Young writers could kick start their career

ASPIRING young writers have until July 17 to enter their short story in State Library's Young Writers Award, and kick-start their literary career.

Now in its 20th year, this annual short story competition which has traditionally been open to Queenslanders aged 18-25, has this year introduced a new age category for 15-17 year olds.

State Librarian Janette Wright said the prestigious competition was a great opportunity for young writers to gain exposure to the publishing industry and receive invaluable professional development opportunities.

"Queensland is home to many talented young creatives, and it is competitions like the Young Writers Award that help unearth that talent, providing the support and encouragement needed to further their literary careers," Ms Wright said.

"State Library is committed to cultivating the talents and careers of emerging young writers in Queensland.

"I encourage all 15 to 25 year old Queenslanders to channel their creativity and determination, and share stories that are meaningful to them," she said.

The winner of the 18-25 year old category will receive $2,000 prize money, along with a 12 month membership to the Queensland Writers Centre and the Australian Writer's Marketplace online, a Brisbane Writers Festival pack and admission to a Queensland Writers Centre industry seminar.

The winner of the 15-17 year old category will receive an Apple iPad air 2, a $100 iTunes gift voucher, a 12 month membership to the Queensland Writers Centre and admission to a Story lab holiday workshop at State Library of Queensland.

If you're thinking of entering, here are some tips on how to get noticed:

• Be confident in your writing.

• Relax and don't try too hard. Use language that comes naturally to you and when you're writing, try to let it flow.

• Judges are looking for stories with distinctive and interesting characters and plots - get to know who your characters are and where your plot is going first, and the language will follow.

• They're all good ideas, but don't try to cram them all into one piece. Think about your core themes and characters and stick by them - your loyalty will pay off in the end.

The Young Writers Award closes at 5pm on Friday, July 17, 2015.

For entry details and to read past winning stories, visit

The Young Writers Award is funded by State Library of Queensland and supported by Queensland Writers Centre, Brisbane Writers Festival and Australian Writer's Marketplace.

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