Territory’s Top Young Authors Announced 2 November

Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis has announced the Northern Territory’s Top Young Authors at a special event held at Darwin Entertainment Centre.

The Young Territory Author Awards (YTAA) are now in their 30th year and Lord Mayor Vatskalis has paid tribute to the dedication of City of Darwin library staff, who have managed and coordinated the awards over that time.

Rachel De Kock has been chosen as the Overall Winner for her book ‘Spring and His Flower’, from a record 204 entries.

The judges all agreed this was an ambitious story – imagining the four traditional seasons as people – but it was well-realised due to the skill of the writing, and showed some deep contemplation by the author. The cover art was beautiful as well they noted.

Rachel was also named the Regional winner for Alice Springs.

“Despite the covid-19 pandemic the Awards have this year received a record number of entries,” said Lord Mayor Vatskalis “with 204 entries and 75 of these received online.”

“There has also been a doubling of entries in the 13-15 Age Group and tripling of entries in the 16-18 Age Group.”

The YTAA provide an opportunity for aspiring authors to write and produce their own novel and have provided a platform for many young authors to make writing their career, including:

  • Megan Jacobson – a 1991 winner, now an award winning author
  • Sean Guy – a former Palmerston winner, now a self-published author
  • Sasha Beekman – a former Age Category winner, now a Children’s Book Author
  • Alice Cotter – just 7 years old at the time of winning, now a self-published author
  • Jethro Pollock – an Age Category winner in 2019, awarded an NT Literary Award in 2020.

The 2020 YTAA Winners Are:

8 Years and Under

  • The winner is Bryce Parish for his book ‘How Snakes Became Long’
  • Highly commended goes to Nayana Malla for her book ‘The Baluata Boys: Dogs I met in Kathmandu’
  • And the Encouragement Award goes to Sophia Langbid ‘Henry the Hermit Crab’

9 to 12 Years

  • The winner is Alice Cotter for her book ‘Aggywise’
  • Highly commended goes to Emily Cook for her book ‘The King’s Scale’
  • And the Encouragement Award goes to Cooper Bament for the book ‘Mr Phoenix’

13 to 15 years

  • The winner is Journey Kelly for the book ‘The Daily Snail’
  • Highly commended goes to Arsh Syed Ahmed ‘The Appointment’
  • And the Encouragement Award goes to Julianne Gabor and Geliane Verara for their book ‘The Red Thread’

16 to 18 Years

  • winner is Otto Blum for his book ‘Banksia Seeds’
  • Highly commended goes to Tiger-Lily Clements for her book ‘Untouched’
  • And the Encouragement Award goes to Tianke Viljoen for the book ‘Maya Miller’

School Award Winners

  • Wanguri Primary School – Year 1 / 2 Dobrini for their book ‘Balancing Act’
  • Stuart Park Primary School – Year 3 Gorman for their book ‘Words of Wonder’

The NT Children’s Book Council of Australia Wow Award

  • Emily Campbell for her book ‘Alexander’

Regional Winners

  • Darwin – Alice Cotter for ‘Aggywise’
  • Alice Springs – Rachel De Kock for ‘Spring and his Flower’
  • Katherine – Bryce Parish for ‘How Snakes became Long’
  • Litchfield – Savannah Coco for ‘The tree of Hope’
  • Palmerston – Samuel Au-Yeung for ‘Mr Turtles Hat’
  • East Arnhem – Ezra Jean Aubort for ‘The Second Wave’

All entries in the 2020 Young Territory Author Awards will be on display at Casuarina Library and available to borrow, along with entries from previous years.

/Media Release. View in full here.