Nakata Brophy Prize for Young Indigenous Writers: the winners

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 have also been awarded.

We are very pleased to announce the final results of this year’s Nakata Brophy Prize:

First place

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.



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.


In their notes, judges Tara June Winch, Jennifer Mills and Katherine Firth commented that ‘Invisibility isn’t only a power superheroes have’ was a lively and surprising story with a ‘quiet menace’, while ‘Tea and dying’ was a ‘thoughtful, playful and sophisticated’ reflection on mortality. They also write that ‘Muyum: A Transgression’, the winning story, ‘is an extraordinary piece of writing from the first line to the last’. Full judges’ notes will be available when all three stories are published alongside Overland’s winter edition (out late June).

Thanks to our hard-working judges and all our entrants. The Nakata Brophy Prize will reopen on 1 December, and will this time be seeking poetry (up to 88 lines).


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

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