Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are respectfully cautioned that this website contains images of people who have passed away.

UQP authors shortlisted for the Queensland Literary Awards
Posted 06.08.2020

UQP authors shortlisted for the Queensland Literary Awards

Congratulations to every UQP author shortlisted for the 2020 QLAs. Winners will be announced in September.

Queensland Premier's Award for a work of State Significance

Stone Sky Gold Mountain by Mirandi Riwoe

Judges' comments:

An impressive and accomplished work of literary fiction, Riwoe’s prose is lucidly crisp, poetic and a pleasure to read. An engaging tale of outsiders, the novel explores a lesser known story of the many Chinese migrants who settled in Queensland, and the intense discrimination and hardships they suffered.

Meet Me at Lennon's by Melanie Myers

Judges' comments:

First time novelist Myers has produced a strong work of fiction. A dual narrative, set both in contemporary Brisbane and in the early 1940s effortlessly shifting between the two. With a strong female cast, it provides both an insight into wartime Brisbane and explores the enduring legacy of violence against women.

Heartland: How Rugby League Explains Queensland by Joe Gorman

Judges' comments:

Superbly written, Heartland is a compelling insight into rugby league’s State of Origin and the role it plays in the identity of Queensland. Gorman moves the narrative seamlessly, shining a light on key individuals and events within a social and political context. This is an outstanding work of literary non-fiction.


The University of Queensland Fiction Book Award

Stone Sky Gold Mountain by Mirandi Riwoe

Judges' comments:

A compelling story set in the Australian gold rush featuring three characters grappling with exile, belonging, exclusion, racism, grief, and familial responsibility. A well-crafted, complex, and engaging tale that challenges the dominant history and provides an alternative view. Written with extraordinary compassion and insight.


Griffith University Young Adult Book Award

Ghost Bird by Lisa Fuller

Judges' comments:

In Ghost Bird, Lisa Fuller captures the distinctive voice and landscape of regional Queensland, where twins Stacey and Laney confront a stark and terrifying spiritual presence in a place where modern society sits uneasily alongside the most ancient culture on earth. A tense coming-of-age story about anger and forgiveness.


Griffith University Children's Book Award

As Fast As I Can by Penny Tangey

Judges' comments:

When a young girl’s Olympic dreams hit an unexpected obstacle a richly realised gallery of family, friends, and community rally in their different ways to support her. Pitch perfect writing effectively conveys a child's voice and world view, combining comedy with a serious take on dreaming big and accepting life’s challenges.


Judith Wright Calanthe Award for a Poetry Collection

Throat by Ellen van Neerven

Judges' comments:

Throat is a masterful collection that goes for the jugular. Raucous and meticulous – van Neerven takes ambitious risks and pulls them off with a deceptive ease. Their poems will undoubtedly leave a definitive punk imprint on poetry on this continent, and echo generationally throughout the blak poetry that van Neerven situates themself within.


The Courier-Mail People's Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award

A River with a City Problem by Margaret Cook

Judges' comments:

An absorbing history of Brisbane River floods – 1893, 1974 and 2011 – and the failure of human attempts to tame and manage powerful natural forces. The city and its surrounding towns built on and around a broad floodplain will not avoid the next flood, just as they were devastated by the earlier ones. Poor city planning, inappropriate development and over-reliance on a dam emphasise that the problem is the location of the city, not the presence of the river.

Meet Me at Lennon's by Melanie Myers

Judges' comments:

A story of wartime Brisbane and the women who lived through it, the novel centres on the murder of a young woman. Myers takes an historian’s approach to her material, tracing the connections between her characters and leaving a trail of clues for the attentive reader. Well-researched, intriguing, plausible and relevant.

Stone Sky Gold Mountain by Mirandi Riwoe

Judges' comments:

A vital re-telling of Australia’s gold rush history from the perspective of Chinese sibling immigrants, interwoven with a white woman’s story of social exile. It examines our often violent and racist past with sensitivity and compassion. Highly engaging characters allow the reader to identify with their circumstances and to hear voices often silenced by history.