The winners of the SBS Emerging Writers competition have been announced

The winners of the SBS Emerging Writers competition have been announced
The winners of the SBS Emerging Writers competition have been announced
In August, SBS Voices called on the next generation of bold new voices to tell stories that reflect the diversity of modern Australia. Authors from all over the country responded and we received over 2,000 entries for our first SBS Emerging Writers’ Competition.

The competition was created to support the discovery and development of emerging talent. Stories from every generation poured in, offering snippets of what it was like to grow up in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, as well as windows into young outback, urban, and suburban life.

The contributions were rated by the recognized author Melissa Lucashenko, Winner of the Miles Franklin Award 2019 for her novel Too much lip, and Benjamin Law, Creator and co-writer of the award-winning SBS TV program The family law and editor of Growing up queer in Australia.

(top left) winner Alana Hicks, (top right) second Nadia Johansen, (bottom from left) Amy Duong and Nakul Legha highly praised.
Source: Supplied

These intimate, clever and often emotionally complex stories illuminate everyday life across different cultural and religious backgrounds, sexuality; Experiences with neurodivergence and disability.

We are happy to announce the following winners:

1st place, Alana Hicks, $ 5000 price

2nd place, Nadia Johansen, $ 3000 price

Highly recommended: Amy Duong and Nakul leghaPrice $ 1000 each.

We would also like to congratulate the other shortlisted authors whose entries made it into the top 10. They are (in no particular order): Karla Hart, Jason Phu, Sita Walker, Miranda Jakich, Trent Wallace and Tania Ogier.

“This competition generated a lot of interest … from all over Australia, including dozens of First Nations participants,” said Lucashenko.

“The judges were looking for bold and original voices who would write with a keen view of modern Australian life and differentiated views of our multicultural realities. The mix was so powerful and eye-catching that shortlisting was a real problem. Dozens of excellent pieces had to be put aside, many of them of publishable quality.

“What this competition showed was the strength, vitality and brilliance of writers who mainly work outside the (so-called) mainstream. The winners stood out from an exceptional field. We pride ourselves on giving them their awards and making them happy to read their future work. ”

Commenting on the winning entry by Sydney-based writer Alana Hicks, Lucashenko said, “This memoir piece is a heavy blow to self-defense against occasional racism … The author’s final decision to remove her appeasement masks brings joyful defiance and strength to this winning entry.”

Benjamin Law calls Hicks “an important new voice in the Australian script”.

“While each paragraph – dealing with violence, racism, and class – points to a much larger story, this is also a cohesive slug of a story that offers hard-won wisdom, strength, and perspective,” he says.

When 38-year-old Hicks won first prize in the competition, he said, “It is a vulnerable process to put your story and words on a page or screen for others to judge. It took me a long time to be OK to accept myself and not really care whether others do or not. ”

Hicks, a digital content maker from Papua New Guinea-Australia, points out the importance of having platforms for people from underrepresented populations to “explore and express” themselves.

“If these platforms are or are not made available, we will miss out on a large part of the basic stories. Stories that are fundamental to our society and the fabric of our lives, ”she says.

Runner-up Nadia Johansen, a Murri sophomore at Queensland University of Technology Creative Writing, wrote of “the persistent triggers of Aboriginal trauma in everyday life in Australia” and believes in the value of rich storytelling.

“One reason we read is to experience things that we would otherwise never experience. Understanding things that we couldn’t possibly have understood, ”says Johansen.

Lucashenko said, “This piece highlights some of the many persistent Aboriginal trauma triggers that exist in everyday life in Australia, and the cost of fighting them. A beautifully written and culturally rich entry. “While Law called the piece:” An elegant and factual account of the toll history captures the mind and body of today and provides an insight into the many experiences currently being made in Australian schools and universities. ”

Marshall Heald, Director of TV and Online Content at SBS, said, “We are delighted that Australians have accepted the SBS Emerging Writers’ Competition in its first year of inspiring stories about our perspective on growing up in different Australia challenge and challenge ‘.

“It was fantastic to receive so many entries, which made choosing our winners a challenge for our judges. Now we are excited to share their unique stories about SBS Voices with all Australians. ”

SBS Voices advocates for the voices of various Australians and continues to support the discovery and development of emerging talent and contribute to greater diversity in Australian storytelling.

Find out more about the winners here.

Winning entries in the Emerging Writers’ Competition

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