Judges wowed by Queensland students’ literary prowess

24 August, 2023

Queensland school students with a flair for writing were celebrated last night (23 August) as part of the IEU-QN) annual Literary Competition.

Over 900 submissions of poetry, short stories and non-fiction prose were entered into the 2023 IEU-QNT Literary Competition, which is run in conjunction with the English Teachers’ Association of Queensland (ETAQ).

Now in its 64th year, the Literary Competition remains the longest continuing writing competition in Queensland and is open to students and staff in both state and non-government schools.

At last night’s presentation evening, held at the Kangaroo Point Multicultural Centre, award recipients were presented with certificates and a book prize before having the opportunity to read their winning piece to the audience.

Attendees were also treated to an engaging lecture by guest speaker Josh Donellan, a poet, musician, teacher and published author, who shared insights and highlights from his writing career.

IEU-QNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke said the Literary Competition was a great opportunity for students to hone their writing skills and creativity.

“The competition was established by our antecedent union to encourage literary development and freedom of expression in young people,” Mr Burke said.

“The Literary Competition judges were impressed with the exceptional talent on display this year, with a diverse range of entries submitted from across the state.

“I congratulate those outstanding writers who were awarded prizes and thank all the recipients who entered the 2023 Literary Competition,” Mr Burke said.

See the full list of 2023 Literary Competition winners.

First place Literary Competition winners for 2023


• Short story: David Coleman-Mann, Chancellor State College, Sippy Downs, Sunshine Cost

Year 11 and 12

• Short story: Milli Gornik, St Thomas More College, Sunnybank

• Poem: Salem Williams, Kelvin Grove State College, Kelvin Grove

• Non-fiction prose: Felicity Williams, All Saints Anglican School, Merrimac

Year 9 and 10

• Short story: Ellouise Tkaczyk, St Margaret’s Anglican Girls’ School, Ascot

• Poem: Huntar Paterson, St Thomas More College, Sunnybank

Year 7 and 8

• Short story: Estella Dobbins, St Patrick’s College Townsville, The Strand, North Ward

• Poem: Dominic Palmani, St Thomas More College, Sunnybank

Year 5 and 6

• Short story: Isaac Furlong, Kelvin Grove State College, Kelvin Grove

• Poem: Lawson Plumbe, Toowoomba East State School, East Toowoomba

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