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Daisy Utemorrah Award open for entries

Thu, Dec 12, 2019

Magabala Books is thrilled to present the Daisy Utemorrah Award as part of the Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards again in 2020.

Entries for the 2020 Daisy Utemorrah Award are now open.

The Daisy Utemorrah Award is presented annually for an outstanding unpublished manuscript of junior or YA fiction by an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander writer. Generously supported by the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund and the State Government of Western Australia, the winner receives a cash prize of $15,000 and a publishing contract with Magabala Books.

Published and unpublished Indigenous writers of all ages are eligible to enter with works of junior or YA fiction. Full entry details and eligibility criteria can be found here.

Applications close on 31 May 2020.

‘Our young people need stories... They need stories that speak of how to get through tough times, and stories that celebrate who they are and who they can be. The Daisy Utemorrah Award is an incredible opportunity for a First Nations voice to speak, and the story they will tell will help to nurture the next generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander storytellers.’
– Ambelin Kwaymullina, Daisy Utemorrah Award judge

The Daisy Utemorrah Award was launched in 2019. International children’s author, poet and proud Gunai woman, Kirli Saunders, was the inaugural winner of the Daisy Utemorrah Award. Kirli’s winning junior verse-novel Mother Speaks will be published by Magabala in 2020.

The Daisy Utemorrah Award is part of Magabala’s growing suite of creative development opportunities for Indigenous writers and illustrators and represents an ongoing commitment to Indigenous writing for young people.

Daisy Utemorrah was an elder of the Wunambal people from the Mitchell Plateau area in the far north Kimberley and one of the founders of Magabala Books. An award-winning poet, author, community leader and passionate educator, Daisy’s poetry collection Do Not Go Around the Edges (illus by Pat Torres) was published by Magabala Books in 1991. The Daisy Utemorrah Award is named in her honour.

For further information, contact Magabala Books: or call (08) 9192 1991.

Further information on the WA Premier’s Book Awards can be found through the State Library of Western Australia.

The Western Australian Premier's Book Awards logo is from an original illustration, "Constellation" by © Moira Court, from the enchanting children’s book My Superhero written by Chris Owen (Fremantle Press) which was shortlisted in 2014 for Best Children’s Book.