Overall Prize: Will Kostakis
Will Kostakis is an award-winning author for young adults. He’s been at it fifteen years, but his mum insists it’s just a phase and any day now, he’ll pursue a real career. He signed his first book deal in high school. Loathing Lola was released when he was just nineteen. His contemporary novels, The First Third and The Sidekicks, warmed (then broke) hearts the world over. His first foray into fantasy, the Monuments duology, saw teenagers accidentally killing gods hidden under different Aussie high schools, absorbing their powers, and wrestling with what it means to be gods. We Could Be Something is his latest novel. It’s a humorous yet heart-rending look at family, fame and falling in love.
Shortlist Prize: Josephine Sarvaas
Josephine is a trained teacher qualified in English, history and TESOL, who graduated from the University of Sydney with first class honours. She has been working in private tutoring since 2014 and has nine years’ experience teaching students from kindergarten up to the HSC. She is passionate about helping all students gain confidence in their learning, and believes English is a subject area where all students can be empowered to develop their self-expression. Josephine is also a short story writer whose work has been published in magazines and anthologies. She won first place in NYC Midnight’s Flash Fiction Competition and The Academy of Teachers’ ‘Stories Out of School’ Competition, and was runner up in the 2022 Best Australian Yarn, Australia’s biggest short story contest. Her work has been long-listed for the Grindstone International Novel Prize and the Mslexia Novel Competition.