Writer and teacher Kristina Olsson recognised through top award

Writer, teacher and creative writing mentor Kristina Olsson is the recipient of this year’s Johnno Award, presented by the Queensland Writers Centre for outstanding services to Queensland writers and writing.

Established in 2001, the Johnno Award is named for QWC founding patron David Malouf’s eponymous novel. David Malouf has achieved international recognition for his poetry and literary fiction, and Johnno is considered a seminal Queensland text.

The award, presented by the Queensland Writers Centre (QWC) on 7 December, recognises Kristina Olsson as ‘a wise, giving and inspirational teacher who has supported countless writers at all stages of development’.

QWC chair Andrea Baldwin said that Kristina’s dedication to fostering the art and craft of writing through many avenues made her stand out in a strong and diverse field of nominees.

A wide range of contributions to Queensland’s reading and writing life were recognized this year through the Johnno Awards Honours List. Speech pathologist Alice Owen was celebrated for founding Brotherhood of the Wordless, a group of writers who use Facilitated Communication to overcome speech difficulties. Tina Marie Clark was acknowledged for her services to children’s and young adult writing over the past fourteen years. Thea Biesheuvel is a tireless teacher, mentor, editor and publisher of new writers, particularly women. Bel Ellis’s bookshop Little Gnome offers a hub and haven for readers and independent authors in Wynnum. And Sean Mee has brought new Queensland writing to the stage over many decades in his roles with La Boite Theatre, Playlab, QUT Creative Industries Faculty, and now the Queensland Music Festival.

‘QWC has been helping to foster a vibrant culture of reading, writing and storytelling across Queensland for nearly thirty years,’ Andrea Baldwin said. ‘We are very proud to continue the Johnno tradition celebrating all that’s wonderful about our state, our stories, and the people who help tell them.’

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