Ends on

Open now. Closes 27 July 2024 11:59pm AEST.

Sponsored by Trinity College at the University of Melbourne and supporters, the Nakata Brophy Prize for Young Indigenous Writers, established in 2014 and now in its ninth year, recognises the talent of young Indigenous writers across Australia.

It is the first of its kind in Victoria, and complements Trinity’s ongoing commitment to Indigenous education and reconciliation. The initiative is named after the first two Indigenous residential students at Trinity College – Sana Nakata and Lilly Brophy. The aim of the prize is to provide the winner with the opportunity to focus on and develop their writing skills and portfolio.

First prize includes $5000, an optional writing residency at Trinity College, and publication of the successful piece in Overland. The prize alternates between poetry and short fiction each year.

In 2024, first prize will be awarded to the best poem up to 88 lines by an Indigenous writer who is 35 years or younger at the closing date of the competition. A runner-up prize may also be awarded.

The prize opens on 10 May 2024 and will close 27 July 2024 at 11:59pm AEST.

Eligibility and selection criteria:

  • The prize is open to Indigenous writers who are 35 years or younger at the closing date of the competition
  • First prize will be awarded to the best poem up to 88 lines
  • The work must be unpublished at the time of entry
  • Entrants must be Australian citizens or permanent residents of Australia
  • The author’s name must not appear on the submitted document
  • The prize will be awarded at the judges’ discretion and they reserve the right to not select a winner
  • Second and third place prizes may be awarded at the judges’ discretion.

The residency

The Trinity College residency will provide the writer with a bespoke opportunity for professional and creative engagement with the wider Melbourne writing scene, community involvement with the student cohort at the College, and social and professional engagement with staff at the College. Trinity will cover the costs of flights, accommodation, and all meals during the residency period.

Subject to the winner's availability, the residency will be hosted at Trinity College between March and May to facilitate engagement with one or both of the Blak&Bright First Nations Literary Festival and the Melbourne Writers Festival. The residency will provide ample time for the fellow to work on their writing. 

There will be opportunities to engage in campus and college life, to give workshops or talks, and receive writing mentorship. Trinity will connect the writer-in-residence with staff and students, including their Indigenous Engagement and Support Coordinator and potential mentors, during the residency.

Subject to the wishes of the Indigenous writer-in-resident, the residency may include:

  • a prize presentation evening at the Awards Dinner in late March
  • mentorship with writers connected with Trinity College or the University of Melbourne
  • an introduction to the Trinity-run Indigenous reading group and student group
  • inclusion in staff events via the Senior Common Room
  • readings/participation in Trinity’s programs and/or at Overland events
  • running a workshop for the Trinity-run book club, Literature Coterie.


This year’s judges are Karen Wyld and Evelyn Araluen.

Karen Wyld is a freelance writer and author living on the coast south of Adelaide. Born in South Australia, her Grandmothers’ Country is in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. As a diasporic Aboriginal woman of Martu descent, she writes fiction and non-fiction that seeks to contextualise colonisation, displacement, the Stolen Generations, homecoming, resistance and rights. She’s currently a Masters candidate, exploring how magic realism is used to articulate time, belonging and Country in Aboriginal-authored text.

Eugenia Flynnis a Larrakia, Tiwi, Chinese Malaysian and Muslim writer, researcher and community organiser. She is Vice Chancellor’s Indigenous Postdoctoral Fellow in Writing and Publishing at the School of Media and Communication, RMIT University. Eugenia’s creative practice explores narratives of truth, grief, and devastation, interwoven with explorations of race and gender. Her essays, short stories and poems have been published widely.

Evelyn Araluen is a Goorie and Koori poet, researcher and co-editor of Overland Literary Journal. Her Stella-prize winning poetry collection DROPBEAR was published by UQP in 2021. She lectures in Literature and Creative Writing at Deakin University.

About Trinity College

Trinity College is the oldest residential college at the University of Melbourne. It is home to over 300 residential students, including a number of Indigenous students. Trinity’s Indigenous programs have been developing since Sana Nakata and Lilly Brophy became the first Indigenous students to attend the College.

Read the previous winners: Jessica Hart (poetry); Marika Duczynski (fiction); Ellen van Neerven (poetry); Evelyn Araluen (fiction); Raelee Lancaster (poetry); Allanah Hunt (fiction); Grace Lucas-Pennington (poetry); Jasmin McGaughey (fiction).

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