Applications closed

About the Prize

The Indigenous Writers' Prize ($30,000) was first awarded in 2016.  The prize is intended to acknowledge the contribution made to Australian literary culture by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers.

The prize is open to those who are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent, who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders, and who are accepted as such by the communities in which they live. 

The Prize is designed to recognise literary merit and promote works in all categories including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, books for children and young adults, plays and scriptwriting. Entrants to the Indigenous Writers' Prize are also eligible to enter their work in any of the other award categories, and entry fees will apply for each category entered.

Co-authored entries will only be considered if both writers are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent. 


Past winners

Simon and Schuster Australia
Cover image of the book The White Girl.
University of Queensland Press
Taboo Cover Image
Pan Macmillan Australia
Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe
Magabala Books
Joint winner
Cover of Heat and Light
University of Queensland Press
Joint winner

The Judging Panel

photo of melissa lucashenko

Melissa Lucashenko


Melissa Lucashenko is a multi-award winning Bundjalung novelist from Brisbane. She is a Walkley Award winner for her non-fiction writing and a founding member of human rights group Sisters Inside.  

photo of Ambelin Kwaymullina

Ambelin Kwaymullina

Ambelin Kwaymullina belongs to the Palyku people of the eastern Pilbara region of Western Australia. She is a writer, illustrator and law academic who works across a range of genres including YA, science fiction, verse and non-fiction. 

Cathy Craigie

Cathy Craigie

Cathy Craigie is a Gamilaraay and Anaiwon woman from Northern NSW. She grew up in a large extended family from Moree and across Northern NSW and has worked in Aboriginal Affairs for over thirty years. She is passionate about Aboriginal capacity and community development utilising the arts and she tries to combine the two together in much of her work.  

Cathy is currently a cultural advisor and works on projects primarily on First Nations arts and cultures. She has held positions in Government and community sectors at local, state, national and international levels. Cathy has a passion for storytelling and giving a voice to First Nations people and has used her work in the cultural industries to enhance this. She is a founding member of First Nations Australia Writers Network and the inaugural Executive Director. Her passion for Literature also extends to her writing. She has worked on plays, childrens’ stories, commissioned essays and culturally based stories.