Thursday, February 15, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Heart Awards Open For Avid Writers

The revitalised Whitsunday Writers Festival has announced their Whitsundays Literary Heart Awards this week, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

With substantial cash prizes up for grabs, the awards will recognise and honour the diverse and talent writers, while paying homage to the beautiful Great Barrier Reef.  

With categories encompassing writing, poetry, and book cover design, the Whitsunday Literary Heart Awards is offering up to $10,000 in prizes across four categories, with finalists in each category to receive significant recognition.

Festival President Karen Jacobsen expressed enthusiasm for the initiative, stating, “Beyond assembling some of Australia’s celebrated authors in Airlie Beach, our festival aims to celebrate and champion homegrown writing and design talent.

“The Heart Awards epitomise our commitment to nurturing creativity and honouring the legacy of festival founder Gloria Burley,” she explained.

"We believe in celebrating the richness of Australian creativity in all its forms. The Whitsundays Literary Heart Awards are a testament to our commitment to recognising and rewarding the extraordinary talents within our community," remarked Karen.

The Heart Awards comprise four distinct categories, each offering a platform for recognition and celebration:

   • The Gloria Burley Award for Best Unpublished Manuscript

   • The Published Book Cover Design Award

   • Best Short Story Award (adult and under 18 years old divisions)

   • Poetry Prize

“The unparalleled generosity of these prizes solidifies the Heart Awards as a premier platform for Australian regional writers’ competitions,” Karen affirmed.

“Our festival stands as an example for recognising and rewarding creative talent, fostering a culture that champions the invaluable contributions of our artists.”

Complete details, deadlines, and submission forms are accessible on the Whitsundays Writers Festival website,

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