And the winners are…

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Queensland Literary Award Winners 2012


Well, what a strange – though not unusual – conflict! The results were under embargo until 8pm tonight but for those of us unable to attend the awards and madly following instead, the fabulous feeds from @QldLitAwards @arts_tart and others, we were right up to speed as the results were announced. Thank you to those intrepid Tweeters for your insightful and entertaining commentary and just what do we think of that?

Are our embargoes a thing of the past? 


The newly established Queensland Literary Awards (QLA) have announced the official winners in 15 categories from 68 finalists and more than 600 entries.

Trophies and cheques were presented to the winners at the State Library tonight. Queensland Literary Awards Inc. Chair, Dr Stuart Glover said, “we are proud to present the prizes on behalf of the people of Queensland to 15 such worthy winners. The prizes acknowledge the writers’ achievements and the importance of books and writing to the whole community.”

The QLA were established on the 4th April this year following Queensland Premier Campbell Newman’s announcement that his Government would no longer be supporting the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards.

Dr Glover said, “Interest in the awards is at an all time high. Our new awards were greeted with excitement by the state’s and nation’s writers. These are among the biggest suite of awards in the country—entirely run by volunteers with support from individual and corporate donors. The Queensland Literary Awards are, if I say so myself, now very cool awards to win. The quality of the entries was great, with both many new and many critically acclaimed writers represented.

Fiction Book Award: Cold Light, by Frank Moorhouse (Sydney)

Non-Fiction Book Award: The People Smuggler, by Robin De Crespigny (Melbourne)

Young Adult Book Award: The Ink Bridge, by Neil Grant (Melbourne)

Children’s Book Award: Kumiko and the Shadow Catchers, by Briony Stewart (Perth)

Australian Short Story Collection – Steele Rudd Award: Forecast Turbulence, by Janette Turner Hospital (Queensland resident based in South Carolina, USA)

Poetry Collection – Judith Wright Calanthe Award: Crimson Crop, by Peter Rose (Melbourne)

Emerging Queensland Author – Manuscript Award: Island of the Unexpected writer Catherine Titasey (Thursday Island, Queensland)

Unpublished Indigenous Writer  – David Unaipon Award: Story Siv Parker (Queensland born now living in Lismore)

History Book Award: The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made Australia, by Bill Gammage (Canberra)

Science Writer Award: Sex, Genes & Rock ‘n’ Roll: How Evolution has Shaped the Modern World, by Rob Brooks. (Sydney)

Literary or Media Work Advancing Public Debate – Harry Williams Award: The Australian Moment: How We Were Made for These Times, by George Megalogenis (Melbourne)

Drama Script Award: War Crimes, by Angela Betzien (Melbourne based previously from Queensland)

Film Script Award: Dead Europe, by Louise Fox (Sydney)

Television Script Award: Mabo, by Sue Smith (Sydney)

The Courier-Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year: Closer to Stone, by Simon Cleary (Brisbane based, born in Toowoomba)

Queensland Literary Award Winners

WINNERS: The Courier-Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year winner Simon Cleary, Fiction Book Award winner Frank Moorhouse and Non-Fiction Book Award winner Robin De Crespigny.
Picture: Liam Kidston Source: The Courier Mail

“Our 40 volunteer judges were impressed with the calibre of work,” said Glover. “While the book industry struggles with new digital formats, Australian writing itself is in great shape. And Queensland writing continues to develop a distinctive voice in the national mix.”

“The shortlists and winners are a diverse bunch.  We have everything from the most famous Australian writers like Frank Moorhouse and Peter Carey, to new writers from Thursday Island and from Wooroobinda Indigenous community.  The writers have deal with contemporary and historical subjects important to all Australians: mining, indigenous issues, our past, asylum seekers, and the economy.”

“These awards recognise how important literature is to the Queensland people.  In the past, Queenslanders have sometimes neglected to mark the importance of sharing stories, when in fact local and national stories are basic to our culture and to democracy. The QLA awards support new Queensland writers, new indigenous writers.  And we are trying to ensure that Queensland is part of the national conversation about Australian values and the Australian experience”.

“This year’s Awards have happened because hundreds of individuals along with businesses, universities, cultural organisations have got behind them. We don’t know what will happen in 2013, but we hope we will continue to get support from everyone.  The awards aren’t worth staging unless the community values them. We would welcome the return of government support, as government is one of many stakeholders in the state’s literary life, but regardless, the community has spoken about the importance of writing and literature. Queensland literary life has transformed itself in the 25 years since Expo, but there is still more work to be done.

An additional category this year – the inaugural The Courier-Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year – enabled the community to engage with the Literary Awards by voting for their favourite book from six selected by QLA judges.

Further information about the awards can be obtained by visiting www.queenslandliteraryawards.com

Open Book

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