Conference Prizes for Postgraduates

2023 Postgraduate Prize Results

Theoretical Stream

Winner: Dante DeBono (UniSA) Triple threat: (Screen)writing queer adaptions in the academy

Author bio: Dante is a PhD candidate at the University of South Australia with the goal of promoting social inclusivity and equality through work focussed on diversifying queer representation in research and creative outputs. Her current thesis is focused on the queer potential of revisionist adaptations in fiction through screenwriting-based practice-led research that has seen the development of a queered modernisation of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. She has been on the central committee for the Gender, Sex and Sexualities Conference since 2021, and is an advisory team member for the UniSA Oral History Hub. 

Judges report: This paper reads almost like a manifesto for greater honouring of the practice of screen writing in its own right, and not just as a platform for film making. Further, it problematises the combination of writing queer screen adaptations. The paper is original, well researched with foundational scholarship and performs as strong polemic for the central thesis. I commend and congratulate the winner.

Runner-up: Chloe Cannell (UniSA) Queering the short story cycle for YA fiction

Author Bio: Chloe Cannell is a creative writing PhD candidate at the University of South Australia. Her research has been published in Writing From Below, TEXT: Journal of Writing and Writing Courses, and the Journal of Further and Higher Education. Her short stories were published last year in the Green: Blue Feet anthology with Buon-Cattivi Press. 

Judges Report: A strongly and well written paper on the short story cycle genre that works as a sound defence of choice of this genre for the candidates PhD creative artefact More than seven colours. The paper argues that this form of writing is a method used by marginalised authors, or those writing about and from the margins, in order to privilege these voices. A well sourced and argued and written paper. 

Creative Stream 

Winner: Bethany Evans (CQU) Tacit: an invitation to discourse (performance) 

Author Bio: Bethany Evans is currently enrolled in a PhD in creative writing at CQUniversity and has an MA in English (Creative Writing) from the University of Sydney. Her thesis will comprise a suite of poetry relating to her childhood trauma and an autoethnographic exegesis. Bethany has published a handful of poems in small publications, and has received several awards for her poetry. Her creative exploits extend beyond writing into playing classical music in community groups, and building tiny models. She works in libraries, and previously worked as an editor and proof-reader, an English tutor to school-age students, and a freelance journalist. 

Judges Report: This submission is a haunting and evocative piece of writing and performance by the candidate, constellating intertextuality and intersubjectivity prominently to perform 11 poems, provoking a lingering sense of deep trauma, and capped by the final poem ‘Tacet’; a rendering of defiance and angry pushback. I commend and congratulate the winner for her courage and craft. 

Runner-up: Carina Böhm (UniSA) In between and together with – Listening into the screenplay’s sensuous silences 

Author Bio: Carina Böhm is the name of the body that tells the realities of many different stories. She is PhD candidate at the University of South Australia on Kaurna country. She is a screenwriter who has worked across in story departments, casting and development across German daytime television. A collector of perspectives her nomadic feet have taken her to explore the many walks of life and the tales they have to tell – from the greens of forests to the sands of beaches and deserts, from writers’ rooms and community spaces to the meanderings of freelancing. 

Judges Report: This is an extraordinary and breathtakingly stunning hybrid foray, writing into silence. The blend of scholarship and creativity in this submission is masterfully crafted and the thesis behind it thoroughly intriguing, its dream-like qualities completely belying the harsh truths espoused. The inter-play of illustration, language and script indeed evokes a sense of sensuality and beauty.

Past winners

  • 2022
    • Scholarly: Trauma-Informed Editing Practice: A Framework by Camilla Cripps
    • Creative: The Many Homes of Home: Slow Lessons in Urgent Times by Julie Vulcan
  • 2021 – Online symposium: no prizes awarded this year.
  • 2020
    • Scholarly: Writing on Thresholds: ekphrasis, collaboration, and threshold poetics by Molly Murn (Flinders University)
      • Runners-up: Alternating Narration and Communal Mode in Unnatural Feminist Narrative by Alberta Natasia Adji (Edith Cowa​n University) and Escape from the Moskoe-strom: Disrupting the whirlpool of shame to restore connection by Elizabeth Bellamy (University of Canberra)
    • Creative: Strewn Scrabble Letters: exploring the writerly self and grieving self in grief memoir by Marina Deller-Evans (Flinders University)
      • Runners-up: Fractured futures, distant visions:  reckoning with a dis-connective creative writing process by Heather McGinn (University of South Australia) and Rising Tides, Rising Intuition: On the Necessity of Poetry Now More than Ever, A Metatextual Hybrid Essay in Four Parts by Kimberly K. Williams (University of Canberra)

Past AAWP Postgraduate Prizes

In past years, the Postgraduate Prize for most outstanding conference paper was open to postgraduate participants in the AAWP annual conference. It aimed to encourage and reward excellence in research and scholarship in creative writing, and papers were ranked according to the following criteria: clarity of the research question; significance of the inquiry; originality in thought and approach; appropriateness of the writing style. Prizes totalled $400, and the winner was offered the opportunity to co-edit the conference proceedings.



2016: Rowena Lennox (University of Technology Sydney) ‘Coolooloi’ 2015: Amelia Walker (University of South Australia) ‘“I” has to give: Rethinking Bloom’s apophrades and/as ghostly Derridean gifts’


2016: Caitlin Malling (University of Sydney) ‘Spending a Month with William Stafford in Oregon’



2016: Rachel Franks (University of Sydney) ‘Stealing stories: Punishment, profit and the Ordinary of Newgate’ 2015: Amelia Walker (University of South Australia) ‘Re-Collecting the Self as An o/Other: Creative writing research matters’ 2014: Lisa Smithies (Melbourne University) ‘Playing with Gaps: Cognitive Science and the Creative Writer’. Extract from judges’ comments: a balanced, generous and memorable piece of writing.


2016: Jason Nahrung’s (University of Queensland) ‘Stolen Futures: The Anthropocene in Australian science fiction mosaic novels’ 2015: Caitlin Maling (Sydney University) ‘Collage and ecopoetry in Brian Teare’s Companion Grasses’ 2014: Shari Kocher (Melbourne University) ‘Flying into the eye of the volcano: Dickinson’s volcano imagery in Anne Carson’s Autobiography of Red’. Extract from judges’ comments: This paper is extremely erudite. It weaves fine threads with a poised hand. Click here for information about the next Annual Conference Any questions about our prizes? Email