Another host of talented Australian writers have been honoured in the 2015 Queensland  Literary Awards on October 10th. I am a a couple of days behind on sharing the news – but here it is!

The former Awards once included the title ‘Premier’s‘ but funding was withdrawn and the awards abolished  by Premier Campbell Newman, shortly after winning the 2012 Queensland state election. Thankfully,  in 2012 a group of passionate Queensland volunteers and advocates for literature established the not-for-profit Queensland Literary Awards (QLA).

The Awards recognise and reward outstanding Australian writers. The 2012 and 2013 Awards were made possible by the generosity and commitment of many partners, donors and volunteers.

It brings to mind a thoughtful, but passionate article written recently by author Kate Forsyth about funding for the arts and why it is so important. I quote: ‘Storytelling is absolutely crucial to human culture. Speaking up, writing it down – this is how humans connect and communicate and learn and grow and share. It is how we make sense of this mysterious universe we live in.’ (Kate Forsyth)

In May this year the Premier of Queensland and Arts Minister announced the Queensland Government would once again support the state’s literary awards, taking the prize pool up to $300,000.

Congratulations to all the winning and short-listed authors.

The Winners:

Queensland Premier’s Award for a work of State Significance (Prize: $25,000)

WarriorWinner: Warrior, Libby Connors

Warrior is the extraordinary story of one of Australia’s little-known heroes, one of many Aboriginal men to die protecting their country.


University of Queensland Fiction Book Award (Prize: $10,000)

22825770Winner: The Golden Age, Joan London (Read review by Angela Long HERE)

This is a story of resilience, the irrepressible, enduring nature of love, and the fragility of life. From one of Australia’s most loved novelists.

University of Queensland Non-Fiction Book Award (Prize: $10,000)

the bushWinner: The Bush: Travels in the Heart of Australia, Don Watson

Don Watson explores the bush as it was and as it now is: the triumphs and the ruination, the commonplace and the bizarre, the stories we like to tell about ourselves and the national character, and those we don’t.

Griffith University Young Adult Book Award (Prize: $10,000)

The PauseWinner: The Pause, John Larkin

Declan seems to have it all but he feels as if nothing will take away that pain that he has buried deep inside for so long. So he makes the only decision he thinks he has left: the decision to end it all.

As the train approaches two versions of his life are revealed. In one, Declan watches as his body is destroyed and the lives of those who loved him unravel. In the other, Declan pauses before he jumps. One moment. One pause. One whole new life.

Griffith University Children’s Book Award (Prize: $10,000)

A single stoneWinner: A Single Stone, Meg McKinlay

Every girl dreams of being part of the line, the chosen seven who tunnel into the mountain to find the harvest. No work is more important. But what happens when one tiny discovery makes Jena question everything she has known? What happens when moving a single stone changes everything? 

University of Southern Queensland History Book Award (Prize: $10,000)

AnzacWinner: ANZAC, The Unauthorised Biography, Carolyn Holbrook

Anzac, the Unauthorised Biography cuts through the clamor to provide a much-needed historical perspective on the battle over Anzac. It traces how, since 1915, Australia’s memory of the Great War has declined and surged, reflecting the varied and complex history of the Australian nation itself.

University of Southern Queensland Australian Short Story Collection – Steele Rudd Award (Prize: $10,000)

mercilessWinner: Merciless Gods, Christos Tsiolkas

Love, sex, death, family, friendship, betrayal, tenderness, sacrifice & revelation. This incendiary collection of stories from acclaimed bestselling international writer Christos Tsiolkas takes you into worlds both strange and familiar, and characters that will never let you go.

State Library of Queensland Poetry Collection – Judith Wright Calanthe Award (Prize: $10,000)

WaitingWinner: Waiting for the Past, Les Murray

Les Murray’s new volume of poems – his first in five years – continues his use of molten language. From ‘The Black Beaches’ to ‘Radiant Pleats, Mulgoa’, from ‘High Speed Trap Space’ to ‘The Electric, 1960’, this is verse that renews and transforms our sense of the world.

Queensland Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Awards (Prize: $10,000 each)

Winner: Megan McGrath
Winner: Rebecca Jessen

Unpublished Indigenous Writer – David Unaipon Award (Prize: $10,000)

Winner: The First Octoroon or Report of an Experimental Child, Andrew Booth

Emerging Queensland Writer – Manuscript Award (Prize: $10,000)

Winner: Aurora, Elizabeth Kasmer

2015 Queensland Writers Fellowships ($15,000 each)

Winner: Inga Simpson
Winner: Krissy Kneen
Winner: Karen Foxlee

The Courier-Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year (Prize: $10,000)

Winner: On the road…with the kids, John Ahern


For more information about the Queensland Literary Awards (QLA), please see their website.  Follow the QLA on Facebook and Twitter. 

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