Nan Manefield Young Writers' Award

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Nan Manefield Writers' Award

Entries have now closed for the 2024 award. Thank you for your entries!

2024 marks 35 years of Stanton Library and North Sydney Council celebrating the writing talent of young people in our community with our annual Young Writers' Award since 1989.

Young people aged 11 to 18 years old are invited to submit either one poem or one short story not exceeding 750 words for the Nan Manefield Young Writers’ Award.


Meet the Judges

Erin Gough

The author of two fiction books for young adults: The Flywheel, which won the Ampersand Prize, and Amelia Westlake, winner of the Readings Young Adult Book Prize and the NSW Premier’s Ethel Turner Prize for Young Adult Fiction. Her third novel for young adults, Into the Mouth of the Wolf, will be published in May 2024.

Helena Fox

She lives by the sea in Wollongong, Australia, where she runs creative writing workshops for young people. She’s a graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina. Helena has traveled and lived all around the world, but of all her adventures, working with young ypeople and helping them find and express their voice has brought her the greatest joy. How It Feels to Float is her debut novel.

Jaclyn Moriarty

Internationally best-selling author of novels for children, young adults and sometimes slightly older adults, including the books in the Kingdoms and Empires seriesHer books have won the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Award, the Aurealis Award and other prizes, been shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council Book of the Year, the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards and the Nebula Prize.

Will Kostakis

A writer of all things, from celebrity news stories, to cease and desist letters, to tweets for professional wrestlers. He’s best known for his award-winning YA novels, The Sidekicks and The First Third. He was a teenager when his first novel, Loathing Lola, was published. His latest novel series, Monuments, has been shortlisted in the 2020 Indie Book Awards.

Sue Whiting

Acclaimed children’s and young adult author, and editor with over twenty years of  experience. She is the author of the bestselling book Missing and the award-winning A Swim in the Sea. The Book of Chance was shortlisted for the 2021 CBCA Book of the Year Awards and Highly Commended in the 2021 Davitt Awards.

2024 Award Winners

Thank you to all of the young writers who entered into our 2024 Nan Manefield Young Writer's Award!

Below are all the winning entries from each age category, including winners, highly commended, commended and merit entires.


16-18 years

Winner: Kathryn Rendulic - Untitled (Like Emerging)

Highly Commended: Tony Chen - Ox-Demons and Snake-Spirits

Commended: Jenny Fung - Children of the Forest

Merit: Anchita Eranki - Burnt Rice

Merit: Caitlin Demoiseau - Untitled (I Used To Think)

Merit: Crista-Nicole Gahdmar - The Yellowed Cards

Merit: Demelza Marion Lee - I Miss You

Merit: Elizabeth Soo - Untitled (At the Corners)

Merit: Gaby Cunningham - Woman: The Derivative

Merit: Lauren McGirr - Dearest Mum

15 years

Winner: Kayla Khoo - Letters, Unknown

Highly Commended: Amanda Linh - Cricket

Commended: Aikem Billing - Le temps passe et coule

Merit: Alexandra Roberts - Winter Exile

Merit: Annabelle Stapleton - Lights

Merit: Ching Hei Kylie Liu - Death of a Sunset

Merit: Francis Hsu - A History of Idiots

Merit: Matthew Clarke - Thunderbirds

Merit: Peter Luo - Memories in Bakhmut

Merit: Sophie Yang - Be a Lady

14 years

Winner: Sophie Christianson - The Old Swing Set

Highly Commended: Isla Campbell - Scarlet Tears and Ebony Flowers

Commended: Briar Qiu - Curtain Call

Merit: Edie Olesnicky - ChatGPT-imported.file

Merit: Isabelle Teh - Vignette

13 years

Winner: Sheryl Monteiro - A Girl Born From Flames

Highly Commended: Maggie Langsworth - 898 Grams

Commended: Niamh Aerin Black - Happy Birthday

Merit: Genevieve Nolan-Uzcilas - Singed Memories

Merit: Jaime Abigail Wong - Nine Years

Merit: Lexi Hartigan - Forever Existing

Merit: Piper Courtney - We Are Dying

Merit: Sophia Chitkara - Log Entry

Merit: Sophie Meng - Moon

Merit: Summer Phi - Underneath the Oak Tree

Merit: Tiana Abustan - For the Greater Good

Merit: Vera Yuen - Sunken Mattress

Merit: Valerie Chung - The Star

11-12 years

Winner: Louis Williams - Almond Latte

Highly Commended: Zachary Robertson - Emotional Intelligence

Commended: Jeana Shen - Cosmic Echoes Unveiled

Merit: Alessia Concetta Christel Leotta - Writing on the Wall

Merit: Cinny Yuan - I Am

Merit: Ein Shin - The First Folio of November and Me

Merit: Isaac Roth - The Old Oak Tree

Merit: Kenzie Maher - What Once Was

Merit: Luca Cowlishaw - Late

Merit: Mahee Bharadwaj - Beauty Through the Window Pane

Merit: Olivia Xia Wu - Grandma's Antiques

Merit: Sebastian Clark - Forever Changing

Merit: Swetha Eranki - Two Homes

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