As many of you will now know, I am totally thrilled to announce that I am one of the winners of the 2015 QLD Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Awards. The awards were announced at a ceremony at the State Library of QLD last Friday night. There was a wonderful, upbeat vibe at the awards this year, with the Queensland Premier and Minister for the Arts, Annastasia Palaszczuk in attendance, along with Leanne Enoch, Minister for Science and Innovation. The Premier kicked off the ceremony with a wonderful speech about the importance and value of arts in a society, and especially Queensland. I was lucky enough to meet the Premier before the ceremony for a photoshoot, and accept my award from her on stage during the ceremony which was a real thrill.

I would like to congratulate my fellow winner Megan McGrath, and shortlisted writers, Michelle Law, Sam George-Allen, and Andrew McMillen on their incredible achievements. It was a tough field, and an honour to be in such talented company.

During my speech I talked about the importance of receiving such support so early on in my career, and this award recognises the value of doing so. My career as a writer really started for me after winning the 2012 State Library of QLD Young Writers Award, for which I am very grateful. The 2015 winners of the SLQ Young Writers Award were also announced on the night, with Grace McCarter taking out the 18-25 category and Rosie McCrossin taking out the new 15-17 category. You can read both of the winning stories here, along with the runners up and highly commended stories.

I would like to give a big shoutout to the wonderful people at the AMP Foundation, whose AMP Tomorrow Maker grant last year, and continued support and promotion of my work has been a wonderful blessing. Without their continued support I wouldn’t be in the position I am now.

My thanks to the Queensland Literary Awards, and all those involved in keeping it going, the sponsors and patrons, judges and volunteers, the State Library of Queensland, State Librarian Janette Wright, my publisher University of Queensland Press, the O’Hara sisters, my family, friends and peers, and anyone who has ever read and supported my writing.

A special thank you again to my beautiful partner Nike Sulway, whose continued belief and support means the world to me. I said this on Friday night and I’ll say it again, you are my sounding board, you keep me calm, caffeinated and never without my daily fix of cute baby animals. I don’t know where I would be without you.

The official media release and list of winners can be found here. Please share the list with all your friends and contacts and buy the winning and shortlisted titles, readers are what keeps our writing alive.