Ellen van Neerven-Currie shortlisted for the David Unaipon Award

This post is a belated shout out to black&write! editor Ellen van Neerven-Currie who is not only a wonderful editor but also a very talented writer.

Ellen was one of three deadly Indigenous Writers shortlisted for the David Unaipon Award which was recently announced at the Queensland Literary Awards held on Tuesday 4 September here at State Library.

Ellen van Neerven

Ellen van Neerven-Currie, black&write! editor and David Uniapon shortlisted entrant

David Unaipon (1872 – 1967) was the first Aboriginal writer to publish in English.  The David Unaipon Award was established by the University of Queensland Press (UQP) in 1989.  It is an annual award open to unpublished Indigenous writers and many of the previous winners are now recognised as major figures in the landscape of contemporary Australian writing.

It was particularly exciting that all of the shortlisted entrants for the 2012 David Unaipon Award were able to attend the Queensland Literary Awards ceremony and it was wonderful to meet three such talented and inspiring women.



The shortlisted entries were:

  • Story (Siv Parker)
  • Hard (Ellen van Neerven-Currie)
  • My Journey that May Never End   (Dorothy Williams-Kemp)
L-R: Siv Parker, Dorothy Williams and Ellen van Neerven

L-R: Siv Parker, Dorothy Williams - Kemp and Ellen van Neerven-Currie

Siv Parker won the award for her manuscript  Story,  about contemporary Aboriginal life in a fictional small town.  Siv identifies as Yuwaalaray and lives in Goodooga near Lismore in North West NSW.   UQP will publish her manuscript in 2013.

In the meantime, things have continued to be very busy for Ellen.   Ellen’s short story S&J was published in McSweeney’s Issue 41 as part of a selection of Australian Aboriginal fiction described as “so good you won’t believe it”.  Ellen has recently taken part in panel sessions at both Brisbane Writers’ Festival and at the Wheeler Center in Melbourne to talk about her work along side co-contributors to the McSweeney’s issue – Tony Birch, Tara June-Winch and Melissa Lucashenko.  All this while managing to keep up with her role as an editor with the black&write! team, where she is in the final stages of the manuscript development process with black&write! fellowship author Teagan Chilcott whose first novel The Rise of the Fallen will be published in 2013.  Lookout!