Northern Territory Literary Awards

The annual Northern Territory Literary Awards celebrate the achievements of a wide range of emerging Northern Territory (NT) writers.

With a prize pool of more than $5,000, the 2016 award winners have now been announced. 

Read the works by the winners and finalists (2.4 mb).

Who can enter

The awards are open each year to current residents of the NT. Read below for details of the categories.

Award categories

There are seven award categories for the Northern Territory Literary Awards.

ZipPrint Short Story Award

An original work of short fiction up to 3,000 words. The winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize and an NT Writers’ Centre membership and masterclass.

NT Writers' Centre Poetry Award

A single poem up to 300 lines and three entries per person. The winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize and an NT Writers’ Centre membership and masterclass.

Charles Darwin University Travel Short Story Award

This award is for a short story about travel or travelling which evokes a sense of place - up to 3,000 words. The winner will receive a $500 cash prize and an NT Writers’ Centre membership and masterclass.

Charles Darwin University Essay Award

A referenced academic essay relating to the Northern Territory - up to 3,000 words. The winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize and an NT Writers’ Centre membership and masterclass.

Kath Manzie Youth Award

This award is for a piece of creative writing, either poetry or short story, by a person aged 12 to 18 years as of 1 January 2016 - up to three poetry entries per person with a 300-line limit or a short story up to 3,000 words. The winner will receive a $600 cash prize and an NT Writers’ Centre membership and masterclass.

Southern Cross Television Flash Fiction Award

A blog post, fan fiction, short story, fictional diary entry or fictional letter up to 500 words and three entries per person. The winner will receive a $500 cash prize and an NT Writers’ Centre membership.

Brown's Mart Theatre Award

The winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize, consideration for a rehearsed reading with Brown’s Mart Theatre, Final Draft 8 script writing software and an NT Writers’ Centre membership. All finalists will receive membership of the Australian Writers' Guild.

How to enter

Entries for the 2016 awards have closed.

For further information email libraryevents@nt.gov.au.

Conditions of entry

All of the following are conditions of entry for the Northern Territory Literary Awards:

  • writers must reside in the Northern Territory at the time of submission
  • each entry must be submitted individually to: libraryevents@nt.gov.au
  • each entry must be a different piece of written work
  • all entries must be typed and presented on double spaced A4 pages and saved as a Microsoft Word or PDF document
  • the title of the work should appear on the entry submission, but to ensure anonymity, neither the author’s name nor any other identifying marks should appear
  • the decision of the judges is final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding their decisions
  • the Northern Territory Library reserves first publication rights, including online publication
  • writers retain individual copyright over their entries
  • a winning or shortlisted entry may, at the discretion of the Northern Territory Library, be withheld from publication
  • entries written by two or more authors are not eligible for entry
  • scripts are not to have been previously produced. Production scheduled after the closing date of entry is permitted
  • finalists’ and winners’ contact details will be made available to the Northern Territory Writers’ Centre and media organisations.

2016 Northern Territory Literary Award winners

ZipPrint Short Story Award

Johanna Bell: Turning back

NT Writers' Centre Poetry Award

Leni Shilton: Into the West - Bertha Strehlow's journey to Piltadi

Charles Darwin University Travel Short Story Award

Fernanda Dahlstrom: God Willing

Charles Darwin University Essay Award

Adelle Sefton-Rowston: Cleansing and Catharsis: The River as Metaphor in Tony Birch's Ghost River

Kath Manzie Youth Award

Ashleigh Abram: Visiting Hours

Brown’s Mart Theatre Award

Sandra Thibodeaux: The Age of Bones - Jaman Belulang

Southern Cross Flash Fiction

Oliver Kent Coulter: Outpatient

2016 Northern Territory Literary Award finalists

ZipPrint Short Story Award

Kaye Aldenhoven: Learning Italian

Johanna Bell: Turning back

Fiona Dorrell: Jayne

Shona Ford: The Taste of Freedom

Karen Manton: The Last Man

NT Writers' Centre Poetry Award

Susan Fielding: Boy in midair: excerpt of a long poem

Carol Maxwell: All the colours of leaving

Leni Shilton: Into the West - Bertha Strehlow's journey to Piltadi

Charles Darwin University Travel Short Story Award

Fernanda Dahlstrom: God Willing

Jennifer Pinkerton: Into the Wild

Charles Darwin University Essay Award

Tom Lewis: Disposed of on a Darwin wharf? – the strange story of HMAS Armidale’s Lieutenant Commander Richards

Adelle Sefton-Rowston: Cleansing and Catharsis: The River as Metaphor in Tony Birch's Ghost River

Kath Manzie Youth Award

Ashleigh Abram: Visiting Hours

Alison Fleming: The Beach

Ashley Keygan: The Emergency Room

Georgia Neate: Teddy Bear

Grace Thomas: In the Dark

Jack White: Billabong Fishing

Brown's Mart Theatre Award

Mary Anne Butler: Things You Can’t Walk Away From

Sarah Hope: Coal Face

Sandra Thibodeaux: The Age of Bones - Jaman Belulang

Southern Cross Flash Fiction

Ashleigh Ascoli: Lebensunwertes Leben

Johanna Bell: The Problem with Phosphorescence

Johanna Bell: Spirit Woman Bird

Oliver Kent Coulter: Outpatient

Barbara Eather: We Only Ever Had Two Pigs

Karen Manton: The Ginger Flower

Oceana Setaysha: Ring Ring

Julie U’Ren: Scooped Out

2015 Northern Territory Literary Award winners

ZipPrint Short Story Award

Jo Dutton: 'It's a Privilege to Live in Arrernte Country'

NT Writers' Centre Poetry Award

Penny Drysdale: 'territory night'

Charles Darwin University Travel Short Story Award

Barbara Eather: 'Fire in the Furnace'

Charles Darwin University Essay Award

Adelle Sefton-Rowston: 'Not at the end of the world: creation stories and apocalypse'

Kath Manzie Youth Award

Ka Wai (Micki) Teng: 'Yellow'

Brown's Mart Theatre Award

Luke Scholes: 'Untitled'

Southern Cross Flash Fiction

Fernanda Dahlstrom: 'Chapel'

2015 Northern Territory Literary Award finalists

ZipPrint Short Story Award

Barbara Eather: 'Stranger in Paradise'

Kirsten McKillop: 'Hoarfrost'

Nina Divich: 'Rita's baby'

NT Writers' Centre Poetry Award

James Purtill: 'IN OUR TENT'

Kelly Lee Hickey: 'Precipitation'

Leni Shilton: 'The road at night'

Charles Darwin University Travel Short Story Award

Barbara Eather: 'Fire in the Furnace'

Roland Dyrting: 'Grenada, 2006'

Charles Darwin University Essay Award

Dina Davis: 'On "Capriccio": the Lost Poems of Ted Hughes'

Leni Shilton: 'Writing the landscape as a personal journal'

Scott Savage: 'The Ark of the Covenant - A Practical Study'

Kath Manzie Youth Award

Ciara Bellis: 'Mummy, Mummy'

Hamish Wiltshire: 'Any Ordinary Morning'

Kierra-Jay Power: 'You sent me a post card from Mexico'

Lauren Northcote: 'Lulwa'

Melinda Mees: 'Beyond the Memories'

Brown's Mart Theatre Award

Lee Frank: 'Tarzy Boy vs Arch-ee Pong!!'

Levin A Diatschenko: 'The Life and Death of Dr Patmore

Southern Cross Flash Fiction

Bronte Phillips: 'Rain'

Fernanda Dahlstrom: 'A Cat'

Fiona Black: 'Strange Talk'

Kaye Hall: 'Mirror Mirror'

Natalie Sprite: 'The feel of men close up'

Last updated: 28 July 2016