Writing and Publishing Awards

2017 ACT Writing and Publishing Awards

Canberra’s writing community gathered last night for the most highly anticipated event of the literary calendar ─ the ACT Writers Centre’s Christmas party and awards night.  The event took place at Canberra Contemporary Art Space at Gorman Arts Centre. The large crowd enjoyed the exhibitions on show, along with live music by Will Campbell and a captivating poetry performance from Merlinda Bobis.

We were thrilled to be joined by the ACT Minister for the Arts and Community Events, Gordon Ramsay, as he announced the winner of the 2017 ACT Book of the Year. The 2017 winner is Tom Griffiths for The Art of Time Travel  and highly commended was awarded to Kim Mahood for Position Doubtful. Further information on the ACT Book of the Year can be found in the Minister’s official release, HERE.

The ACT Writers Centre annual awards include the ACT Writing and Publishing Award, the Marjorie Graber-McInnis Short Story Award, the June Shenfield Poetry Award, and the Anne Edgeworth Fellowship for Young Writers. This year’s winners and highly commended awardees are:


Fiction (Judges Robyn Cadwallader and Anna Snoekstra)

Winner: ‘The Grief Hole’ by Kaaron Warren

Highly Commended: ‘All the King’s Men’, edited by Shane W. Smith

Highly Commended: ‘Fabel’ by Tom Heffernan


Nonfiction (Judges Jessica Friedmann and Dr. Peter Stanley)

Winner: ‘What do we want: The story of protest in Australia’ by Clive Hamilton

Highly Commended: ‘ Taking Flight: Lores Bonney’s extraordinary flying career’ by Kristen Alexander

Highly Commended: ‘War Child: Survival. Betrayal. Secrets.’ By Annette Janic with Catherine McCullagh


Poetry (Judges Joshua Bell and Dr. Paul Munden)

Winner: ‘The Last Day Before Snow’, edited by Carmel Summers

Highly Commended: ‘For all the Veronicas (The Dog Who Staid) by Andrew Galan

Highly Commended: ‘Afterlives’ by Chris Palmer


Children’s (Judges James Redden and Kirrin Sampson)

Winner: ‘Amazing Animals of Australia’s National Parks’ by Gina Newton

Highly Commended: ‘Australia Illustrated’ by Tania McCartney


June Shenfield Poetry Award (Judges Lesley Lebkowicz, Ann Shenfield and Justine Poon.)

Joint winner: ‘third daughter’ by Penny O’Hara

Joint winner: ‘Recycling’ by Ella Jeffery

Highly Commended: ‘The Uses of a Shark’ by Damen O’Brien


Marjorie Graber-McInnis Short Story Award (Judge Tehani Croft)

Winner: ‘273’ by Cherisse Kelly

Highly Commended: ‘The Secret Moons’ by Frances Seymour

Highly Commended: ‘Intersection’ by James Salvage


Anne Edgeworth Fellowship

Joint recipient: Jemimah Cooper

Joint recipient: Jacqueline de Rose-Ahern

Highly Commended: Ellen Harvey

Highly Commended: Kathryn Hind


Congratulations to our 2017 winners, and a sincere thanks to all who entered.  Thank you to our esteemed judges across the award categories. We also thank our award supporters: Harry Hartog Booksellers, Eden Road Wines and the Canberra Contemporary Art Space. Thank you also to Arts ACT and Gorman and Ainslie Arts Centres for your continuing support.

One thought on “2017 ACT Writing and Publishing Awards

  1. Great prize and really chuffed for Tom Griffiths in a book that has tonnes of local historians in the mix. Plus Eleanot Dark (of Varuna fame).

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