2017 guidelines

The Queensland Literary Awards (QLAs) recognise the literary achievements of published Queensland and Australian authors and celebrate and promote contemporary Australian books and writing. Awards are presented in a range of categories for published works and include development awards and prizes for young and emerging writers and unpublished manuscripts.

Download the Guidelines  (PDF 473.9 KB)

Contents

2017 Award categories

Key dates

Published book awards

QUT Digital Literature Award

Queensland Premier's Young Publishers and Writers Awards

Queensland Writers Fellowships

Unpublished Indigenous Writer – David Unaipon Award

Emerging Queensland Writer – Manuscript Award

Terms and conditions of entry

The judging process

How to submit your nomination

Nomination fees

Information and enquiries

Frequently Asked Questions

2017 Award Categories

Queensland Premier's Award for a work of State Significance
Awarded to an outstanding work, by an Australian writer,  focused on documenting, discussing or highlighting a uniquely Queensland story.
Prize: $25,000

The University of Queensland Fiction Book Award
Awarded to an outstanding work of fiction by an Australian writer.
Prize: $10,000

The University of Queensland Non-Fiction Book Award
Awarded to an outstanding work of non-fiction by an Australian writer.
Prize: $10,000

Griffith University Young Adult Book Award
Awarded to a work suitable for young adults aged 13 to 19, by an Australian writer.
Prize: $10,000

Griffith University Children’s Book Award
Awarded to a work suitable for children up to 12 years old, by an Australian writer.
Prize: $10,000

University of Southern Queensland History Book Award
Awarded to an outstanding non-fiction history book by an Australian writer. 
Prize: $10,000

University of Southern Queensland Australian Short Story Collection – Steele Rudd Award
Awarded to the author of an outstanding collection of short stories by an Australian writer.
Prize: $10,000

State Library of Queensland Poetry Collection – Judith Wright Calanthe Award
Awarded to an outstanding collection of poetry by an Australian writer.
Prize: $10,000

The Courier-Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award
Awarded to an outstanding book by a Queensland author. The shortlist for this Award is selected by the judges from eligible nominations in the Fiction and Non-Fiction categories. The public then have the opportunity to vote for their favourite shortlisted book to determine the winner. Voting will open on 25 August 2017.
Prize: $10,000

QUT Digital Literature Award
Awarded to an exceptional work of transmedia or digital literature showcasing innovation in storytelling.
Prize: $10,000

Queensland Premier's Young Publishers and Writers Awards
Awarded to two (2) outstanding Queensland writers up to 30 years of age.
Prize: Two $10,000 awards plus career development support to the value of $2,500 each.

Queensland Writers Fellowships
Awarded to three (3) established Queensland authors to advance a writing project over a 12 month period.
Prize: Three (3) Fellowships of $15,000 each

This category is sponsored by Arts Queensland and State Library of Queensland and supported by the Queensland Writers Centre.

Unpublished Indigenous Writer – David Unaipon Award
Awarded for an outstanding manuscript by an unpublished Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander writer.
Prize: $10,000 plus manuscript development and publication with The University of Queensland Press.

This category is sponsored by the Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) through the CAL Cultural Fund and supported by The University of Queensland Press.

Emerging Queensland Writer – Manuscript Award
Awarded for an outstanding manuscript by an unpublished Queensland writer.
Prize: $10,000 plus manuscript development and publication with The University of Queensland Press.
Runner up: At the judges’ discretion, up to three mentorships will be offered to shortlisted entrants in this category.

This category is sponsored by the Queensland Writers Centre and The University of Queensland Press.

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Key Dates 2017

1 April
Nominations open
31 May
Nominations close at 5pm
25 August
Online voting opens for The Courier-Mail People's Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award
First week of September
Shortlisted announced
24 September
Online voting closes for The Courier-Mail People's Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award at 5pm
October
Winners announced at Awards Ceremony

Published Book Awards

General eligibility criteria

This general eligibility should be read in conjunction with the category specific criteria.

Eligible works must be:

  • First published and offered for general sale in Australia between (and including) 1 June 2016 and 31 May 2017.
    (NB: books with a trade publication date of June 2017 that have stock released early for selective promotional events are not eligible for entry in the 2017 Awards).
  • Formally published in book form (print) with an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) or formally published electronically with an International Standard Book Number (ISBN).
  • First published in English.
  • Primarily works of text (except in the children’s book category). Works consisting primarily of images, pictures, photographs or illustrations are ineligible unless the accompanying text is judged to be of sufficient merit.

To be eligible, authors must be:

  • Australian citizens or permanent residents of Australia (for a minimum period of three years prior to the closing date for nominations).
  • At least 18 years of age, or provide written consent from a parent or guardian to nominate.
  • Living at the date of nomination.


    In the case of recently deceased authors, the prize money goes to the rights holder of the literary estate or, in cases where this is not able to be determined, to the publisher, to be distributed to the rights holder once they are identified (ie, as with royalty payments)

Other eligibility information:

  • All eligible nominations must include a completed online nomination form, payment of the nomination fee ($50 per nomination) and the submission of five copies of the nominated book per category in published book form. Digital book files (eg. ePub, mobi etc) are only accepted for electronic and Internet only publications
  • There is no limit to the number of published titles by the same author that may be nominated, provided that each book meets all relevant eligibility requirements. A nomination form and fee must accompany each title nominated.
  • The same work may be submitted to multiple categories if eligible, but a separate nomination form and fee must be provided for each entry in each category.
  • Books may be submitted by authors, publishers, literary agents or interested third parties. However, any third party nominating books on behalf of an author is responsible for ensuring and demonstrating, if requested, that the author's consent has been obtained prior to the nomination.
  • Oral histories, translated texts, and pamphlet publications are ineligible for these awards, unless stated otherwise for specific categories.
  • Works of co-authorship are eligible except in the categories for poetry and short stories. Co-authorship is defined as joint responsibility by two or more  authors for the entire work. If the winning nomination is a co-authored work, all eligible authors will receive the award and share the prize money.
  • Anthologies, journals or books compiled by an editor, committee, organisation or author consisting principally of contributions from a number of writers are ineligible.

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Category specific criteria

Nominations in the published book categories must comply with both the general eligibility listed above, and to any category specific criteria.

Queensland Premier's Award for a work of State Significance

  • Eligible work should have content primarily focused on important Queensland stories, history or voices. A work by a Queensland author could also be deemed of state significance if it has increased awareness and profile of Queensland writing.
  • Works in all genres, including plays, are eligible in this category.
  • Judges will be seeking to award this prize to the nomination of the highest literary merit, telling a significant Queensland story.

The University of Queensland Fiction Book Award

  • Fictionalised memoirs are eligible for this category.
  • Short story collections are not eligible for this category.

The University of Queensland Non-Fiction Book Award

  • Eligible non-fiction works include: biographies, autobiographies, histories, philosophy, literary criticism, science writing books, and works dealing with contemporary issues.
  • Oral histories are not eligible unless the author claims artistic responsibility for the majority of the text.

Griffith University Young Adult Book Award

  • Eligible works must be suitable for young adults readers aged 13 to 19.

Griffith University Children’s Book Award

  • Eligible works must be suitable for children under 12 years of age.
  • Wordless picture books or illustrated narratives are eligible for nomination in this category.
  • If the winning work has been written by an author and an illustrator they will jointly win the award and share the prize money equally.
  • If the winning work has been co-authored by more than two authors they, along with the illustrator, will jointly win the award and share equally the prize money..

University of Southern Queensland History Book Award

  • Works with a focus on the history of Australia’s First Peoples will be highly regarded.
  • Historical fiction or fictionalised memoir is not eligible in this category.
  • Oral histories are not eligible unless the author claims artistic responsibility for the majority of the text.

University of Southern Queensland Australian Short Story Collection – Steele Rudd Award

  • Eligible works must be a collection of short stories by one author collated in book form.
  • Collected works of more than one author, anthologies or multi-author collections are not eligible.

State Library of Queensland Poetry Collection – Judith Wright Calanthe Award

  • Eligible works must be a collection of poetry by one author in book form.
  • Single poems are not eligible, regardless of their length.
  • Collected works of more than one poet, anthologies or multi-author collections are not eligible.

The Courier-Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year
Awarded to an outstanding book by a Queensland author. The QLA judges will nominate the shortlist for this Award from the Fiction and Non-Fiction categories, with the winning book voted for by the public.

  • For the purposes of this Award, a Queensland author is someone who has lived in Queensland for at least the past three years or is a Queensland-born author who strongly identifies with the state.
  • The shortlist for this Award will be announced in the week of 25 August 2017, with public voting then available via this website.

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QUT Digital Literature Award

The QUT Digital Literature Award showcases innovation and creativity in storytelling for digital media, and new directions in contemporary literary practice informed by technology. This Award is open to all original works of digital literature (e.g. fiction, non-fiction, poetry, graphic narrative) which are purpose-designed for digital consumption.

Eligibility criteria

All nominations for the QUT Digital Literature Award must meet the following criteria to be eligible:

Nominated works must be

  • First published or publically released and available to public audiences between (and including) 01 June 2016 and 31 May 2017.
  • First published in English.
  • Original literary or narrative artistic work.
    • Works that are primarily infotainment, principally designed for education/training, marketing and promotional campaigns or branding are not eligible.
  • Designed to be read/viewed/experienced on the web or mobile, tablet or digital device
    • Text-only prose narratives that have been converted to a screen-format without designing for interactive features or digital contexts (e.g. standard text-only e-books) are not eligible.

Authors/creators must be

  • Australian citizens or permanent residents of Australia (for a minimum period of three years prior to the closing date for nominations).
  • At least 18 years of age, or provide consent from a parent or guardian to nominate.
  • Living at the date of nomination.

Other award information

  • Works that demonstrate innovation and creativity in storytelling, combined use of media or interactive features will be highly regarded.
  • Works of co-authorship or that are co-produced are eligible. Co-authorship is defined as joint responsibility by two or more authors for the entire work. If the winning nomination is a co-authored or co-produced work, all eligible authors and producers will receive the award and share equally the prize money.
  • Judges reserve the right to deem a work ineligible against the criteria.
  • Some examples of the types of works which may be eligible for this Award include:
    • Interactive fiction, hypertext fiction or poetry, digital poetry
    • Literary apps
    • Immersive transmedia narratives incorporating digital platforms
    • Stories that take the form of Facebook posts, text messages, or Tweets
    • Literary performances online that demonstrated new ways of writing
    • Narrative-driven interactive games that demonstrate original approaches to storytelling
  • Some examples of works which are likely to be considered ineligible include:
    • Standard text-only e-books
    • Standard-format film or TV drama series distributed on streaming services
    • Transmedia advertising or branding campaigns

Submitting your nomination

  • Nominations must be submitted in line with the requirements outlined in the 'How to submit your nomination' section. This includes an online form, and in place of a book or manuscript, submit a URL where the work can be read/viewed or instructions for accessing the work on a digital device by email to qla@slq.qld.gov.au

Queensland Premier's Young Publishers and Writers Awards

In support of fostering the next generation of Queensland writers, the Queensland Premier's Young Publishers and Writers Awards seek to celebrate and reward strong young Queensland voices.

These Awards are open to professional Queensland based writers and publishers up to 30 years of age, with a steady publishing history. Two winners will be awarded in this category, each receiving a prize of $10,000 and career development support to the value of $2,500 each.

The judges are seeking to award these prizes to young Queensland writers who exhibit high quality writing, a track record of publication outcomes and a commitment to developing and sustaining an ongoing career as a writer. Judges are also seeking to recognise young publishers and/or cultural producers with a track record of successful productions that demonstrate a commitment to creating avenues to publish and promote Queensland literature, and who have a commitment to developing a career or creative enterprise in the literary sector.

Eligibility criteria

All nominations for the Queensland Premier's Young Publishers and Writers Award must meet the following criteria to be eligible.

Nominated writers must be:

  • a current Queensland resident (for at least three years prior to their nomination)
  • an Australian citizen or a permanent resident of Australia (for a minimum period of three years prior to the closing date for nominations)
  • up to 30 years of age at the closing date of 31 May 2017
  • if under 18 years of age, nominees must provide consent from a parent or guardian to nominate
  • living at the date of nomination.

Publication history:

  • Eligible nominees must be able to demonstrate a track record of work as a writer or publisher, including a publication history. Nominees must be able to demonstrate at least one or a combination of the following publication outcomes to be eligible:


    For writers:
    • One (1) full-length published book (including electronic or online publications with an ISBN).
    • Five (5) short works of fiction or non-fiction (minimum 100 words each) published in professional literary journals, edited anthologies, major newspapers or national magazines (print and online accepted).
    • Ten (10) poems published in professional literary journals, edited anthologies, major newspapers or national magazines (print and online accepted).
    • An online blog which has existed for at least two years, with evidence of a wide following and regular (at least monthly) new content.
    • A full length performance script (theatre or film) which has premiered in Australia.

    For publishers/cultural producers:

    • a selection of up to five examples of publishing or cultural production (in print, online or combination of media) demonstrating a commitment to creating publication or presentation venues for Queensland literature.
    • Examples may include (but are not limited to) small press publications, electronic journals, zines, podcast series, live literature performances.

Other Award information

  • There is no nomination fee for these Awards.
  • Only individuals are eligible to enter and receive these Awards.
    • For writers: all work submitted for this Award must be original works, solely written by the nominee. Co-authored works are not eligible in this category.
    • For publishers: while examples of produced works submitted for this Award may have been co-produced, only individuals may receive an award, not partnerships, collectives, groups or associations. Awards may not be shared.
  • Writing can be in any literary category including novels, short stories and/or poems, works for children, biographies and memoirs, plays and scripts, or other non-fiction works including journalism. Comics and graphic novels are eligible in this category if there is sufficient text and writing included that it is an integral part of the work. Questions of eligibility will be resolved at the discretion of the Judging panel.
  • The documents submitted for Judging will not be returned.
  • Writers currently funded through the Queensland Writers Fellowship program are not eligible for these Awards.

Submitting your nomination

Nominations must be submitted in line with the requirements outlined in the 'How to submit your nomination' section. This includes an online form, and in place of a book or manuscript, please compile the following items into one (1) Word document or PDF and send the file by email as an attachment to qla@slq.qld.gov.au:

  • A one (1) page cover letter outlining your eligibility for this Award.
  • A detailed CV with full publication history (maximum four (4) pages).
  • Writers: A portfolio of writing – this should include up to six (6) pieces of writing, including at least one item published in the previous 12 months.
  • Publishers: A portfolio of up to five (5) publications or documented productions, including at least one (1) item produced in the previous 12 months.

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Queensland Writers Fellowships

Queensland Writers Fellowships provide support for outstanding Queensland writers to develop a writing project over a 12 month period. Three (3) Fellowships of $15,000 will be awarded in 2017.

Eligibility criteria

All nominations for the Queensland Writers Fellowships must meet the following criteria to be eligible.

Eligible authors must be

  • A Queenslander; eligible authors must have lived in Queensland for at least the past three (3) years or be a Queensland-born writer who lives elsewhere, but can demonstrate continuing strong ties with the state
  • Committed to developing an individual writing project toward publication or other significant outcome over 12 months; collaborative projects/works are not eligible, except illustrated children’s books. Your application must clearly identify key project outcomes across the full 12 month Fellowship (January – December 2018) and outline how you will achieve them.

Publication history
Eligible applicants must be able to demonstrate a track record of work as a developing or established author with a strong publication history. Applicants must be able to demonstrate at least one or a combination of the following publication outcomes to be eligible:

  • One (1) full-length published book for adults, young adults or children. Self-published works must be formally published in book form (print) with an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) or published electronically with an International Standard Book Number (ISBN).
  • Seven (7) short works of fiction or literary non-fiction (minimum 1000 words each) published in professional literary journals, edited anthologies, major newspapers, or national magazines
  • Fifteen (15) poems published in professional literary journals, edited anthologies, major newspapers, or national magazines.
  • A full length performance script (theatre or film) which has premiered in Australia.

Assessment criteria
The fellowship program aims to support Queensland authors in achieving positive outcomes. Applications will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • Quality and uniqueness of the proposed project.
  • Viability of project plan and likelihood of achieving proposed outcomes.
  • Impact of the Fellowship on the applicant’s writing career.

Award information

  • There is no nomination fee for these Fellowships
  • Projects that form part of formal tertiary studies are not eligible for these Fellowships.
  • Projects that have already been accepted (or commissioned – for example, in the case of a series of books) by a publisher are not eligible for these Fellowships.
  • Applications will be checked for eligibility by State Library of Queensland staff, and then forwarded to a panel of Judges for assessment and recommendations. The judging panel comprises a mix of writers, critics, academics, publishers and literary sector professionals. The final recommendations by the judging panel are submitted to the State Librarian and Arts Queensland for final approval.
  • The outcomes of the judging process are final and no discussion or correspondence will be entered into regarding the final decisions or the judging process.

Submitting your application:
Applications must be submitted in line with the requirements outlined in the 'How to submit your nomination' section. This includes an online form, and in place of a book or manuscript, please compile the following items into one (1) Word document or PDF and send the file by email as an attachment to qla@slq.qld.gov.au:

  • A CV including your publication history (max. 2 pages).
  • A sample of your published work (max. 10 pages). Self-published works must be formally published in book form (print) with an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) or published electronically with an International Standard Book Number (ISBN).
  • Up to three (3) letters of support or testimonials from publishers, journals, or industry experts in support of your proposed project.
  • A sample of the proposed writing project to show the tone and style of the work (max. 6 pages). Judges understand this is likely to be at draft stage.
  • Please do not submit any original materials as part of your application, as they cannot be returned to applicants following the judging process.
  • You will receive a confirmation email from the State Library of Queensland once your complete application has been received and checked for eligibility.

Please note: It is important to be as accurate as possible with all information provided in your application. If you are awarded a Fellowship your application will form part of your funding agreement, and you will be responsible for completing your project as described.

Unpublished Indigenous Writer – David Unaipon Award

David Unaipon was the first Aboriginal author to be published. He was also an early political activist, a scientist, a preacher, and an inventor. David Unaipon was born in Point McLeay in South Australia and is commemorated on the $50 note.

This Award is open to all unpublished Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers – those who are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent, who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, and who are accepted as such by the communities in which they live or have lived or worked.

The winner of the Award receives $10,000 and a publishing contract with category sponsor University of Queensland Press (UQP).

Eligibility criteria

All nominations for the David Unaipon Award must meet the following criteria to be eligible for the Award.

Nominated writers must be:

  • An Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. Prize winners may be asked to provide a Confirmation of Aboriginality.
  • Living in Australia
  • Over 18 years of age, or provide consent from a parent or guardian to nominate.
  • Living at the time of nomination.
  • Unpublished – this is defined as a writer without commercial publication of any significant written work (book, published script/play, collection of poetry or short stories) by a trade publisher or other conventional publisher. Unpublished authors will also not have an existing binding publishing contract or be in current contractual negotiations.
    Note: Authors who have previously self-published a full-length work with an ISBN are ineligible.  
  • Co-authored manuscripts are eligible in this category, but both authors must comply with all eligibility criteria.

The submitted manuscript must be:

  • An original work. Shortlisted entrants will be required to sign a statutory declaration form stating that the work is entirely their own and that they have never been published or signed under a publishing contract.
  • Unpublished – this is understood to mean that the manuscript cannot have been previously published, or self-published, with an ISBN in print or electronic form on a commercial basis (publication of up to 10 per cent of the manuscript will be accepted), and must not be currently entered in other writing competitions, or under submission to a publisher, or subject to contractual negotiations.
  • Manuscripts previously nominated in this category are eligible for re-nomination.
  • Manuscripts can be in any literary category including novels, collections of short stories and/or poems, works for children, biographies and memoirs, other non-fiction works, plays and scripts. Entries of less than 5,000 words will not be considered, other than poetry collections or children's books. Between 40,000 and 100,000 words are recommended.
  • Eligible manuscripts may be in English, Aboriginal English, an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander language, or a combination of these, including a bilingual text.

Award information

  • There is no nomination fee for these Awards
  • The manuscripts submitted for judging will not be returned.
  • The copyright of any material submitted in the unpublished award categories remains with the author.
  • The prize in this category includes $10,000 and a publishing contract with category sponsor UQP. Please note the following important information about this prize:
    • UQP will offer publishing rights to the winning author for the work to be published in the following year. If the author accepts the offer, UQP will have exclusive worldwide publishing rights to the winning manuscripts subject to the mutually agreed terms and conditions.
    • If your manuscript is shortlisted, you grant UQP first right of refusal to publish the work for an exclusive period of 12 weeks after the Awards announcement. ‘First right of refusal’ does not guarantee an offer of publication will be made.
    • UQP will mentor and develop the winning manuscript and publish the winning manuscript subject to normal publishing terms and conditions.
    • It is recommended that writers seek their own legal advice prior to entering into any publishing agreement.

Submitting your manuscript

Nominations must be submitted in line with the requirements outlined in the 'How to submit your nomination' section below. This includes an online form, and in place of a book or manuscript, please compile the following items into one (1) Word document or PDF and send the file by email as an attachment to qla@slq.qld.gov.au.

If you are unable to submit your work by email, please follow the requirements as outlined in the 'How to submit your nomination' section below. This includes an online form, and in place of a book or manuscript, please post, courier or hand-deliver five (5) printed copies of your complete manuscript to:

Postal address Attn: Queensland Literary Awards State Library of Queensland PO Box 3488 South Brisbane QLD 4101

Courier address Attn: Queensland Literary Awards State Library of Queensland Loading Dock, Stanley Place South Brisbane QLD 4101

You can hand-deliver your entry to the Reception Welcome Desk on Level 1 at State Library of Queensland, Stanley Place, South Brisbane between 10am and 5pm. Please clearly mark the package: Attn. Queensland Literary Awards, State Library of Queensland.

Please contact the Queensland Literary Awards on 07 3842 9486 or via qla@slq.qld.gov.au if you have any questions about how to submit.

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Emerging Queensland Writer – Manuscript Award

This Award is open to unpublished Queensland writers. The winner of this Award receives $10,000 and a publishing contract with category sponsor The University of Queensland Press.

Eligibility criteria

All nominations for the Emerging Queensland Writer – Manuscript Award must meet the following criteria to be eligible for this Award.

Nominated writers must be:

  • A Queensland resident (for at least three years prior to their nomination).
  • An Australian citizen or permanent resident of Australia (for a minimum period of three years prior to the closing date for nominations).
  • Over 18 years of age, or provide consent from a parent or guardian to nominate.
  • Living at the date of nomination.
  • Unpublished – this is defined as a writer without commercial publication of any significant work (book, published script/play, collection of poetry or short stories) by a trade publisher or other conventional publisher. Unpublished writers will also not have an existing binding publishing contract or be in current contractual negotiations.
    Note: Authors who have previously self-published a full-length work with an ISBN  are ineligible.

The submitted manuscript must be:

  • An original work. Shortlisted entrants will be required to sign a statutory declaration form stating that the work is entirely their own and that they have never been published or signed under a publishing contract.
  • Unpublished – this is understood to mean that the manuscript cannot have been previously published, or self-published with an ISBN in print or electronic form on a commercial basis (publication of up to 10 percent of the manuscript will be accepted), and must not be currently entered in other writing competitions, or under submission to a publisher, or subject to contractual negotiations.
  • Manuscripts can be novels, collections of short stories, works for children and non-fiction. Entries of less than 5,000 words will not be considered. Entries between 40,000 and 100,000 words are recommended.
  • Manuscripts previously nominated in this category are eligible for re-nomination.

Award information

  • There is no nomination fee for these Awards.
  • The manuscripts submitted for judging will not be returned.
  • The copyright of any material submitted in the unpublished award categories remains with the author.
  • The prize in this category includes $10,000 and a publishing contract with category sponsor The University of Queensland Press. Please note the following important information about this prize:
    • UQP will offer publishing rights to the winning author for the work to be published in the following year. If the author accepts the offer, UQP will have exclusive worldwide publishing rights to the winning manuscripts subject to the mutually agreed terms and conditions.
    • If your manuscript is shortlisted, you grant UQP first right of refusal to publish the work for an exclusive period of 12 weeks after the Awards announcement. ‘First right of refusal’ does not guarantee an offer of publication will be made.
    • UQP will mentor and develop the winning manuscript and publish the winning manuscript subject to normal publishing terms and conditions.
    • It is recommended that writers seek their own legal advice prior to entering into any publishing agreement.

Submitting your manuscript

Nominations must be submitted in line with the requirements outlined on the How to submit your nomination section. This includes an online form, and in place of a book or manuscript, please compile the following items into one (1) Word document or PDF and send the file as an attachment to qla@slq.qld.gov.au.

Your manuscript must be submitted in the following format:

  • Include a cover page with the manuscript's title, the author's name and a 300-500 word summary of the work.
  • Typed or word processed text on A4 paper
  • Formatted in plain font, 12 point font size, 1.5 line spaced with a minimum two centimetre page margin
  • Pages must be numbered
  • Please note: the documents and materials submitted for judging will not be returned.

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Terms and conditions of entry

  • Copies of works submitted as part of a nomination will not be returned.
  • Works may be submitted by authors, publishers, literary agents or interested third parties. People or organisations nominating works on behalf of an author are responsible for ensuring and demonstrating, if requested, that the author's consent has been obtained prior to the nomination.
  • The person listed as the 'nominator' will be the contact person for all information relating to that nomination.
  • The nominator consents for the author's personal information to be used and disclosed where appropriate for editorial, advertising, or promotional purposes in conjunction with the 2017 QLA and the on-going QLA program.
  • While all reasonable care will be taken, no responsibility is accepted by State Library of Queensland for loss or damage to submitted books or manuscripts.
  • State Library of Queensland reserves the right to change the conditions of nomination, cancel, or vary the awards process at any time, whether before, on, or after the closing date.
  • The conduct of inviting nominations does not give rise to any legal or equitable relationship.
  • In all matters relating to the conditions of nomination and judging process, the decisions of the judges and State Library of Queensland are final, and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • Breach of conditions of nomination will render a nomination invalid.
  • No person will be entitled to claim compensation for loss from State Library of Queensland for any matter in connection with QLA, including, but not limited to, a failure by State Library of Queensland to comply with the conditions of nomination.
  • Publishers may print '2017 Queensland Literary Awards Finalist' or 'Winner of the 2017 Queensland Literary Awards' on subsequent printings of shortlisted and winning works. A digital sticker will be provided to winning and shortlisted entries.
  • State Library of Queensland expects that the recipients of the Queensland Literary Awards will assist in publicly promoting Australian literature and the QLA. Award recipients should be prepared to participate in a small number of local, public engagements and media opportunities at the time of, and in the year following, their award.

Privacy Notice
State Library of Queensland collects the minimum personal information necessary to process a nomination and administer the Queensland Literary Awards. We will only use the personal information from the online application form for the purpose for which it has been provided and for directly related purposes such as contacting the applicant, assessing the merits of the nomination and to promote shortlisted and winning nominations. We will not disclose the personal information without the consent of the individual to whom the personal information relates, except for purposes directly related to administering this award program.

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The judging process

Who assesses the nominations?

The judging panels are made up of a mix of writers, critics, academics, publishers and literary sector professionals. Members of the judging panels will be listed on this website.

What is the judging process?

  • The eligibility of all nominations will be checked by State Library of Queensland staff.
  • All eligible nominations will be forwarded to category specific judging panels for reading, shortlisting and the selection of winners in each category.
  • QLA recognises outstanding achievement by Australian writers. The judges will award the nominations deemed to possess the highest literary merit in each category.
  • The shortlists will be published on this site in September 2017, and the winning entries will be announced at an awards ceremony in October 2017.

Other judging information

  • Judges will disclose any actual or potential conflicts of interest as soon as they become aware of them, and not participate in judging activities related to that nomination.
  • Judging panels may contact authors or nominators to request additional information if they feel it is required.
  • Judges have the right to move a nomination to a different category if they deem the category to be more relevant.
  • The shortlist for The Courier-Mail People's Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award will be selected by the judges from the eligible Fiction and Non-Fiction nominations. The public will then have the opportunity to vote for the winning book from the shortlist.
  • The outcomes of the judging process are final and no discussion or correspondence will be entered into in regard to final award decisions or the judging process.
  • The Queensland Literary Awards reserves the right not to award a prize in a category.

The Award Ceremony

  • All shortlisted authors and their publishers will be invited to the Award Ceremony, which will be held at State Library of Queensland in October 2017. The winners in each category will be announced at the Ceremony, with the winners published on this website the following day.

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How to submit your nomination

Complete nominations must be received no later than 5pm on Wednesday 31 May 2017.
Please follow these steps to nominate:

  1. Read the 2017 QLA Guidelines and terms and conditions in full before completing your nomination.
  2. Complete the online nomination form and if required, pay your nomination fee via credit card.
  3. If you are nominating five or more titles from the same publisher, there is the option to use a multiple nomination form.
  4. Send your books / manuscripts to State Library of Queensland:

    a. For books published in print, send five (5) copies of the nominated print book per category to the address below. Copies of each title entered must be accompanied by a separate entry form for each category entered.
    b. For electronic and Internet only entries send one (1) USB containing the three (3) separate versions of the book’s digital file (.ePub, .mobi AND PDF formats) to the address below. The USB must be accompanied by a separate entry form for each category entered.
    c. For the Emerging Queensland Writer – Manuscript Award, Unpublished Indigenous Writer – David Unaipon Award, and Queensland Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Awards send the required materials as outlined to qla@slq.qld.gov.au.
    d. For the QUT Digital Literature Award submit a URL where the work can be read/viewed or instructions for accessing the work on a digital device by email to qla@slq.qld.gov.au

    Postal address
    Attn: Queensland Literary Awards
    State Library of Queensland
    PO Box 3488
    South Brisbane QLD 4101

    Courier address
    Attn: Queensland Literary Awards
    State Library of Queensland
    Loading Dock, Stanley Place
    South Brisbane QLD 4101

    You can hand-deliver your entry to the Reception Welcome Desk on Level 1 at State Library of Queensland, Stanley Place, South Brisbane between 10am and 5pm. Please clearly mark the package: Attn. Queensland Literary Awards, State Library of Queensland.

    Please do not deliver your manuscripts or books to Queensland Writers Centre on Level 2.

    Please note: five (5) copies of each nominated book are required per category entered. These copies are for distribution to the category judges and will not be returned.
  5. An email acknowledgement will be sent to you from QLA once all parts of your nomination have been received.

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Nomination fees

A $50 (including GST) nomination fee is required for each nomination submitted in the Published Book Award categories. This fee is paid via credit card as part of your online nomination form.

A fee exemption is available if the author of the nominated work is the holder of one of the following concession cards:

  • Australian Senior and Pensioner card
  • Tertiary student card (e.g. ISIC)
  • Australian Government card (e.g. unemployed, health care card, etc.)
  • Australian Government Department of Veteran Affairs card

Photocopied proof of the author’s status as a card holder must be submitted with the copies of your books or your nomination will not be eligible for judging.

Information and enquiries

If you have any questions, please contact the Reading and Writing team at State Library of Queensland on:

Phone: 07 3842 9486
Email: qla@slq.qld.gov.au

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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Can I enter a self-published book?
Yes, self-published books are eligible to enter the published book categories as long as they meet all the relevant eligibility criteria.
Generally, to be eligible published books must:

  • have been first published between 01 June 2016 and 31 May 2017
  • have an ISBN
  • be published as a print book, or a digital book that meets all other requirements
  • be available for general sale in Australia.

How do I enter?

  • Complete the nomination form online. After you have read the 2017 QLA Guidelines and determined you are eligible, enter your book via the online nomination forms on the QLA website.
  • Pay the nomination fee. At the end of the nomination form you will be required to pay the $50 nomination fee via credit card if you are nominating in a Published Book Award category. Some exemptions apply. Please see How does the concession card fee exemptions work?
  • Send in your books. To complete your nomination you are required to send five (5) copies of the nominated book per category entered to State Library of Queensland. For electronic and Internet only entries send one (1) USB containing the three (3) separate file versions of the book’s digital file (.ePub, .mobi AND PDF formats) to the address supplied.
  • Await confirmation. You will receive an email from the QLA team once all parts of your entry have been received and your nomination is complete. Please note, once received, it may take up to one week for the physical part of your nomination to be processed.

I don’t have a credit card. Are there other ways to pay the nomination fee?
Yes, please contact the Reading and Writing team on 07 3842 9486 to discuss alternative payment options.

How does the concession card fee exemptions work?
To be eligible for a fee exemption, the author of the nominated work must be the holder of one of the following concession cards:

  • Australian Senior and Pensioner card holders
  • Tertiary student card holders (e.g. ISIC)
  • Australian Government card holders (e.g. unemployed, healthcare cards)
  • Australian Government Department of Veterans Affairs card holders

Proof of fee exemption must be supplied. To complete your nomination, please provide a photocopy of the eligible card inside the package when sending five copies of your nominated book.

If fee exemption applies to your entry, you will be directed to a separate online nomination form on the QLA website.

Can I nominate the same book in several categories?
Yes, it’s fine to nominate the same book in a different categories as long as it meets the eligibility criteria for each category. You will need to use the Multiple Nomination online form and make payment for all categories entered. You will need to supply five (5) copies of the nominated book for each category you nominate in. For electronic and Internet only entries send only one (1) USB containing the three (3) separate file versions of the book’s digital file (.ePub, .mobi AND PDF formats).

I am nominating a lot of books on behalf of a publishing house, do I have to complete an online form for each one?
If you are a Publisher nominating five or more books for the Awards, you have the option to complete the Multiple Nomination form and pay all the nomination fees in one lump sum. This form is available on the QLA website. Please contact the QLA team via qla@slq.qld.gov.au for more details.

Who should be the “Nominator” on my application form?
The Nominator can be the book’s author, a publisher or an agent. If you are nominating your own book, list yourself as the nominator and author. This section is mainly for cases where a third party, such as an agent or publisher is submitting the nomination on the author’s behalf. In this case, the nominator must seek prior permission from the author to nominate their books. It is important to note that whoever is listed as the nominator (and provides their contact details on the form) will be contact person for all further information and correspondence relating to that nomination and the Awards.

I live in Brisbane. Can I hand-deliver my entry to State Library of Queensland?
Yes. You can hand-deliver books to the Reception Welcome Desk on Level 1 at State Library of Queensland, Stanley Place, South Brisbane between 10am and 5pm. Please clearly mark the package: Attn. Queensland Literary Awards, State Library of Queensland. It may take up to one week to process your entry after delivery. You will receive an email confirmation once your nomination is complete.

Please do not deliver entries to the Queensland Writers Centre on Level 2.

Do you have to be a Queensland-based author to nominate for the Premier’s Award for a work of State Significance?
No, nominees for this category can be based anywhere across Australia.

Can I submit a children’s book that has been written by an Australian, but illustrated by an artist who is not an Australian citizen or resident?
No. In the Children’s Book category, if the winning entry is an illustrated book prizes are split equally between the author and illustrator. Both the author and illustrator must comply with all eligibility criteria.

What is considered an “unpublished writer” for the manuscript awards?
The spirit of these Awards is to support emerging writers to complete and publish their first significant book. For the purpose of the two QLA manuscript awards (Emerging Queensland Writer and David Unaipon Award) an unpublished writer is defined as a writer without commercial publication of any significant written work (book, published script/play, collection of poetry or short stories) by a trade publisher or other conventional publisher. Unpublished writers will also not have an existing binding publishing contract or be in current contractual negotiations. Authors that have been successfully self-published other works are ineligible. A successfully self-published manuscript is deemed as selling more than 500 copies. The Judging panels will make the final decision on a nomination’s eligibility.

Can I apply for both the Queensland Writers Fellowship and the Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Awards?
Yes, providing you meed the eligibility criteria for both categories.

How is the shortlist for The Courier Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award selected?
Nominations cannot be submitted directly to this category. The shortlist for this Award is selected by the Judges of the Fiction and Non-Fiction categories from the nominated books by Queensland authors. The Judges select books they feel are of the highest quality, will have the most popular appeal for readers and/or tell a unique and important Queensland story. These books (usually four from each category) form the shortlist which is then publicised online and voted for by the public to determine the winner.

When and how will the winners be notified?
The nominators of shortlisted authors will be contacted directly by QLA staff in September 2017. All shortlisted authors and their publishers will be invited to attend the Awards Ceremony.

All nominators will be notified via email once the shortlists are publically available.

The final winners in each category will be notified directly by QLA staff two weeks prior to the Award Ceremony. Travel assistance will be offered to winners to attend the Ceremony in Brisbane, Queensland.

Do I get my books back after the Awards?
QLA is unable to return the books and manuscripts posted in as part of your nomination. The five (5) copies supplied are distributed as follows: four (4) copies to the category Judges assessing the nomination, one (1) copy remains with the State Library of Queensland as a record. Any additional books, or books returned by Judges are donated to literacy charities.

Can I get feedback on my book / manuscript to help me improve as a writer?
Unfortunately due to the quantity of nominations submitted for the Awards, QLA staff and Judges do not have the capacity to provide feedback on individual nominations. Please contact the writers centre in your state for information, advice and support.

Queensland Writers Centre is available on 07 3842 9922 or by contacting qldwriters@qwc.asn.au

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