Last Friday the shortlists for the 2015 Queensland Literary Awards were announced and there are some exciting names among the mix. I’m thrilled to have been included on the shortlist for the Queensland Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Award. Upon seeing the shortlist for the first time I felt a mix of honour and terror. Queensland has some amazing emerging (and established) writers and it’s an absolute honour to be included among some of them. The other shortlistees for the award are: Andrew McMillen, Megan McGrath, Michelle Law, and Sam George-Allen. You can find out more about each of these amazing writers here

I want to give a special shoutout to my writing friend Kathy George (also known as KW George) for her shortlisting for the Emerging Queensland Writer – Manuscript Award for her novel Sargasso. I’ve been lucky enough to have read Sargasso twice now. Both times I was completely haunted by and immersed in the world Kathy had created. The first time I read the manuscript I listened to this song a lot and whenever I hear it now I can’t help but think of Sargasso. This is Kathy’s website where she blogs about all things writing and reading, and it’s definitely worth a look.

Back in 2013 I won the Emerging Queensland Author Award for my verse-novel Gap so I know how exciting and consuming the experience of being shortlisted can be. I wish I had found some strategies to deal with that strange mix of excitement and anxiety – but I knew that things were going up from that point on and I tried to remind myself of that when I was becoming particularly obsessed with it all. The Emerging and Unaipon are both special awards and so important to continuing to discover and celebrate new Queensland writers and voices.

You can find all of the shortlists for this year’s Queensland Literary Awards here. The winners will be announced at a ceremony on October 9.