Announcing the Nakata Brophy 2021 shortlist

The Nakata Brophy Short Fiction and Poetry Prize for Young Indigenous Writers, sponsored by Trinity College at the University of Melbourne and supporters, recognises the talent of young Indigenous writers across Australia. The prize, now its sixth year, awards $5000 to one Indigenous writer 30 years or younger and $500 to two runner-up entries. First place also receives a writing residency at Trinity College and publication in Overland’s print magazine.

We’d like to thank everyone who entered this year for their thoughtful and incredible work. We received a high quality range of stories, and each and every writer deserves congratulations. We’d also like to thank our judges, Arlie Alizzi and Adam Thompson, for their hard work and dedication to the decision-making process. 

After careful consideration, the judges have selected five outstanding short stories to form this year’s Nakata Brophy Prize shortlist. We’re dazzled to announce that two of those writers have been shortlisted twice in an incredible testament to Blak literary excellence!

Congratulations to the following writers:

Jessika Spencer


Jessika Spencer is a Wiradjuri woman from the Sandhills of Narrungdera, New South Wales. For over the past decade she has resided on beautiful Ngunnawal country, where she currently creates her art. Being an Aboriginal woman, culture and art go hand in hand. They are intertwined and are an ongoing source of inspiration for her. Through her varied art forms, Jessika explores her cultural identity. She does this via photography, poetry, writing, activism and both contemporary.

Jasmin McGaughey

‘Reminders’ and ‘Sweet Anticipation’

Jasmin is a Torres Strait Islander and African American writer and editor. In 2019, she was lucky enough to be a black&write! editor intern and a Wheeler Centre Next Chapter recipient. She has been able to write for OverlandKill Your DarlingsSBS Voices & Griffith Review. Jasmin is also the author of Ash Barty’s Little Ash series.

Vika Mana

‘Awaken, Old God’ and ‘Gutter’

Vika Mana, like those before her, is a storyteller with a mouth full of venom and honey. They’ve been telling stories since they knew how to extend their jaw and let it collapse, to fit in myths and legends. They tell, sing, rap and draw stories. Sometimes she lets her body gracefully rise and fall to the rhythms of the ocean and the beating of the drums in dance. Since 2018, they’ve emerged into the writing scene with spoken word and truthtelling, which has won them a place in The Next Chapter with the Wheeler Centre, Spotify Sound Up, Signal Boost, and the first nations program with Instagram and Screen Australia. They’ve been published in three anthologies, Fire Front, Unlimited Futures and lastly, Poetry Unbound 50 Poems to Open Your World.

The final results of this year’s prize will be announced in late October. The winning piece will be published in Overland‘s upcoming print edition. 

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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