Queensland Literary Awards 2013
The 2013 Queensland Literary Awards – Storytelling Comrades in Arms
Let me start where everything starts – Richard Fidler. Deep, rich tones purred from his belly as he wove a warm literary hug around the audience to help us celebrate the 2nd annual Queensland Literary Awards. Richard gave us the pre-welcome Welcome. The Welcome proper was delivered by the Chair of the Awards, Dr Stuart Glover who thanked Richard for his introductory welcome, then delivered the official welcome. Once we had been fully, formally and warmly welcomed, we all felt… well, you know.
All great writers are, at their core, story tellers. Able to weave their magic through words on a page, on screen or in song. Our winning authors proved they could do it with words spoken, too. With the Griffith University Young Adult Book Award winner Jaclyn Moriarty telling us how her father would commission her and her five siblings to write stories for him, paying $1.50 for a full exercise book. He would then set up a roulette table where he would proceed to win all the payments back.
Children’s Book Award winner Narelle Oliver told how her book of collage ended in many a night of her staring at her hands in despair as they were craft glued together covered in dog hair to resemble a human lamington, trying to figure out how to still drink her wine.
The community support of the 2013 Queensland Literary Awards was borne out through small individual donations, large family donations and generous corporate sponsorship. The O’Hara clan, led by Jane O’Hara, former Artistic Director of the Brisbane Writer’s Festival, sponsored the Emerging Queensland Author – Manuscript Award. The family sponsored the award in memory of their mother, Catherine, who adored literature and who passed away from cancer in the past year. The O’Hara’s joyfully handed over the $5000 cash prize to Rebecca Jessen and, slightly maniacally, formally indoctrinated her into the O’Hara Clan, telling her ‘you’re one of us now’. Slightly intimidating I would imagine, but to be held by such a family is no small thing.
The Gadens Feature Film Scrip Award was celebrated within Gadens by them launching an internal script writing competition with their staff. They had a varied and, ahh… interesting mix of entrants that Gadens’ Lionel Hogg said reflected the personalities of the entrants more that they perhaps realised or intended.
This is the second year the QLA’s have been run by the community. And by ‘community’ I mean a very small group of highly energised people led by Claire Booth and Dr Stuart Glover who believe, to their bones, that the existence, craft and celebration of literature in QLD must be protected and nurtured. In the years to come a truly sustainable model for the funding of these awards will settle into normality. Somewhere in the future those in the know in the QLD literary community will settle back and over a glass of wine turn to each other and say ‘by the skin of our teeth, comrades. By the skin of our teeth.’
The volunteer committee for the 2013 Queensland Literary Awards. Congratulations and thank you.