My Brother Jack Awards

The My Brother Jack Awards recognise the outstanding literary achievements of people who live, work or study in Glen Eira. From emerging writers to future literary stars, the Awards celebrate local talent and the stories that shape our community.

2023 winners and highly commended list

Congratulations to all the following writers. Announcements were made at a special ceremony on Sunday 5 November.

Open Short Story Category
Judge: Angela Meyer

$1000 First Prize: The Foreign Correspondent by Amanda Hildebrandt
$600 Second Prize: The Green by Lucy Cleeve
$400 Third Prize: Breaking Grey by Greg Tantala
Highly Commended: Of Pearls and Garnets by Merav Sadoff-Fima
Highly Commended: Bird Found by Leticia Parish
Highly Commended: The Coach by Doug Wroe

Download the Judges Report - Angela Meyer

Senior Secondary Short Story Category
Judge: Paul Dalgarno

First Prize: The Clumsy Existence of Ditzy Ackhurst by Sasha Kovacs

Download the Judges' Report - Paul Dalgarno

Junior Secondary Short Story Category
Judge: Paul Dalgarno

First Prize: Hidden by Zoe Boulton
Highly Commended: A Choice by Samuel Hicks
Highly Commended: That's What I Told Them by Beatrix Sigley

Download the Judges' Report - Paul Dalgarno

Primary School Short Story Category
Judge: Eliza Henry-Jones

Junior Primary Encouragement: The Adventures of Egg and Bacon at Chefland by Alfie Worrall
First Prize: Sky Change by Manaswi Behara
Highly Commended: Another Regular Shopping Experience in 2546 by Tyler Brewer
Highly Commended: Cinderella - Truth or Fiction? by Giselle Tan
Highly Commended: The Mistake by Oliver Lipchin

Download the Judges' Report - Eliza Henry-Jones

Open Poetry Category
Judge: Alicia Sometimes

$1000 First Prize: Broken Wing by Tony Lintermans
$600 Second Prize: Not a Single Death is Wasted by Aparna Mitra
$400 Third Prize: Markers of Modern Life by Laurel Jackson
Highly commended:  Memory, Simple but Everything by Alexander Homoc
Highly Commended: Blackbirds in a Rose Bush by June Torcasio

Download the Judges' Report - Alicia Sometimes

Senior Secondary Poetry Category
Judge: Alicia Sometimes

First Prize: Sand Dunes by Alice Masson
Highly Commended: A Box of Dreams by Jiwoong Choi
Highly Commended: Distance by Grace McKinnis

Download the Judges Report - Alicia Sometimes

Junior Secondary Poetry Category
Judge: Alicia Sometimes

First Prize: These Woods No Longer by Maia Billie Ryks
Highly Commended: The Bees by Declan Crawford
Highly Commended: Drowning by Riva Walia

Download the Judges' Report - Alicia Sometimes

Primary Poetry Category
Judge: Ozlem Baro

Junior Primary Encouragement Award: Footy by Henry Batters
First Place: Fire by Ariana Fais
Highly Commended: Holiday by Mia Singer
Highly Commended: Sky High by Hayden Saward

Download the Judges' Report - Ozlem Baro

 


Judges’ Biographies

Eliza Henry Jones
Eliza grew up in Glen Eira and is the author of the adult novels Ache and In the Quiet and the YA novels P is for Pearl and How to Grow a Family Tree. Her novels have been listed for the QLD Literary Awards, NSW Premier's Literary Awards, Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction, ABIA, Indie and CBCA Awards. Her work has appeared in places such as The Big Issue, The Guardian, The Age and Country Style. She is currently working towards a PhD in creative writing. In 2022, Eliza released her novel, Salt and Skin – an evocative tale set in the haunted landscape of the islands off the Scottish coast.

Paul Dalgarno
Paul is an author and journalist. He was deputy editor of The Conversation (Australia) and a senior writer and features editor at The Herald newspaper group (UK). He has written for The Guardian, Big Issue Scotland, and Australian Book Review. He is the author of And You May Find Yourself and Poly. His latest novel, A Country of Eternal Light was recently shortlisted for The Age Book of the Year. Born and raised in Scotland, Paul has lived in Australia since 2010. 

Angela Meyer
Angela Meyer’s debut novel, A Superior Spectre, was shortlisted for an Aurealis Award, the MUD Literary Prize, an ABIA, the Readings Prize for New Australian Writing and a Saltire Award (Scotland). Her novella, Joan Smokes, won the inaugural Mslexia Novella Award (UK). Her work has been widely published in magazines, journals and newspapers, and she has worked as a bookseller, book reviewer, commissioning editor and publisher. Her latest novel, Moon Sugar, has just been released – a life-affirming magical novel that sees two people travel to Berlin together to piece together the final days of a mysteriously missing friend.

Alicia Sometimes
Alicia is a poet, writer and broadcaster. She has performed her spoken word and poetry at many venues, festivals and events around the world. Her poems have been in Best Australian Science Writing, Best Australian Poems, Overland, Southerly, Meanjin, ABC TV's Sunday Arts and more. She is a member of the ABC’s Outer Sanctum podcast and is often reviewing books on ABC Melbourne. She is director and co-writer of the science-poetry planetarium shows, Elemental and Particle/Wave. Her TedxUQ talk in 2019 was about the passion of combining art with science.

Ozlem Baro
Ozlem Baro is a poet and photographer. She has performed poetry in Australia, Turkey, Guatemala and Cyprus. Her photos can be found on Instagram and are mostly of her visits to curious places. Ozlem enjoys travelling and recently spent an entire year having adventures in different countries.


 

Background to My Brother Jack

My Brother Jack is a novel written by George Johnston, published in 1964. Johnston grew up in Elsternwick, and his mother Minnie was a Voluntary Aid Detachment member during the war.

My Brother Jack is a semi-autobiographical novel that follows the character of David Meredith through his youth in inter-war Melbourne. David’s mother is a VAD at Caulfield Repatriation Hospital on Kooyong Road, and she often brings wounded soldiers into their house. His childhood is filled with injured and traumatised men, and his memories of the hospital are a powerful view of war’s impact through a child’s eyes.

An Australian classic, the novel brought Glen Eira’s post-war experience into the national consciousness. Johnston’s book won the Miles Franklin Award in 1964.

The My Brother Jack Awards, Glen Eira City Council’s annual literary competition, acknowledge the lasting impact of Johnston’s work.

Sources:
G Johnston, My Brother Jack, William Collins, Sons, 1964
VAD Register, Red Cross Australia (Victoria)

My Brother Jack by George Johnston, 1964 | (Collins 1966 edition) | Jacket design by Sydney Nolan
My Brother Jack by George Johnston, 1964 | (Collins 1966 edition) | Jacket design by Sydney Nolan

Short stories

Open Short Story Category (3,000 word limit)

Senior Secondary Short Story Category (1,000 word limit)

Junior Secondary Short Story Category (500 word limit)

Primary School Short Story Category (500 word limit)

Poetry

Open Poetry Category (60 line limit)

Senior Secondary Poetry Category (30 line limit)

Junior Secondary Poetry Category (10 line limit)

Primary School Poetry Category (10 line limit)