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The Daisy Utemorrah Award shortlist announced...

Fri, May 06, 2022

In partnership with the WA Premier’s Book Awards, we’re delighted to announce the Daisy Utemorrah Award shortlist: 

Robert Runs’ by Mariah Sweetman

Mariah Sweetman is a Ugarapul woman living and creating on Gubbi Gubbi land with her husband and dog. She loves to create with words and paint in response to connection to culture. Professionally, Mariah is an English teacher in Gubbi Gubbi Country and is passionate about young people engaging with true Indigenous histories and stories.



‘The Jack Walker Trials: Whistling Spider’ by Sean Owen

 Sean Owen is a proud Wemba Wemba and Yorta Yorta man from Deniliquin NSW, who grew up in Cranbourne, Victoria. He has worked in various jobs such as carpentry, mental health and the police force. Sean has written stories since he was a young boy and his passion for story telling comes from his family of great storytellers. He remembers sitting by the campfire and listening to stories about living on the land, culture and fun stories that involved ghosts or pranks. Sean is enthusiastic about his writing and hopes his love for story telling is shown through his words.  

‘That one summer’ by Shirleyann Wilson

Shirleyann Wilson is an emerging creator and storyteller and a proud Nyul Nyul, Bunuba and Gajerroong woman from the Kimberley region. Shirleyann currently works with the Wunan Foundation in Kununurra and loves working in her community inspiring others to make positive life changes. Creative Writing for Shirleyann is very personal. From a young age she would listen to stories around the campfire. Her old people and parents’ would share stories of the ‘good old days’ and of mustering stories. This is where she fell in love with storytelling. As a child she would tell and write gammon (liar) stories to her cousins just to see their reactions. Today Shirleyann still enjoys writing and sharing stories. Her writing is a creative outlet for her to unwind, escape and share her sense of curiosity.

Congratulations Mariah, Sean and Shay!

The Daisy Utemorrah Award for unpublished junior and Young Adult writing seeks to grow Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writing for younger readers. Launched as part of the WA Premier’s Book Awards, this national award is open to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander writers of junior and YA fiction.

The winner of the Daisy Utemorrah Award will receive $15,000 prize money and a publishing contract with Magabala Books. The Daisy Utemorrah Award is generously supported by the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund and the WA Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.

The winner will be announced at the WA Premier's Book Awards ceremony at the State Library of Western Australia in June 2022.