ACT Writing and Publishing Awards

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The ACT Writing and Publishing Awards are an Australian literary award presented by the ACT Writers Centre for the best books in the categories of non-fiction, fiction, poetry and children's literature written in the Canberra region. They have been awarded since 2004. The winners in each category receive a $500 prize.[1]

The Anne Edgeworth Fellowship is for an emerging ACT region writer, and commemorates Anne Edgeworth (also known as Anne Godfrey-Smith).[2]

The June Shenfield Poetry Award is for an emerging Australian poet, and is awarded in collaboration with Demos Journal.[3]

The Marjorie Graber-McInnis Short Story Award is for an emerging ACT region writer. It was established to commemorate the late short story writer Graber-McInnis, who lived in Canberra.[4]

The Michael Thwaites Poetry Award was previously known as the ACT Writers Centre Poetry Award.[5]

The Publishing awards span four categories of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and children's books.[6]

List of winners[edit]






  • Non-fiction – Rainbow by Jennifer Horsfield
  • Fiction – Not a Flotation Device by Peter Frankis
  • Poetry – Migrant writer on a bus, thinking of Kundera by Danijela Kambaskovic-Sawers (unpublished poem by an ACT writer) Andy Jackson (unpublished poem by an Australian writer)
  • Children's –





  • Marjorie Graber-McInnis Short Story Award 2012
    • Winner: Paper Cranes by Rachael Rippon
    • Highly Commended: Fiona Hamer
  • Michael Thwaites Poetry Award 2012
    • Winner: Isi Unikowski
    • Highly Commended: Monica Carroll
  • Children's Book category
    • Winner: Tracey Hawkins
  • Nonfiction Book category
    • Winner: Irma Gold
    • Highly Commended: Ann Villiers
    • Highly Commended: Alan Foskett
  • Fiction Book Category
    • Winner: Nigel Featherstone
    • Highly Commended: Irma Gold
    • Highly Commended: Elizabeth Egan
  • Poetry Book Category
    • Winner: Michael Byrne
  • Z4 Award for book reviews
    • Winner: Colin Steele


  • Marjorie Graber-McInnis Short Story Award 2013
    • Winner: This Square Called a Ring by Monica Carroll
    • Highly Commended:
      • Breath by Michelle Brock
      • Feather-light by Claire Delahunty
  • Michael Thwaites Poetry Award 2013
    • Winner: Ode to a Toothbrush by Penny O'Hara
    • Highly Commended:
      • After Nights by Claire Delahunty
      • An Untimely Death by Rebecca Fleming
  • Nonfiction Book Category
    • Winner: Canberry Tales: An Informal History (Arcadia) by G.A. Mawer
    • Highly Commended: Leaving the Rest Behind: An Immigrant’s Story by Ann Nugent
  • Fiction Book Category
    • Winner: Through Splintered Walls (Twelfth Planet Press) by Kaaron Warren
    • Highly Commended:
      • I’m Ready Now (Blemish Books) by Nigel Featherstone
      • Provocation (Arcadia) by Donald McMaster
  • Poetry Book Category
    • Winner: First…Then… (Ginninderra Press) by Melinda Smith
    • Highly Commended:
      • The Love Procession (Ginninderra Press) by Suzanne Edgar
      • In Country (Bat Trang Road Press) by Leon Trainor
  • Children's Book Category
    • Co-winner: Sarah’s Song (A Tiny Publication) by Tanya Davies
    • Co-winner: My Aunt Ate a Plate (Starry Night Publishing) by Maree Teychenne
  • Z4 Award for book reviews
    • Winner: Duncan Driver’s review of Martin Amis’s novel Lionel Asbo: State of England
  • Anne Edgeworth Fellowship for Young ACT Writers
    • Brian Obiri-Asare to produce his play In Between the Solitude of Sunburnt Islands


  • Marjorie Graber-McInnis Short Story Award 2014
    • Winner: ‘A White Woman in Ōjin’ by Ashley Thomson
    • Highly Commended:
      • ‘Hooking In' by Christine Kearney
      • ‘The Loose Thread and the Sterile Needles’ by Cara Lennon
      • ‘The Garden House’ by Alison O’Hara
  • Michael Thwaites Poetry Award 2014
    • Winner: ‘Stilettos’ by Robyn Lance
    • Highly Commended:
      • ‘Calling me in’ by Susan McGrath
      • ‘Jack and Jill’ by Gregory A Gould
      • ‘Implausible Birds’ by Kavya Robinson
  • Nonfiction Book Category
    • Winner: 18 Days – Al Jazeera English and the Egyptian Revolution (Editia) by Scott Bridges
    • Highly Commended:
      • Meat Pies and Mumbling Blokes – A Canberra Memoir (Ginninderra Press) by Margitta Acker
      • Australian Eagles: Australians in the Battle of Britain (Barrallier Books) by Kristen Alexander
  • Fiction Book Category
    • Winner: The Happiness Jar (Storytorch Press) by Samantha Tidy
    • Highly Commended: Round and Round by Jordan Morris
  • Poetry Book Category
    • Winner: The Petrov Poems ( Pitt Street Poetry) by Lesley Lebkowicz
    • Highly Commended:
      • Improving the News (Pitt Street Poetry) by Geoff Page
      • Drag down to unlock or place an emergency call (Pitt Street Poetry) by Melinda Smith
      • Extravagance (Ginninderra Press) by Irene Wilkie
  • Children's Book Category
    • Winner: An Aussie Year (Exisle Publishing) by Tania McCartney
    • Highly Commended:
      • The Very Sad Fish-lady by Joy McDonald
      • A Lion, a Whale and a Flea by Maree Teychenne
  • Anne Edgeworth Fellowship for Young ACT Writers
    • Winners: Zoya Patel and Lisa Fuller


  • Marjorie Graber-McInnis Short Story Award[15] 2015
    • Winner: Torvald's Year by C.H. Pearce
    • Highly Commended: Frozen Stiff by Elizabeth Egan
    • Highly Commended: Now and Then by Jennifer Hand
  • Michael Thwaites Poetry Award 2015
    • Winner: Ode to a Papermate Inkjoy 100 by Penny O'Hara
    • Highly Commended: Winter evening on the Monaro by Laurence Anderson
    • Highly Commended: Action (Bus Route 2) by Sarah Rice
    • Highly Commended: Memorabilia by Michelle Brock
  • Z4 Review Writing Award 2015
    • Winner: Excavate by Shu-Ling Chua
  • Publishing Awards: Fiction Category
    • Winner: Uncle Adolf by Craig Cormick
    • Highly Commended: Capital Yarns by Sean Costello
  • Publishing Awards: Nonfiction Category
    • Winner: Australia's Few and the Battle of Britain by Kristen Alexander
    • Highly Commended: The Pearl King by Robert Lehane
  • Publishing Awards: Children's Fiction Category
    • Winner: Midnight Burial by Pauline Deeves
    • Highly Commended: Tottie and Dot by Tania McCartney
  • Publishing Awards: Poetry Category
    • Winner: Fire in the Afternoon by John Stokes
    • Highly Commended: The Stars Like Sand: Australian Speculative Poetry by P. S. Cottier and Tim Jones
  • Anne Edgeworth Fellowship for Young Writers[16]
    • Winner: Louis Klee


  • Fiction
  • Nonfiction
    • Winner: Building a City: CS Daley and the Story of Canberra by Jennifer Horsfield
    • Highly Commended: Paths into Inner Canberra by P.S. Cottier
    • Highly Commended: Australian Predators of the Sky by Penny Olsen
    • Highly Commended: Weekend Warriors: A Funny Side by James Sanderson
  • Children's
  • Poetry
    • Winner: Deep in the Valley of Tea Bowls by Kathy Kituai
    • Highly Commended: Ripples Under the Skin by Janette Pieloor
  • The Marjorie Graber-McInnis Short Story Award 2016
    • Winner: 'Sandman' by Ron Schroer
    • Second Place: ‘Roadwork Ahead’ by Greg Burgess
    • Highly Commended: ‘Fight or Flight’ by Isabelo Gacusan
    • Highly Commended: ‘The Abject Redemption of Athalie Roche’ by Erin Prothero
  • The June Shenfield Poetry Award[18]
    • Winner: ‘Ghost’ by Hessom Razavi
    • Second Place: ‘Tumbleweed’ by Daniel Hutley
    • Second Place: ‘White Lilac (For Deb)’ by Saaro Umar
    • Highly Commended: ‘brontebright’ by Samuel Guthrie
    • Highly Commended: ‘My Grandmother’s Language’ by Nadia Niaz
    • Highly Commended: ‘The Lumber Room’ by Stephen Smithyman
  • The Anne Edgeworth Fellowship for Young Writers
    • Winner: Rosanna Stevens
    • Shortlisted: Shu-Ling Chua
    • Shortlisted: Grace Finlayson
    • Shortlisted: Leearni Hamilton
  • 2016 Judges


  1. ^ a b ACT Writing and Publishing Awards, ACT Writer's Centre Archived 2007-08-31 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Obituary - Anne Godfrey-Smith - Obituaries Australia". Retrieved 2017-10-14.
  3. ^ "ACT Writers Centre: June Shenfield Poetry Award". Retrieved 2017-06-27.
  4. ^ "ACT Writers Centre: Marjorie Graber-McInnis Short Story Award". Retrieved 2017-06-27.
  5. ^ Austlit. "Michael Thwaites Poetry Award | AustLit: Discover Australian Stories". Retrieved 2017-08-01.
  6. ^ "ACT Writers Centre: Publishing Awards". Retrieved 2017-06-27.
  7. ^ Services, ACT Government; PositionTitle=Director; SectionName=ACT Library and Information Services; Corporate=Territory and Municipal (2015-11-12). "ACT Writing and Publishing Awards". Retrieved 2017-05-14.
  8. ^ "ACT Writing and Publishing Awards Winners (2004 + )". website. Libraries ACT. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
  9. ^ Canberra Writers Celebrated by Gia Metherell, Canberra Times, 14 Dec 2007
  10. ^ ACT Writers Centre
  11. ^ "2011 ACT Writers Centre awards results". ACT Writers Centre. Archived from the original on 2012-10-25. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  12. ^ "Winners, winners everywhere - Canberra CityNews". Canberra CityNews. 2013-12-20. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
  13. ^ actwriterscentre (2014-12-17). "Winners of the 2014 ACT Writing and Publishing Awards". CAPITAL LETTERS. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
  14. ^ actwriterscentre (2015-12-16). "ACT Writing and Publishing Award Winners". CAPITAL LETTERS. Archived from the original on 2016-09-17. Retrieved 2017-05-07.
  15. ^ "ACT Writers Centre: Marjorie Graber-McInnis Short Story Award". Retrieved 2017-05-14.
  16. ^ "ACT Writers Centre: Anne Edgeworth Young Writers' Fellowship". Retrieved 2017-05-14.
  17. ^ actwriterscentre (2017-01-19). "2016 ACT Writing and Publishing Award Winners". CAPITAL LETTERS. Archived from the original on 2017-07-26. Retrieved 2017-05-14.
  18. ^ "ACT Writers Centre: June Shenfield Poetry Award". Retrieved 2017-05-14.

External links[edit]