Friday, 26 October 2012

Queensland Literacy Awards and Kumiko and the Shadow Catchers

The newly formed Queensland Literacy Awards (QLA) were set up on the 4th April this year. This was established when the government unfortunately withdrew their support from the Queensland Premier Literacy Awards. This caused a small but strong group of people to fight back and the QLA were set up. Last month over 40 volunteer judges announced the 15 worthy winners to the Literacy' Awards. There were 68 finalists and more than 600 entries.

These awards are now run entirely by volunteers, with support from individual and corporate donors. 

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Unpublished Indigenous Writer - David Unaipon Award: Story Siv Parker (Queensland born now living in Lismore)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

Children's book award winner was Briony Stewart, a practising teacher librarian from Perth. She wrote Kumiko and the Shadow Catchers. 

This is the third and final book in the Kumiko series. It is a contemporary fantasy series aimed at young readers. To save her family and the dragons, Kumiko must bravely venture on a journey to confront the shadow catchers. Her courage and perseverance are put to the test. Can she help those that she loves the most?

Queensland Literary Awards Inc. Chair, Dr Stuart Glover said, 

“The prizes acknowledge the writers’ achievements and the importance of books and writing to the whole community.” 

"The Queensland Literary Awards are, if I say so myself, now very cool awards to win." 

"These awards recognise how important literature is to the Queensland people."

"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."

Congratulations to all the winners!



  1. Hi Mel, sorry I've been so absent from here for a while.

    It was so nice to see you on my FYBF line!

    I feel really guilty. I write picture books (it's only a hobby)but haven't heard about Kumiko. I'll have to keep my eye out for it.

    As for the award, it's devastating that the Government pulled out. Actually it makes me very angry. How can you show you value literacy if you don't have award to support amazing authors? Anyway, I better not get started on that one of I won't stop!

  2. Thanks for sharing this info. I hadn't heard of the Kumiko series either but it sounds great.
    Hopefully the government will resume its support for the awards.

  3. I didn't know about this list either - I will check my local library for ones that might interest me and my boys.

    Trish FYBF

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