Territory’s Top Young Authors Announced

Acting Lord Mayor Simon Niblock has announced the Northern Territory’s Top Young Author at a special event held at Darwin Entertainment Centre.

Jethro Pollock was unanimously chosen as Overall Winner by judges of the 2019 Young Territory Author Awards, for his book Nathaniel.

The story is a brief snapshot in time of Nathaniel’s life in the bush, his connection with the people and the landscape around him and his struggle to make sense of it all.

Internationally acclaimed writer and Darwin local Barry Jonsberg praised the young writer, describing him as “A natural writer with a sophisticated turn of phrase and an ability, far beyond his years, to conjure images in the reader’s mind. Many sentence constructions in the story are beautiful, evocative and linger long in the mind.”

“We understand that the writer is someone who cares deeply about words, the effects they can achieve and the joy that comes with their use.”

“Nathaniel is exquisite, powerful and memorable.”

Jethro Pollock was chosen from a field of 164 aspiring authors, 10 schools across 6 Council regions. He was also announced winner in his age group and of the Palmerston regional award – the first time this has happened since the Awards started in 1991.

Age Group Winners

8yrs and under

  • Winner – Freya Galati
  • Highly Commended – Rhian Choi
  • Encouragement Award – Emily Campbell
  • Encouragement Award – Harisha Madhivanan and her sister and co-writer Harsha Madhivanan


  • Winner – Jethro Pollock
  • Highly Commended – Chay Keating
  • Encouragement Award – Lara Crawfrod
  • Encouragement Award – Lucy Tinapple


  • Winner – Elisha Pettit
  • Highly Commended – Tryphena Phyllis
  • Encouragement Award – Gina Edwin


  • Winner – Tiger-Lily Clements
  • Highly Commended – Jennifer Woo
  • Encouragement Award – Binayak Neupane

School Winners

  • Encouragement Award – Ampilatwatja School – Year 2 / 3 Csabi
  • Overall – Palmerston Christina School – Year 3 / 4 Kennedy

Regional Winners

  • Darwin – Freya Galati
  • Alice Springs – Tryphena Phillis
  • Katherine – Noah Stoeckl
  • Litchfield – Ella Atkins
  • Palmerston – Jethro Pollock
  • Wagait Beach – Chay Keating

The Young Territory Author Awards (YTAA), now in their 29th year, call on aspiring young writers 18 years and under from across the Northern Territory write and produce their own book.

Acting Lord Mayor said “City of Darwin is delighted to recognise Jethro Pollock for this marvellous work, which the judging panel unanimously voted was the outstanding work this year.”

“Another highlight this year was the 2 / 3 class from the remote community of Ampilatwatja, who won and Encouragement Awards for their Anthology of Poems.

“City of Darwin has supported these awards for many years and they have provided an invaluable platform for aspiring authors. Many past winners and entrants have gone on to make this their career.”

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