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Daisy Utemorrah Award open for entries

Mon, Jan 15, 2024

Magabala Books presents the Daisy Utemorrah Award as part of the Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards in 2024.

Entries for the Daisy Utemorrah Award are now open.

The Daisy Utemorrah Award is presented annually for an outstanding unpublished manuscript of junior or YA fiction by an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander writer. Generously supported by the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund and the State Government of Western Australia, the winner receives a cash prize of $15,000 and a publishing contract with Magabala Books.

Published and unpublished First Nation writers of all ages are eligible to enter with works of junior or YA fiction. Full entry details and eligibility criteria can be found here.

Applications close on 25 March 2024.

The Daisy Utemorrah Award was launched in 2019. Gunai woman, Kirli Saunders, was the inaugural winner of the Daisy Utemorrah Award. Kirli’s winning junior verse-novel Bindi was published by Magabala in 2020.

‘It is a real privilege to be the inaugural recipient of the Daisy Utemorrah Award and to follow in the footsteps of a powerful poet and educator who spoke her truth.’ – Kirli Saunders 2020 Daisy Utemorrah Award Winner

Other winners of the Daisy Utemorrah Award include Teela Reid, Carl Merrison and Hakea Hustler, Mariah Sweetman, and Jared Thomas.

In 2023 Magabala published two Daisy Utemorrah Award winning manuscripts, Rober Runs by Mariah Sweetman and Dirran by Carl Merrison and Hakea Hustler.

The Daisy Utemorrah Award is part of Magabala’s growing suite of creative development opportunities for First Nation writers and illustrators and represents an ongoing commitment to writing for young people.

Daisy Utemorrah was an Elder of the Wunambal people from the Mitchell Plateau area in the far north Kimberley and one of the founders of Magabala Books. She was an award-winning poet, author, community leader and passionate educator. Daisy’s poetry collection Do Not Go Around the Edges (illustrated by Pat Torres) was published by Magabala Books in 1991. The Daisy Utemorrah Award is named in her honour.

For further information, contact Magabala Books: or call (08) 9192 1991.

Further information on the WA Premier’s Book Awards can be found through the State Library of Western Australia: