writingWA Awards


For the third consecutive year the writingWA Awards have uncovered new writing talents in regional WA.

The writingWA Awards were established in 2013 to offer mentoring and professional development support to emerging authors based in regional Western Australia. The Awards consist of two individual annual prizes: The Curtin University Prize for Fiction and the State Library of Western Australia Prize for WA History. Each prize offers $6000 of professional development support in the form of mentoring and editorial guidance.

The judges of the 2015 Curtin University Prize for Fiction – author and Curtin University Senior Lecturer David Whish-Wilson and Editor Delys Bird were impressed by the overall quality of manuscripts submitted and felt that several had merit and demonstrated serious writerly aspirations. 

From this strong field Karratha based teacher and writer, Marc Simojoki was selected as the clear winner for his evocative and atmospheric manuscript The Sea Dog. David Whish-Wilson, writing on behalf of Curtin University, the sponsor of the award, said that “it was terrific to discover a regional writer with such a distinctive voice and approach to his topic – exactly the purpose of the award.”

In another exciting result from the 2015 writingWA Awards, the State Library of WA Prize for WA History has been awarded to Veronica Malone. Veronica, a former journalist and regional correspondent for the ABC and several leading newspapers, now lives in Geraldton. With a keen interest in gathering oral history and local folk lore from the Mid-West region Veronica will be researching and writing a work about the history of the Batavia Coast.

State Librarian, Margaret Allen, said the State Library supports writing as an art form and the creation of new works. “The diversity of projects being tackled by aspiring writers in regional WA will contribute significantly to the documentation and preservation of our State’s history. The State Library is particularly pleased to be supporting this development process.” Ms Allen said.

As winners of the writingWA Awards for 2015, both authors will now be working with the guidance and support of professional mentors to further develop their individual manuscripts for publication readiness.


Curtin University Prize For Fiction - Winner: Marc Simojoki (Karratha)

Marc was born in Port Hedland in Western Australia's Pilbara but moved to Albany where he grew up frot he age of one. At Curtin University he majored in Professional Writing and Publishing and then completed a Graduate Diploma of Journalism. He then worked at the Narrogin Observer and the Albany Advertiser before returning to university to complete a Graduate Diploma of Education. Since then he has been living in Karratha and teaching Humanities and Social Science and English at Karratha Senior High School. He has had a love of both photography and literature since he was a young kid and has a particular affinity for Western Australian writing. His three favourite books are Rhubarb by Craig Silvey, Cloudstreet by Tim Winton and Cadence by Emma Ayres. 

State Library of Western Australia Prize for WA History - Winner: Veronica Malone (Geraldton)

Veronica lived and worked in the outback with her husband and four children, working as the news correspondent for the Meekatharra district in the 60s and 70s. She supplied news to The West Australian, Daily News, Sunday Times and news for the ABC radio each morning. Later moving to Geraldton, she continued as a free-lance journalist with these newspapers and also began concentrating on collecting folk lore from around the Mid-West. She retired from full-time work three years ago and this has enabled her to concentrate full time on writing. 



The writingWA Awards are sponsored by Curtin University, The State Library of WA, and writingWA.