The most anticipated and contentious event on the Brisbane Literary scene for 2012 is undoubtedly the Queensland Literary Awards. After dedicated and fast paced fund-raising by the QLA team, the awards ceremony took place last night at the State Library on South Bank (5 months to the day that Can-Do Campbell announced the cancellation of the awards).
Thanks to public support a $1000 prize was awarded to each winner, with a $5000 award for the Courier-Mail People’s choice, QLD book of the Year award.
The winners of the inaugural Queensland Literary Award are (in no particular order):
- Catherine Titasey, awarded as Emerging Queensland Author for ‘Island of the Unexpected’.
- The David Unaipon Award for an unpublished indigenous writer went to Siv Parker for Story.
- Bill Gammage took out the History Book Award for ‘The Biggest Estate on Earth’.
- George Megalogenis won the Harry Williams Award for a literary or media work advancing public debate, with ‘The Australian Moment: How We Were Made for These Times’.
- Angela Betzien’s ‘War Crimes’ won the Drama Script (stage) award.
- Louise Fox for ‘Dead Europe’ took the Film Script Award.
- The Television Script Award was presented by Stefan, who donated to the prize, to Sue Smith for ‘Mabo’. Smith dedicated her award to Benita Mabo.
- The Steele Rudd Award for an Australian Short Story collection goes to Jeanette Turner Hospital for ‘Forecast: turbulence’
- The Judith Wright Calanthe Award for Poetry Collection, went to Peter Rose for ‘Crimson Crop’
- Neil Grant took out the Young Adult Book Award for ‘The Ink Bridge’.
- Science Writer, Rob Brooks was awarded for his ‘Sex, Genes & Rock ‘n’ Roll’
- Robin De Crespigny for ‘The People Smuggler’ was awarded the Nonfiction book award.
- A Children’s book Award went to Briony Stewart for ‘Kumiko and the Shadow Catchers’. Briony beat ninety other entries from this category to win.
- The Fiction Award went to Frank Moorhouse for ‘Cold Light’.
Moorhouse was critical of the premier’s decision to cancel the awards, calling the decision bewildering and dismaying. Of the new awards, he says that a people’s award is nobler than a premier’s award.
And finally; The Courier Mail, People’s Choice Award for QLD Book of the Year went to Brisbane’s Simon Cleary for ‘Closer to Stone’.
Award winner, Peter Rose summed up the emotion of those in attendance, “these awards matter, not just financially but for affirmation”.