5 October 2023

POETRY Winner Fig Russon Jorgenson – Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers 2023

Fig Russon Jorgenson’s poem, girlfish, has been awarded The 2023 Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers in the category of Poetry. Fig was presented with the award online at the National Young Writers Festival at a special event, and won a $500 cash prize, an exclusive book pack from Hachette Australia and acknowledgement of their winning entry in Express Media’s flagship publication Voiceworks.

Read Fig’s winning piece below.




i am a girlfish 

smooth, seal-bodied 

submerged with my nose 

above the waterline 


sun baked back 

supine to burn 




conch-shaped mouth 

clutch me to your ear 

to hear a muttering 

about a cranium sea 


taste my salt 

temper my bareness 

hold me under 

try to drown me and i will show you 


you will see when i wash up 

as loud and as pink cheeked 

as the day you pulled me 

from the water 


search for me— 

look behind you 

in seagull calls and 

between sandy legs 


kiss me 

for then my gills will close 

my senses will sharpen 

and i will become a girl