: Australia's Greatest Judicial Crisis by Rebecca Ananian-Welsh, Gabrielle Appleby by Andrew Lynch (NewSouth) 
Hidden in Plain View: The Aboriginal people of coastal Sydney by Paul Irish (NewSouth)  
Evatt: A life by John Murphy (NewSouth)

Judith Wright Calanthe Award for a Poetry Collection

Winner
Fragments by Antigone Kefala (Giramondo)

Finalists
Euclid's Dog by Jordie Albiston (GloriaSMH Press)  
Meteorites by Carmen Leigh Keates (Whitmore Press)  
The Blue Decodes by Cassie Lewis (Grand Parade Poets)  
These Wild Houses by Omar Sakr (Cordite)

David Unaipon Award for an Emerging Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Writer

Winner
‘Mirrored Pieces’ by Lisa Fuller

Finalist
‘Mai Stori’ by Alicia Farmer

Emerging Queensland Writer – Manuscript Award

Winner
‘The Killing of Louisa’ by Janet Lee

Finalists
‘How to Knit a Human’ by Anna Jacobson 
‘The Gimp’ by Ben Marshall  
‘The Coming’ by Siall Waterbright

QUT Digital Literature Award

Winner
Nine Billion Branches by Jason Nelson

Finalists
Inanimate Alice: Perpetual Nomads (Beta) by Mez Breeze 
Generation Loss by Pascalle Burton 
Paige and Power by David Thomas Henry Wright 
Limerence by Marianna Shek

The Courier-Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award

Winner
Saltwater by Cathy McLennan (University of Queensland Press)

Finalists
The Birdman's Wife by Melissa Ashley (Affirm Press) 
Vancouver by Nick Earls (Inkerman & Blunt) 
Ghost Empire by Richard Fidler (HarperCollins) 
A Hundred Small Lessons by Ashley Hay (Allen & Unwin) 
Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms by Anita Heiss (Simon & Schuster) 
To Prey and To Silence by Joan Isaacs (A & A Publishing) 
For a Girl by Mary-Rose MacColl (Allen & Unwin) 

Queensland Premier's Award for a Work of State Significance 

Winner
Not Just Black and White by Lesley and Tammy Williams (University of Queensland Press)

Finalists
Remotely Fashionable: A Story of Subtropical Style by Nadia Buick and Madeleine King (The Fashion Archives) 
All Fall Down by Matthew Condon (University of Queensland Press) 
Wasted: A Story of Alcohol, Grief and a Death in Brisbane by Elspeth Muir (Text Publishing) 
The Long Goodbye by P.J. Parker (Hardie Grant Books)

Queensland Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Award 

Finalists 
Emily Craven 
Michelle Law

Finalists 
Sam George-Allen 
Anna Jacobson 
Andrew McMillen

Queensland Writers Fellowships

Winners
Trent Jamieson 
Amanda O’Callaghan 
Pamela Rushby

The University of Queensland Fiction Book Award

Winner
Between a Wolf and A Dog by Georgia Blain (Scribe)

Finalists
Ghost River by Tony Birch (University of Queensland Press) 
The Midnight Watch by David Dyer (St. Martin's Press) 
One by Patrick Holland (Transit Lounge) 
The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood (Allen & Unwin)

The University of Queensland Non-Fiction Book Award

Winner
Small Acts of Disappearance: Essays on Hunger by Fiona Wright (Giramondo)

Finalists
Offshore: Behind the Wire on Manus and Nauru by Madeline Gleeson (NewSouth) 
Talking to My Country by Stan Grant (HarperCollins) 
Second Half First by Drusilla Modjeska (Random House Books) 
Island Home by Tim Winton (Penguin)

Griffith University Children’s Book Award

Winner
Kidglovz by Julie Hunt and Dale Newman (Allen & Unwin)

Finalists
Suri’s Wall by Lucy Estela and Matt Ottley (Puffin) 
How the Sun Got to Coco’s House by Bob Graham (Candlewick Press) 
Incredibilia by Libby Hathorn and Gaye Chapman (Little Hare Books) 
Me, Teddy by Chris McKimmie (Allen & Unwin)

Griffith University Young Adult Book Award

Winner
Dreaming the Enemy by David Metzenthen (Allen & Unwin)

Finalists
The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis (Penguin) 
The Stars at October Bend by Glenda Millard (Allen & Unwin) 
One Thousand Hills by James Roy and Noël Zihabamwe (Omnibus/Scholastic) 
One Would Think the Deep by Claire Zorn (University of Queensland Press)

University of Southern Queensland Steele Rudd Award for a Short Story Collection

Winners
A Few Days in the Country and other stories by Elizabeth Harrower (Text Publishing) 
The High Places by Fiona McFarlane (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Finalists
Six Bedrooms by Tegan Bennett Daylight (Vintage Books Australia) 
An Astronaut’s Life by Sonja Dechian (Text Publishing) 
Portable Curiosities by Julie Koh (University of Queensland Press) 

University of Southern Queensland History Book Award 

Winner
The Pearl Frontier: Indonesian Labour and Indigenous Encounters in Australia’s Northern Trading Network by Julia Martinez and Adrian Vickers (University of Hawaii Press)

Finalists
Armenia, Australia and the Great War by Vicken Babkenien and Peter Stanley (NewSouth) 
Australia’s Boldest Experiment by Stuart Macintyre (NewSouth) 
Unseen Anzac by Jeff Maynard (Scribe) 
The oldest foods on earth by John Newton (NewSouth) 
Gay Sydney by Garry Wotherspoon (NewSouth)

Judith Wright Calanthe Award for a Poetry Collection

Winner
The Anatomy of Voice by David Musgrave (Eyewear Publishing)

Finalists
Year of the Wasp by Joel Deane (Hunter Publishers) 
Content by Liam Ferney (Hunter Publishers) 
The Hazards by Sarah Holland-Batt (University of Queensland Press) 
Not Fox Nor Axe by Chloe Wilson (Hunter Publishers)

David Unaipon Award for an Emerging Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Writer

Winner
‘Dancing Home’ by Paul Collis

Finalists
‘67 Days’ by Yvonne Weldon  
‘Song of Jessica’ by B.A. (Boyd) Quakawoot

Emerging Queensland Writer – Manuscript Award

Not awarded in 2016. Finalists were provided with a cash prize and professional development.  

Finalists

‘The Boatman’ by Helen Crampton  
‘The Elements’ by Laura Elvery

The Courier-Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award

Winner
Swimming Home by Mary-Rose MacColl (Penguin)

Finalists
Day Boy by Trent Jamieson (Text Publishing) 
The Landing by Susan Johnson (Allen & Unwin) 
The Promise Seed by Cass Moriarty (University of Queensland Press) 
Remotely Fashionable: A Story of Subtropical Style by Nadia Buick and Madeleine King (The Fashion Archives) 
All Fall Down by Matt Condon (University of Queensland Press) 
Wasted: A Story of Alcohol, Grief and a Death in Brisbane by Elspeth Muir (Text Publishing) 
Dying: A Memoir by Cory Taylor (Text Publishing) 

Queensland Premier's Award for a Work of State Significance 

Winner
Warrior by Libby Connors (Allen & Unwin)

Finalists
Heat and Light by Ellen van Neerven (University of Queensland Press)  
Joe’s Fruit Shop and Milk Bar by Zoe Boccabella (HarperCollins)  
Queensland: Everything you ever wanted to know but were afraid to ask by Mark Bahnisch (NewSouth) 
Through the Wall: Reflections on Leadership, Love and Survival by Anna Bligh (HarperCollins)

Queensland Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Award 

Finalists 
Rebecca Jessen
Megan McGrath

Finalists 
Sam George-Allen 
Michelle Law 
Andrew McMillen

Queensland Writers Fellowships

Winners
Inga Simpson 
Krissy Kneen 
Karen Foxlee

The University of Queensland Fiction Book Award

Winner
The Golden Age by Joan London (Random House Australia)

Finalists
A Short History of Richard Kline by Amanda Lohrey (Black Inc. Books) 
The Snow Kimono by Mark Henshaw (Text Publishing)  
The Wonder Lover by Malcolm Knox (Allen & Unwin) 
To Name Those Lost by Rohan Wilson (Allen & Unwin)

The University of Queensland Non-Fiction Book Award

Winner
The Bush: Travels in the Heart of Australia by Don Watson (Penguin)

Finalists
Mannix by Brenda Niall (Text Publishing)  
The Bush: Travels in the Heart of Australia by Don Watson (Penguin)  
The Life of I: The New Culture of Narcissism by Anne Manne (Melbourne University Publishing)  
The Wife Drought by Annabel Crabb (Random House) 
Thea Astley: Inventing Her Own Weather by Karen Lamb (University of Queensland Press)

Griffith University Children’s Book Award

Winner
A Single Stone by Meg McKinlay (Walker Books)

Finalists
Figgy in the World by Tasmin Janu (Omnibus Books)  
Lucky by David Mackintosh (HarperCollins)  
New Boy by Nick Earls (Penguin)  
Teacup by Rebecca Young & Matt Ottley (Scholastic)

Griffith University Young Adult Book Award

Winner
The Pause by John Larkin (Random House)

Finalists
Are you Seeing Me? by Darren Groth (Random House)  
Razorhurst by Justine Larbalestier (Allen & Unwin)  
The Minnow by Diana Sweeney (Text Publishing)  
Vanishing Point by Jeri Kroll (Puncher and Wattman)

University of Southern Queensland Steele Rudd Award for a Short Story Collection

Winner
Merciless Gods by Christos Tsiolkas (Allen & Unwin)

Finalists
Arms Race and Other Stories by Nic Low (Text Publishing)  
Bapo by Nick Jose (Giramondo)  
Heat and Light by Ellen van Neerven (University of Queensland Press)  
Three Stories by J.M. Coetzee (Text Publishing)

University of Southern Queensland History Book Award 

Winner
ANZAC: The Unauthorised Biography by Carolyn Holbrook (NewSouth)

Finalists
Settler Society in the Australian Colonies: Self-Government and Imperial Culture by Angela Woollacott (Oxford University Press) 
The Invisible History of the Human Race by Christine Kenneally (Black Inc. Books)  
Visiting the Neighbours: Australians in Asia by Agnieszka Sobocinska (NewSouth) 
Warning: The Story of Cyclone Tracy by Sophie Cunningham (Text Publishing)

Judith Wright Calanthe Award for a Poetry Collection

Winner
Waiting for the Past by Les Murray (Black Inc. Books)

Finalists
Beds For All Who Come by Susan Bradley Smith (Five Islands Press)  
Net Needle by Robert Adamson (Black Inc. Books) 
Open House by David Brooks (University of Queensland Press) 
The Guardians by Lucy Dougan (Giramondo) 

David Unaipon Award for an Emerging Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Writer

Winner
‘The First Octoroon or Report of an Experimental Child’ by Andrew Booth

Finalists
‘Social Consciousness Series’ by Mayrah Yarraga Dreise 
‘A Question of Colour’ by Patricia Lees with Adam C. Lees

Emerging Queensland Writer – Manuscript Award

Winner
‘Aurora’ by Elizabeth Kasmer

Finalists
‘Araluen’ by Imogen Smith 
‘Sargasso’ by K W George 
‘Wool Spin Burn’ by Kate Elkington

The Courier-Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award

Winner
On the Road… With Kids by John Ahern (Pan Macmillan)

Finalists
Analogue Men by Nick Earls (Random House Australia) 
From Convict to Politician by Mary Lou Simpson (Boolarong Press)  
Joe’s Fruit Shop and Milk Bar by Zoe Boccabella (HarperCollins) 
Navigatio by Patrick Holland (Transit Lounge)  
Nest by Inga Simpson (Hachette Australia)  
The Ash Burner by Kari Gislason (University of Queensland Press)  
The Murder of Allison Baden-Clay by David Murray (Random House)

The University of Queensland Fiction Book Award

Winner
The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan (Vintage Australia)

Finalists
Gotland by Fiona Capp (HarperCollins) 
Coal Creek by Alex Miller (Allen and Unwin) 
Eyrie by Tim Winton (Penguin) 
All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld (Random House)

The University of Queensland Non-Fiction Book Award

Winner
1914: The Year the World Ended by Paul Ham (William Heinemann Australia)

Finalists
Stillways by Steve Bisley (HarperCollins) 
The Reef by Iain McCalman (Penguin) 
An Eye for Nature: The Life and Art of William T. Cooper by Penny Olsen (National Library of Australia) 
Nature's Line: George Goyder, surveyor, environmentalist, visionary by Janis Sheldrick (Wakefield Press)

Griffith University Children’s Book Award

Winner
Refuge by Jackie French (HarperCollins) 
Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan (Holder Children's Division) 

Finalists
The Ratcatcher's Daughter by Pamela Rushby (HarperCollins) 
Nature Storybooks: Big Red Kangaroo by Claire Saxby and Graham Byrne (Walker Books) 
Smooch and Rose by Samantha Wheeler (University of Queensland Press) 

Griffith University Young Adult Book Award

Winner
The Cracks in the Kingdom by Jaclyn Moriarty (Arthur A. Levine Books)

Finalists
Zac and Mia by A.J. Betts (Text Publishing)  
The Incredible Here and Now by Felicity Castagna (Giramondo) 
The Accident by Kate Hendrick (Text Publishing)   
Tigerfish by David Metzenthen (Penguin Australia)

University of Southern Queensland Steele Rudd Award for a Short Story Collection

Winner
Only the Animals by Ceridwen Dovey (Penguin)

Finalists
Letter to George Clooney by Debra Adelaide (Pan Macmillan)  
The Promise by Tony Birch (University of Queensland Press)  
An Elegant Young Man by Luke Carman (Giramondo)  
Holiday in Cambodia by Laura Jean McKay (Black Inc. Books)

University of Southern Queensland History Book Award 

Winner
Broken Nation by Joan Beaumont (Allen and Unwin)

Finalists
The Black War: Fear, Sex and Resistance in Tasmania by Nicholas Clements (University of Queensland Press) 
The Reef by Iain McCalman (Penguin) 
Black Emu by Bruce Pascoe (Magabala Books) 
The Forgotten War by Henry Reynolds (NewSouth) 
The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka by Clare Wright (Text Publishing)

Judith Wright Calanthe Award for a Poetry Collection

Winner
Earth Hour by David Malouf (University of Queensland Press)

Finalists
Devadatta’s Poems by Judith Beveridge (Giramondo)  
Free Logic by Rachael Briggs (University of Queensland Press)
Boom by Liam Ferney (Grand Parade Poets) 
Signal Flare by Anthony Lawrence (Puncher & Wattman)

David Unaipon Award for an Emerging Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Writer

Winner
'It’s Not Just Black and White' by Lesley and Tammy Williams

Emerging Queensland Writer – Manuscript Award

Winner
'We Come From Saltwater People' by Cathy McLennan  

Finalists
‘Open Cut’ by Leanne Nolan 
‘3 for a Wedding, 4 for Death’ by Julie Kearney 

The Courier-Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award

Winner
How to do a Liver Transplant: Stories from my Surgical Life by Kellee Slater (NewSouth)

Finalists
My Brother, But One by T. M. Clark (Harlequin Mira) 
Walking on Trampolines by Frances Whiting (Pan Macmillan Australia) 
My Island Homicide by Catherine Titasey (University of Queensland Press) 
Atomic City by Sally Breen (HarperCollins) 
Jacks and Jokers by Matthew Condon (University of Queensland Press) 
Lingering Doubts: Going Inside Brisbane's Arcade Murder by Deb Drummond and Janis Teunis (Copyright Publishing) 
The Power of Bones by Keelen Mailman (Allen and Unwin)

A brief history of the awards

State Library began to manage the Queensland Literary Awards in 2014. For the two years prior, a thriving volunteer community of writers, readers, booksellers, academic and donors led the awards. Prior to 2012, the 'Queensland Premier's Literary Awards', established in 1998, were managed directly by the Queensland Government.

State Library is proud to manage this unique awards program in collaboration with the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland. The awards celebrate outstanding creatives, foster partnerships, and honour the work of First Nations writers as important storytellers.

State Library has worked to build partnerships with the literary community locally and across Australia to reward excellence in literature and encourage new and emerging writers. State Library manages guidelines, promotion, nominations and appoints judges to each category.  

Since 2014, the awards have celebrated literature at an annual ceremony at State Library. Over the years, the ceremony has been hosted by Ed Ayres, Carody Culver, Anita Heiss, Sarah Kanowski, Steven Oliver, Rhianna Patrick, Roly Sussex, and Jessica van Vonderen.