Beautiful One Day, Wordy The Next: $2k Award For Qld’s Next Great Young Writer


Iconic Aboriginal writer Tara June Winch has won it… and now other young Queenslanders get a shot.

Entries are now open for the State Library of Queensland’s annual Young Writers Award, with $2,000 going to the winner of the popular short story competition.

For more than 20 years the competition has helped launch the literary careers of the next generation of great Queensland writers. Leeanne Enoch, is the Queensland Minister for The Arts and herself an Indigenous Australian (she’s a Quandamooka woman, the traditional custodians of Meanjin and Minjerribah (Brisbane, and Stradbroke Island, the latter of which is where New Matilda is now based). Enoch said the competition has a solid history of identifying and nurturing talent, linking young writers to professional networks and publishing opportunities.

“The impressive list of past winners and finalists — from Rebecca Jessen and Christopher Currie to Shastra Deo and Tara June Winch — demonstrates the quality of writing produced by young people in Queensland,” Enoch said.

But sorry folks not from the Sunshine State – the competition is open to Queensland residents only, aged 15 to 25 years and is divided into two categories: 15 to 17 years (1,500 words) and 18 to 25 years (2,500 words).

Queensland Minister for the Arts, Leeanne Enoch.

The winner of the 18 to 25 years category receives $2,000 prize money, and the winner of the 15 to 17 years category receives $500. Runners-up and highly commended entrants are awarded prize money and book packs. All prizewinners receive a membership to Queensland Writers Centre.

Entries close 5pm on Friday 30 April, with the winners announced at the Young Writers Conference at State Library in July.

Queensland’s State Librarian (and CEO) Vicki McDonald said the annual competition not only provides recognition for talented young Queensland writers, but also helps writers find their voice and launch their literary careers.

“With over 300 entrants last year, the State Library hopes the competition will continue to encourage connection and expression through creative writing and story across Queensland,” she said.

The Young Writers Award is presented by the State Library of Queensland with support from Queensland Writers Centre. Visit for guidelines and entry forms, and to read past winning stories.

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