2020 QPF Awards Shortlists

Congratulations to our shortlisted poets in the 2020 QPF Awards!

UPDATE ~ 🎉 The results are in: meet the winners of the #QPF2020 Awards. 🏆


Stay tuned for QPF’s online Awards Night video, when the winners will be announced on Friday night 31 July

(details here).


*All shortlists appear in alphabetical order of last name*

Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize Shortlist


Judges: Felicity Plunkett and Samuel Wagan Watson

A portrait photograph of Hailey, a light-skinned young woman with long brown hair. She is wearing thick, dark blue glasses and is smiling at the camera.

Hailey Bonner (she/her) is a queer young person, medical student, educational researcher, and an emerging poet. Born and raised in South East Queenslandto parents of both Caucasian and Chinese descent, she holds a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science, and First Class Honours in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. As of 2020, she is in her third year studying towards the Doctor of Medicine. Hailey has been published in a number of peer reviewed academic journals, as well as in the poetry journal Rabbit, after winning the 2019 Venie Holmgren Prize for Environmental Poetry.




Jarad Bruinstroop is a poet and PhD candidate at QUT researching queer ekphrasis. His work has appeared in Meanjin, Overland, Westerly, Cordite Poetry Review, Australian Poetry Journal, Foglifter (US), at the Queensland Art Gallery and George Paton Gallery and elsewhere. He was shortlisted for the 2019 Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize.  @jbruinstroop





Jane Frank is a Brisbane poet, originally from Maryborough on the Fraser Coast. In 2019, she was joint winner of the QPF Philip Bacon Ekphrasis Award. Most recently, her poems have been published in The Blue Nib, Not Very Quiet, StylusLit and Hecate and are forthcoming in Antipodes and Meridian – the APWT Anthology of New Writing. Jane Frank teaches in the School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science at Griffith University where she is Director of the Centre for Creative Industries. Visit Jane’s website here.



Gavin Yuan Gao is a Meanjin-based poet and translator. He holds a BA in English and Creative Writing from The University of Michigan. In 2019, he was shortlisted for the Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize and was a finalist of the Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize. His work has appeared in Meanjin, Peril, Cordite, Stilts, Rabbit Poetry Journal, Australian Poetry Journal and elsewhere.




Ashley Haywood is a writer, artist and poet whose work often dwells in the art-science nexus. Her poetry can be found in Meanjin, Southerly and Rabbit among other places in Australia and overseas. She is the inaugural recipient of The University of Queensland Fryer Library Creative Writing Fellowship. She currently lives and makes on Ningy Ningy lands / Moreton Bay. Visit Ashley’s website here.




Damen O’Brien is a Queensland poet.  This year, Damen has won the Moth Poetry Prize and the Newcastle University Poetry Competition.  In 2019, Damen won the Welsh International Poetry Prize and the Val Vallis Prize for an Unpublished Poem amongst many others.  Damen has been published in journals including Meniscus, Cordite, Island, Overland and StylusLit. Visit Damen’s website here.




Kylie Thompson is a street press and creative writer based in Australia. Her non-fiction work has featured in a range of publications, including Westerly, Scenestr, Reviewers of Oz, and Hush Hush Biz. Her fiction has appeared in anthologies from AndAlso Books and RWR.





Sean West is a Meanjin-based poet, arts producer and workshop facilitator. He holds a BFA in Creative and Professional Writing from QUT, interns for Ruckus Slam Brisbane, and co-produces Ruckus Youth. His work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Bareknuckle Poet, TEXT Journal, StylusLit, and Stilts Journal. He has facilitated workshops across Brisbane for Australian Poetry Slam, Brotherhood of the Wordless, LOUD, and Upbeat Arts. He is the founding editor of Blue Bottle Journal. Find more of him and his work here.





Arts Queensland Val Vallis Poetry Award Shortlist


Judges: Kirli Saunders and Judith Beveridge



Evelyn Araluen is a poet, educator and researcher working with Indigenous literatures at the University of Sydney. Her work has won the Nakata Brophy Prize for Young Indigenous Writers, the Overland Judith Wright Poetry Prize, and a Wheeler Centre Next Chapter Fellowship. Born, raised, and writing in Dharug country, she is a Bundjalung descendant.




Rico Craig is a teacher, writer, and award-winning poet whose work melds the narrative, lyrical and cinematic. Craig is published widely; his poetry collection BONE INK was winner of the 2017 Anne Elder Award and shortlisted for the Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize 2018. To find recent writing visit here.





Madeleine Dale is a Brisbane-based poet. She holds First Class Honours from the University of Queensland, where she is currently completing an MPhil in poetics. Her poems have been published in VoiceworksPlumwood MountainCordite, and Meanjin, among others.





Helen Lucas writes across several genres. She has published children’s books and two collections of poetry, The Nature of Things and Slip of Season. She writes short stories and won the Allan Marshall Short Story Award for her story Rosa Perpetua. Her play Sarajevo Suite, based on interviews with women who lived through the siege of Sarajevo, played at La Mama for a sell-out season and toured regional Victoria. She has recently completed a Masters in Design (Creative Writing) at RMIT, producing a new collection of poetry. She lives in Chewton, near Castlemaine.



Jazz Money is a poet, filmmaker and educator of Wiradjuri heritage. In 2019 Jazz was an inaugural winner of the Aunty Kerry Reed-Gilbert Poetry Prize and a Copyright Agency First Nations Fellow. She is grateful to live on the sovereign lands of the Gundungurra and Darug nations, and acknowledges the custodianship of Elders past and present of the many Countries she walks upon. Visit her website here.






Jan Napier is a Western Australian poet. Her work has been showcased in journals and anthologies both within Australia and overseas. Jan’s haiku ms Day Moon is due to be published by Mulla Mulla Press at year’s end. Jan is also working on another poetry collection.






Sarah Rice is a Canberra-based poet. Her full-length poetry collection Fingertip of the Tongue (UWAP 2017) was shortlisted in the ACT Publishing Awards. Sarah won the inaugural Ron Pretty poetry award, the Bruce Dawe poetry prize, co-won the Writing Ventures, and Gwen Harwood poetry prizes, and was shortlisted in the Montreal, Tom Howard, Drake-Brockman, CJ Dennis, New Millennium, Fish, Axel Clark, Michael Thwaites and Overland poetry awards, amongst others. Publications include the Global Poetry Anthology, Award Winning Australian Writing, Best Australian Poetry, Island, OverlandABRSoutherlyAestheticaThe New Guard, and Australian Poetry Journal.




Rae White is a non-binary transgender writer and the editor of enbylife.net, a journal for non-binary and gender diverse creatives. Their poetry collection Milk Teeth (University of Queensland Press) won 2017 Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize, was shortlisted for 2019 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards and commended in 2018 Anne Elder Award. Rae’s poem ‘who, what, why, where’ was recently shortlisted for 2020 Woollahra Digital Literary Awards. Their poem ‘hussshhh’ won Best Queensland Entry in 2019 XYZ Prize for Innovation in Spoken Word. Rae is currently completing a Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship for their YA verse manuscript Welcome Home. Visit Rae’s website here.





Arts Queensland XYZ Prize for Innovation in Spoken Word Shortlist


Judges: Andrew Galan and Melanie Mununngurr Williams


Eloise Grills + Jaslyn Robertson

Eloise Grills is an award-winning writer, comics artist, poet and critic. Her first book of poetry, If you’re sexy and you know it slap your hams (Subbed In) was recently shortlisted for the Mary Gilmore award. She’s currently working on her first illustrated memoir with the support of the Australia Council. Visit Eloise’s website here.





Jaslyn Robertson is a young composer of electronic and chamber music who writes with unusual sounds, alternate tuning systems and new forms of notation. In 2020 she has received the Monash Animated Notation Ensemble commissioning prize and a commission for Ossicle duo supported by Creative Victoria and City of Melbourne. Visit Jaslyn’s website here.





Yasmin McQuade is only ever a split second away from meltdown. Whether it’s politics, daddy issues, single motherhood, feminism, mental illness or literal spilled milk, she’s always falling apart at the seams. She pieces herself back together with pen and paper and hopes her poetry encourages others to do the same. Yasmin was an Australian Poetry Slam 2018 national finalist. These days she spends a lot of time cradling lukewarm coffee, contentedly reading and writing in mismatched pyjamas.






Holly Robertson is a 19 year old poet and student from Brisbane. Writing for the last six years, she has been featured previously in The Tundish Review, and is currently undertaking studies at university and Tafe across sociology, gender studies, creative writing and library services.





Sarah Temporal is a performance poet, writer and educator from the Northern Rivers NSW. She won the 2018 Nimbin Performance Poetry World Cup, and has performed at festivals and events Australia-wide. Her poems are published in the Australian Poetry Anthology, Women of Words anthology, Not-Very-Quiet, Baby Teeth, and other Australian literary journals. in 2019 Sarah established Poets Out Loud, a community arts initiative which empowers people of all ages through the spoken word. Her debut poetry collection, exploring origins and transformations, is currently in development. Visit Sarah’s website here.



Oodgeroo Noonuccal Indigenous Poetry Award Shortlist


Judges: Ellen van Neerven and Jeanine Leane



Cliff Cobbo: I am a proud Wakka Wakka man born and raised on my traditional homelands of the South Burnett. My values, passion and commitment in working for my people comes from the nurturing, love and support of my family. I have worked in both the private and public sectors with people who are dedicated to continue to fight for our rightful place in this country. I value the unique and spiritual connection we as first peoples have to our traditional lands and waters. It is their stories and struggles that inspires me to write.



Claire G. Coleman is a Noongar woman whose ancestral country is on the south coast of Western Australia.  Born in Perth she has spent most of her life in Naarm. Her debut novel Terra Nullius, published by Hachette in Australia and Small Beer in the US, won a black&write! Fellowship and a Norma K. Hemming Award and was shortlisted for the Stella Prize and the Aurealis Science Fiction Award among others. Visit Claire’s website here.






Jazz Money is a poet, filmmaker and educator of Wiradjuri heritage. In 2019 Jazz was an inaugural winner of the Aunty Kerry Reed-Gilbert Poetry Prize and a Copyright Agency First Nations Fellow. She is grateful to live on the sovereign lands of the Gundungurra and Darug nations, and acknowledges the custodianship of Elders past and present of the many Countries she walks upon. Visit her website here.






Mykaela Saunders is a Koori and Lebanese writer, teacher, and community researcher. Mykaela was born on her Dharug ancestors’ lands in Western Sydney, and grew up between there and in Tweed Heads, in Bundjalung country, community, and culture. She belongs to the Tweed Aboriginal community through family and other relationships, and has worked in Aboriginal education since 2003. She’s working-class and queer, and writes for the communities she belongs to. She lives and works with gratitude between the lands of the Bundjalung nation (northern rivers of NSW), the Dharug-Eora nation (greater Sydney area), and the Kulin nation (Melbourne). Visit Mykaela’s website here.



Maree McCarthy Yoelu is a Wadjigany woman, from the western Wagait region in the Northern Territory. She comes from the Batjamalh language group and her totem is Marrutj – mud crab. Maree is a children’s author. Her first children’s picture book was released this year (March 2020), titled Brother Moon, published by Magabala Books. Maree lives in Darwin with her family, where she works in radio and continues to write stories connected to her people and culture.





Emerging Older Poets Mentorship Award Shortlist


Judges: Philip Neilsen and Rosanna Licari

S J Finn’s poems have appeared in Cordite Poetry ReviewSnorkelThe Green Fuse, Rabbit and The Age. ‘War Through The TV’ was published in The Best Australian Poems 2010. ‘Bylaw’ was long-listed for the International University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s Prize, and ‘The Judgement’ was highly commended in The Lord Mayor’s Writing Awards. ‘A Morning Shot’ was long-listed in The Peter Porter Prize 2020. Visit SJ Finn’s website here




Elanna Herbert – Born and raised in Canberra, Elanna has lived in Gundaroo, Perth, and Shoalhaven NSW.Her poetry has appeared in over 30 publications. Most recently StylusLit (forthcoming), Westerly: the editors desk#authorsforfireys, Writ Poetry ReviewAxon, Not Very QuietMeniscusWesterlyAustralian Poetry Anthology, FourW and Grieve.  Awards  include Varuna ‘Writing Fire Writing Drought’ Fellowship 2020, Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre fellowship 2019, runner-up Qld Poetry Festival Emerging Older Poets Mentorship 2018, Marian Eldridge Award for emerging women writers 2001. Her short story collection is Frieda & the Cops (Ginninderra Press, 2005).  Elanna has a PhD from University of Canberra. Visit Elanna’s website here.