SparkLit | Young Australian Christian Writer Award
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Young Australian Christian Writer Award

170331CallForEntriesYACWA

Entries close 31 May

The Young Australian Christian Writer Award discovers and nurtures writers of the future. A $2,500 prize is given for the best unpublished manuscript by an Australian citizen under 30 years of age. The winning work will have a Christian perspective or theme. Entries are judged with an eye to the:
Original nature and content of the work.
Literary style, including suitability for the target audience.
Contribution that the work makes in meeting a need for Christian writing in Australia.

Entry form and conditions

Download entry form here

We encourage life-changing Christian writing so that lives, communities and cultures are transformed as people discover Jesus in a way that is authentic and culturally meaningful. The Young Australian Christian Writer Award is given annually for the best unpublished manuscript by an Australian citizen under 30 years of age. This award carries a prize of $2,500. Supplementary awards include a $1,000 prize for writers under 18 years of age. With the Young Australian Christian Writer Award we discover and nurture writers of the future.

2017 Results

Winner

E P George
The Bidura Effect

 

The attitudes, faith and identity of a young social worker are transformed by his relationship with an elderly, house-bound Aboriginal woman. Her tragic story is compelling and confronting. This is skilful and high-impact writing.

 

An extract from The Bidura Effect

“You see, it wasn’t just white people who were shamed of them babies, Mum was shaming her family, too.”
“What was she supposed to do?” I railed.
“I dunno,” Doreen swatted angrily at her tears. “She was supposed to not get pregnant.”
Wynn wheezed sympathetically. “Bloody men,” she said helpfully.
“How many babies did your Mum have, Doreen?” I tried a fresh tactic.
“Five by the time they got us. Five of us little brown halfies. Half-castes, they’d call us.” She put her tissue over her mouth and ducked her head down in shame.
“What was your Mum’s name?” I suddenly realized that I had written no names down.
“She’s dead.” Doreen said abruptly.
Wynn clicked her tongue at my cultural gaff. “We do not speak the name of our dead. We do not keep their picture. We let their spirit move on.”
“I’m sorry,” I suddenly understood why we had warnings on TV pre-empting Aboriginal names being mentioned or images shown. “Um, can you tell me about the five kids, then?”
“There were Sonny, then me, then Charlie, then Nelly, then Biddy was the baby. That was when they got us, mind. I don’t know but Mum had a handful more after us.”
I pencilled the five in, then left a gap with a question mark after Biddy. I was not brave enough to ask the inevitable next question.
Wynn leaned forward, over her tummy and kindly asked it instead, “How’d they get you, love?”
“Oh,” Doreen threw back her head and started to wail. “It was awful! I’ll never forget that day if I live to be a hundred.” She wrapped her arms around herself and rocked back and forth as she wailed.
I looked at Wynn helplessly. She heaved herself out of the maroon walker and waddled over to the lounge, where she sunk down next to Doreen and wrapped an arm around her heaving shoulders. “Hush now, you’re safe now, love. They can’t get you anymore. Hush now.”
“It’s too late,” Doreen cried, “They already have. They got me, they got my babies and they got their babies. They can’t get anymore cause there is nothing more they can rip out of my arms, they’re empty!”

Second Prize

Rachel Sharp
The Unhumans

 

A thrilling allegorical rendering of the gospel. The characters are vigorous and their world is vivid. An original and gripping story for young adult readers.

Award criteria

The Young Australian Christian Writer Awards aim to discover and encourage writers of the future. A $2,500 prize is given for the best unpublished manuscript by an Australian citizen under 30 years of age. Supplementary awards include a $1,000 prize for writers under 18 years of age. The winning work will have a Christian perspective or theme. Entries are judged with an eye to the:
Original nature and content of the work.
Literary style, including suitability for the target audience.
Contribution that the work makes in meeting a need for Christian writing in Australia.

 

Entry form and conditions

Download entry form here

 

Award Results

2017 Young Australian Christian Writer Award
Winner. E. P. George for ‘The Bidura Effect’
2nd Prize. Rachel Sharp for ‘The Unhumans’
Open 2017 awards results and judge’s comments

 

2016 Young Australian Christian Writer Award
Winner. Miriam Dale for ‘The Weight of Hope’
2nd Prize. Rebecca Lang for ‘The Sprinkling of Unforced Rhythms’
3rd Prize. Jim Schirmer for ‘The Way of the Rabbi’
Open 2016 awards results and judge’s comments


2015 Young Australian Christian Writer Award
Winner. Tim Sharp for ‘Undying’
2nd Prize. Trudy for ‘The Sunshine List’
3rd Prize. Sarah Backholer and Rebecca Nisbet for ‘Seasons of Grace’
Open 2015 awards results and judge’s comments


2014 Young Australian Christian Writer Award

Winner. Heidi Waddell for ‘The Bridge’
2nd Prize. Joshua Maule for ‘Isesomo’
3rd Prize. Chantelle Pitt for ‘Loving Floyd’
Open 2014 awards results and judge’s comments.

 

2013 Young Australian Christian Writer Award

Winner. Matthew Pullar for ‘Imperceptible Arms: A Memoir in Poems’
Open 2013 awards results and judge’s comments.

 

2012 Young Australian Christian Writer Award

Winner. Claire van Ryn for ‘Faith Like a Mushroom’
2nd Prize. Miriam Dale for ‘Sugar and salt: Honesty in faith’
3rd Prize. Darren Wright for ‘St Patrick’s Church. Part Two’
Open 2012 awards results and judge’s comments.

 

2011 Young Australian Christian Writer Award

The Young Australian Christian Writer Award was withheld in 2011.

 

2010 Young Australian Christian Writer Award
Winner. Jack Burnham for ‘Held In His Hands’
Open 2010 awards results and judge’s comments.

 

2009 Young Australian Christian Writer Award

Winner. Leng Te for ‘Into Your Mystery’
2nd Prize. Justin Denholm for ‘Talking About Ethics’
Open 2009 awards results and judge’s comments.