Queensland Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Award

2019 Shortlist 

Queensland Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Award

Congratulations to the finalists! 

Ella Jeffery

Judges' comments 

Ella Jeffery is a deft poet, with a sharp ear for the musicality of language and an exceptional vocabulary of imagery. Her poems traverse continents, and are at once expansive and precise. Her commitment to poetry is evident in her co-editorship of Stilts, a journal dedicated to publishing high quality Australian poems. Ella will doubtless go on to take her place as one of Australia’s most vital poets.

About the author 

Ella Jeffery’s first poetry collection, Dead Bolt, won the Puncher & Wattmann Prize for a First Book of Poems in 2019 and will be published by the press in 2020. Her poetry, reviews and essays have appeared in MeanjinIslandSoutherlyBest Australian Poemsand elsewhere. Her poetry has won and been highly commended in a number of national prizes and awards, and she has performed her work at the Queensland Poetry Festival, Emerging Writers Festival, and on ABC Radio National. She is Co-Editor of the digital poetry journal Stilts and is Poetry Editor of Social Alternatives. 

Emily O’Grady

Judges' comments 

In reading Emily O’Grady’s fiction, it is no surprise to learn that she is an assured poet, too. Her work addresses head-on what it means to inhabit the extreme, and strives to unpack the most transgressive of human behaviours with empathy. Emily writes with a poet’s eye, and her commitment to her craft is sure to culminate in her position as one of Australia’s most exciting new writers.

About the author 

Emily O’Grady is a writer from Brisbane. Her fiction, poetry, and criticism has appeared in Meanjin, Kill Your Darlings, Australian Poetry Journal, Southerly, The Lifted Brow, Southword, The Big Issue Fiction Edition, and Award Winning Australian Writing. Her first novel, The Yellow House, won the 2018 Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award and was shortlisted for the 2019 Ned Kelly Best First Fiction Award. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing from QUT and is co-editor of Stilts Literary Journal. 

Ellen van Neerven

Judges' comments 

Ellen van Neerven’s early accomplishments have long since established their vital place in Australia’s literary community. Ellen’s poetry and fiction speak to the reader in a voice both intimate and direct, and their command of language and storytelling reveals a longstanding dedication to craft. Ellen’s work manoeuvres between the philosophical and the quotidian, which is to say: that which makes us human.

About the author 

Ellen van Neerven is a Mununjali Yugambeh writer from south east Queensland. Ellen's books include Heat and Light (UQP, 2014), Comfort Food (UQP, 2016) and the forthcoming Throat (UQP, 2020). 

Yen-Rong Wong

Judges' comments 

Yen-Rong Wong has a notable list of literary credentials. She is a writer of non-fiction and the founding editor of Pencilled In, a platform for emerging Asian-Australian writers and artists. She demonstrates a strong voice in her writing and employs this to articulate views on power, equality and gender with intelligence and flair. Her work-in-progress, a collection of essays, I can’t talk to my mother about sex, will be an important work for and by a young Australian woman of colour.

About the author 

Yen-Rong Wong is writer of non fiction, based in Meanjin (Brisbane), on unceded Jaggera and Turrbal land. She is the founding editor of Pencilled In, a magazine devoted to publishing and championing the work of Asian Australian writers and artists. She was shortlisted for the Deborah Cass Prize in 2017, and for the Queensland Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Award in 2018. She was a Wheeler Centre Hot Desk fellow and will be a writer-in-residence at the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers Centre in 2019. Her work has appeared in many print and online publications, including The Guardian, SBS, Meanjin, and Griffith Review. She is currently working on her first full length manuscript.