2017 Boroondara Literary Award winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2017 awards. You can read the winners’ entries in the Boroondara Literary Awards Anthology, available from our libraries.

Open Short Story

Place

Name

Title

From

First

Jean Flynn

Important, Sentimental and Rubbish 

VIC

Second

Lilian Cohen

The Red Umbrella

VIC

Third

Elise Elliott

Eve

VIC

Highly Commended

Bronwyn Hall

Kissing Fish

VIC

Highly Commended

Fiona Skepper

Diana, Dorothy, Mrs Mort

VIC

Highly Commended

Jane Downing

World Dog Surfing Championship

NSW

Keith Carroll Award for best Boroondara entrant

Place

Name

Title

From

First

Lilian Cohen

The Red Umbrella

Balwyn

Young Writers Competition winners

Junior Prose

Place

Name

Title

From

First

Tiffany Huang

The Living

Boroondara Park Primary School

Second

Ruby Dargaville

Prisoner

Methodist Ladies’ College

Third

Derrick Ch’ng

The Architect of Tales

Balwyn North Primary School

Highly Commended

Lily Diaz

The Test

Camberwell Girls’ Grammar School

Highly Commended

Alannah Ollington-Scammell

Fire

Kew East Primary school

Highly Commended

Angelina Liu

Battle Cry

Boroondara Park Primary School

Middle Prose

Place

Name

Title

From

First

Tara Zhang

Radiance    

Ruyton Girls' School

Second

Catherine Andronis

Cover Up

Ruyton Girls’ School

Third

Annabel Maher

Torture

Ruyton Girls’ School

Highly Commended

Xavier Grindlay

The Library’s Mystery

Xavier College Burke Hall

Highly Commended

Lily Du

Lonely Little Shoe

Fintona Girls’ School

Highly Commended

Montinee Plant

Tap

Fintona Girls’ School

Senior Prose

Place

Name

Title

From

First

Annie Zhang

Doppelganger

Camberwell Girls’ Grammar School

Second

Annie Zhang

Mother

Camberwell Girls’ Grammar School

Third

Anand Bharadwaj

The Nebula

Trinity Grammar School

Highly Commended

Willow Metcalf

Designated Star

Swinburne Senior Secondary College

Highly Commended

Alice Wallis

The Starry Morning Sky

Ruyton Girls’ School

Highly Commended

Tara Pringle

Paint

Kew High School

Junior Poetry

Place

Name

Title

From

First

Juliet Bland

Silver and Gold

Ruyton Girls’ School

Second

Alec Young

One Minutes Silence

Hawthorn West Primary School

Third

Chelsea Hinh

Wanderer

Fintona Girls’ School

Highly Commended

Mischa Paspaliaris

Dolls

Methodist Ladies’ College

Highly Commended Sharni Blumenthal My Little Sisters Bialik College
Highly Commended Ben Bartlett Winter Camberwell South Primary School

Middle Poetry

Place

Name

Title

From

First

Ingrid Winata

A Reflection

Methodist Ladies’ College

Second

Lavinia Barker

The Ball

Methodist Ladies’ College

Third

Sammi Wu

Glistened

Hawthorn East

Highly Commended

Lara Partridge

Come Set Me Free

Genazzano FCJ College

Senior Poetry

Place

Name

Title

From

First

Kirsten Tsan

S(he)

Methodist Ladies’ College

Second

Loqui Paatsch   

Abdication

Balwyn North

Third

Melana Uceda

A story of things left undone

Methodist Ladies’ College

Highly Commended

Veronica D’Cruz

Technology

Methodist Ladies' College

Judges' reports

Open Short Story - Eliza Henry-Jones

Eliza’s debut novel In the Quiet was published in 2015 as part of a three-book deal with HarperCollins Australia.

In the Quiet has been shortlisted for the 2015 Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction and the 2016 New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards and long listed for the 2016 Indie Book Awards and 2016 ABIA Awards.

Her second novel Ache will be out in June 2017.

Her relationship with the awards goes back to 2013 when her entry came second in the Open Short Story section.

Eliza's Report

I first chose a longlist of eighty-three and then a shortlist of thirteen. The entries were incredibly varied with a real underpinning of social justice and belonging. Reading this many stories is a huge task, one that I had to carefully pace over many days to make sure I did each story justice.

Thank you to everyone who submitted. There were stories that made me tear up and laugh; stories that challenged me and were unlike anything I’d ever read before. Stories that made me sit up and pay attention and stories that utterly transported me to places both hazy with nostalgia and completely new.

It’s always hard picking award winners from a collection that is so rich, evocative and varied. There were stories set in the future and the past; stories set around the world and in the heart of the Australian bush. There were mysteries and thrillers; poems and comedy. Stories that felt real and others that were utterly fantastical.

It is incredibly brave to put pen to paper and write. Braver still to send your story out into the world to be read by people you don’t know. Thank you to everyone who entered. It was a great privilege to read your work and be transported to so many different worlds.

Young Writers’ Prose - Lili Wilkinson

Lili Wilkinson is the author of ten books, including Scatterheart and Pink.

She established insideadog.com.au, the Inky Awards and the Inkys Creative Reading Prize at the Centre for Youth Literature, State Library of Victoria.

Lili has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Melbourne and now spends most of her time reading and writing books for teenagers.

Her latest novel is The Boundless Sublime.

Lili’s report

Young people cop a lot of flak for being politically apathetic, but those of us who work with them know that this couldn’t be further from the truth.

There was an extraordinary amount of diversity in this year’s competition entries, but one theme stood out – social justice. I read stories about refugees, about people with disabilities, about domestic violence, homelessness, chronic illness, about cultural diversity, sexuality and gender identity. I read about feminism and war and animal cruelty and the environment. And most importantly I read about the importance of equality, hope, compassion and a shared sense of humanity.

If you’re a young person reading this – well done, you’re awesome. If you’re an adult – fear not for the future, the kids are all right.

The quality of writing in this year’s competition was exceptional. Beautiful language and description leapt off the page. But language and description are only one piece of the literary puzzle, and what really stood out for me were the entries that embraced story and structure.

The entries sucked me in from the very first line and carefully constructed a narrative to carry me through to the end. The best stories end with neither a bang nor a whimper, but with a question. Something that lodges in the reader’s mind and stays with them, long after the book is closed.

These stories are still all buzzing around in my brain, demanding my attention. I hope they’ll stay with you, too.

Young Writers’ Poetry - Emilie Zoey Baker

Emilie Zoey Baker is an award-winning Australian poet, educator, slam nerd and spoken-word performer who has toured North America, Europe and Asia as a guest of international festivals.

She was also the winner of the 2010 Berlin International Literature Festival’s poetry slam Slam!Review in which she competed as the first-ever Australian entrant among contestants from ten countries.

Her poetry has been published widely in Australia and internationally.

She’s also the author of 14 children’s books published by Book Group Australia and her most recent, Dear All The Women Who Ever Existed Over The Entire Span Of Human History.

Emilie's report

It was again an honour to read the poetry entries for the 2017 Boroondara Literary Awards. There was some wonderful expression in the entries, a few surprises, a little humour and lots of heart. I read the selection as a punter, not as a poet or a teacher but as someone who wanted to be moved, challenged, delighted and excited by words on the page. I didn’t want to solely focus on what was technically outstanding, or what followed a perfect structure, but rather I asked if the poem invited me in. Was it interesting? Did it make me think or feel anything?

The entries that stood out for me were those that presented a freshness of expression, rather than relying on cliché or forced rhyme. I looked for poets that had a vision they wanted to share, and had found the way to draw the reader in.

There were several entries that grabbed my attention straight away, and those are the ones that invited a re-read and became a shortlist. They were poems that experimented with form, structure and language, poems that demonstrated a clear connection to the reader, and those that made something happen on the page.

The poets that stood out resisted hyperbole, let the poems explain themselves, attracted study and created imagery. They observed a scene, which in turn we experience as readers. Something that can be felt and remembered. Theirs are the works that stay with you.

For more information, see Boroondara Literary Awards or contact the literary awards coordinator on 9278 4036 or by email. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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