Nakata Brophy Prize for Young Indigenous Writers: the shortlist

Now in its fourth year, the Nakata Brophy Short Fiction and Poetry Prize recognises the talent of young Indigenous writers across Australia. Sponsored by the University of Melbourne’s Trinity College, the prize alternates each year between fiction and poetry; this year’s prize is for the best short story (up to 3000 words) by an Indigenous writer under 30.

First place is $5000, publication in Overland’s print magazine, and a three-month writer’s residency at Trinity College, the oldest student residence at the University of Melbourne. Two runner-up prizes will also be awarded.

While we’d like to thank all the entrants who submitted this year, the three judges for the 2016 competition – Tara June Winch, Overland’s Jennifer Mills and Trinity College’s Katherine Firth – have now decided on a shortlist of five outstanding stories.

Congratulations to the following writers:

Allanah Hunt

‘Invisibility Isn’t Only a Power Superheroes Have’

Allanah Hunt CroppedIn a time where everyone fights to shine more than another, four people are invisible, unable to form a bright enough sparkle to make the world care.

Allanah Hunt is a Barkindji woman studying a Creative Writing PhD at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, UK. Two of her four novels placed Highly Commended in the Kuril Dhagun Indigenous Writing Fellowships. She is passionate about highlighting contemporary issues and bringing them to a wider audience.


Amy McQuire

‘Tea and Dying’

Amy-McQuire‘Tea and Dying’ is about the different ways we express and perceive grief, and how the misinterpretation of our pain can end up hurting us as a collective. 

Amy McQuire is a Darumbal and South Sea Islander freelance journalist and writer from Central Queensland. Her work is focused on justice, and she is currently co-hosting an investigative podcast called Curtain, about an Aboriginal man wrongfully convicted of murder.


Evelyn Araluen

‘Muyum: A Transgression’

AraluenA deconstructive exorcism of cultural trauma and return.

Evelyn Araluen is a poet, activist, educator and PhD candidate working with Indigenous literatures at the University of Sydney. Her work has been published in OverlandCordite,
SoutherlyRabbit and The Best Australian Poems 2016. Born and raised on Dharug country, she is a descendent of the Bundjalung nation.


Jack Stevens

‘The Last Days’

Jack Stevens‘The Last Days’ is a confronting glimpse into the hardest period of my life so far. 

Originally from Darwin, Jack Stevens moved to Melbourne in 2015 to pursue his passion for writing and his love for the AFL. He has recently gained a strong interest in writing about mental illness and the stigma around it. His other interests include collecting Hotwheels cars, umpiring local footy and drinking iced coffee.



John Morrissey

‘Tommy Norli’

John MorrisseyIn the late nineteenth century, Tommy Norli has a violent encounter on the Queensland frontier while travelling with his white boss.

John Morrissey is a Kalkadoon writer raised in Melbourne. He is a graduate of the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor in English and a Juris Doctor.



Congratulations again to these excellent young writers. Final results will be announced at Overland next Monday, 10 April!

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate.

Related articles & Essays