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New chapter for Queensland Literary Awards

Premier and Arts Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk today announced the Queensland Government would once again support the state’s literary awards, taking the prize pool up to $300,000.

The Palaszczuk government will also fund three new awards for new and established Queensland voices. 

“The prestigious Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards, established in 1999, were axed in one of the first moves by Campbell Newman’s former government,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“That move was condemned not only by the Queensland literary community but across the country.

“But the community proved that its voice would not be silenced and, in a massive groundswell of support, worked tirelessly to establish the Queensland Literary Awards.

“I applaud the ongoing efforts of the grassroots organisers, sponsors, publishers and supporters who carried the torch to ensure Queensland’s tradition of recognising outstanding writing across many genres would continue.”

In a new era, the Palaszczuk government will match the sponsor and partnership funding of the Queensland Literary Awards up to $125 000, providing an opportunity to welcome new sponsors and grow the awards.

This funding has the potential to grow the prize pool to $300 000 annually.

“I will also establish brand new awards.  The $25,000 Queensland Premier’s Award for a Published Work of state significance will recognise writing with a Queensland focus, celebrating important Queensland authors, stories, history and voices,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“And I will double our support to young people with two Queensland Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Awards, each to the value of $12 500, for Queensland writers aged 18-30.

“These two awards are for young Queensland writers who provide strong voices in traditional or contemporary forms,” the Premier said.

The Palaszczuk Government will also continue to support three Queensland Writers Fellowships, each to the value of $20 000, to provide writers with an opportunity to develop their manuscripts.

In 2015, the Queensland Literary Awards, administered by the State Library of Queensland, offers prizes for writers in ten categories across fiction, non-fiction and poetry for published and unpublished work, while readers will have the power to pick a winner through the popular The Courier-Mail People’s Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award.

The Premier acknowledged the support of Queensland Literary Awards partners: University of Queensland, Griffith University, the University of Southern Queensland, Claire Booth, the Copyright Agency Limited Cultural Fund and The Courier-Mail.

“Funding the literary awards is the next step in taking the arts back to its rightful place, where Queensland is an arts leader,” the Premier said.

Entries for the Queensland Literary Awards are now open and close on 19 June.

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