REBECCA Jessen has been awarded the prestigious State Library of Queensland Young Writers Award 2012 for her short story Gap, announced State Librarian Janette Wright today.
"As we celebrate the National Year of Reading, the Young Writers Award is one of Queensland's premier opportunities to nurture and showcase young writers," Ms Wright said.
"Alongside State Library's black&write! Indigenous Writing and Editing program, the awards are key initiatives supporting Queensland's writing talent," she said.
Ms Jessen, 24, who recently graduated from Queensland University of Technology, was thrilled with the result after deciding to take a chance and enter.
"Winning has given me an incredible sense of validation as a writer", said Ms Jessen.
"It lets me know I'm on the right track with my writing, and gives me the confidence to continue putting my writing out there.
"It took me a long time to gain enough confidence in myself as a writer to submit my work anywhere," she said.
"Fear of rejection is always very real but the feeling of satisfaction and knowing that someone read and enjoyed your writing far outweighs those initial negative feelings."
Judge Sue Gough said the panel was impressed by Rebecca's beautifully crafted story that illustrated the emotional impact of spare prose.
"The word 'original' is overused but it applies big-time to Gap," Ms Gough said.
"Written in a series of short, poetic bursts, it echoes the rhythms of someone panting out their story as they run from the scene of a crime.
"This is a writer who knows how to engage the reader in a kind of a dance, giving just enough information for the reader, not just to pick up and follow the steps, but to also extrapolate.
"The concise, crystallised snapshots of the fugitive's life are there for the reader to build on."
"By the end of the story we understand exactly what has moulded and motivated the protagonist, and the real tragedy of the epiphany," Ms Gough said.
The 2012 Young Writers Award Runner Up was given to Shastra Deo (Carseldine) for her story The Minutes Turn to Ours, a gently enigmatic story about the strong connection between two young men.
Highly-commended entries were Ashley Bell (Chinchilla) for New Eucalyptus Leaves, Erin Brumpton (Roma) for Towers of Babylon, James Kakanis (Gumdale) for State of Excitement, and Deanna Antoniolli (Graceville) for Heart is Where the Home is.
The Young Writers Award is open to Queensland residents aged between 18 and 25 years.
Read the winning stories online at www.slq.qld.gov.au/youngwriters.