2018

Our 2018 judges for The Next Chapter were Ellen van Neerven, Benjamin LawMaxine Beneba Clarke and Christos Tsiolkas.

Ellen van Neerven

Photograph of Ellen van Neerven

Ellen van Neerven is a Yugambeh writer​ and poet. Her first book Heat and Light (UQP, 2014) was the recipient of the David Unaipon Award, the Dobbie Literary Award and the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards Indigenous Writers Prize, and was shortlisted for the Stella Prize, the Queensland Literary Award for State Significance and the Readings Prize. Ellen was named as a Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Australian Novelist in 2015. 

Ellen’s second book, a collection of poetry, Comfort Food (UQP, 2016) was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards Kenneth Slessor Prize and Highly Commended for the 2016 Wesley Michel Wright Prize.

She received the 2017 Queensland Writers Centre Johnno Award and the 2015 Express Media Award for Outstanding Contribution by a Young Person in Literary Arts for her work as editor, mentor and advocate for First Nations writers.

Benjamin Law

Photograph of Benjamin Law

Benjamin Law writes books, TV screenplays, columns, essays and feature journalism. He’s the author of the memoir The Family Law (2010), the travel book Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East (2012) – both nominated for Australian Book Industry Awards – and the Quarterly Essay on Safe Schools, Moral Panic 101 (2017). The Family Law is now also an award-winning TV series for SBS, which Benjamin created and co-writes.

Benjamin co-wrote the comedy book Shit Asian Mothers Say (2014) with his sister Michelle, and the sex/relationships advice book Law School (2017) with his mum Jenny. Every week, Benjamin co-hosts ABC RN’s weekly national pop culture show Stop Everything. He also co-hosts online startup and tech TV show That Startup Show, and you can catch him on TV shows like Q&A (ABC), The Drum (ABC), The Project (Ten) and Filthy Rich and Homeless (SBS). He’s a Queenslander based in Sydney.

Maxine Beneba Clarke

Photograph of Maxine Beneba Clarke

Maxine Beneba Clarke is the author of six books, including the Australian Book Industry Award- and Indie Award-winning short fiction collection Foreign Soil (2014), and the critically acclaimed memoir The Hate Race (2016), which is currently being adapted for the Australian stage. Her poetry collection Carrying The World won the 2017 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Poetry. 

Maxine is the author of the Children's Book Council of Australia Award-winning picture book The Patchwork Bike, illustrated by Melbourne artist Van T Rudd. Her second picture book Wide Big World will be published in November 2018. Maxine writes for the Saturday Paper

Christos Tsiolkas

Photograph of Christos Tsiolkas

Christos Tsiolkas is the author of the novels LoadedThe Jesus ManDead EuropeThe Slap and Barracuda, as well as the short story collection Merciless Gods. He co-authored Jump CutsAn Autobiography with Sasha Soldatow. He wrote a monograph on Fred Schepisi’s The Devil’s Playground for the Australian Screen Classics series, and a monograph on Patrick White for the Writers on Writers series by Black Inc.

Christos is also an essayist, playwright and scriptwriter and is the film reviewer for the Saturday Paper. Christos is Patron of Writers Victoria and an Ambassador for the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre.