WINNERS ANNOUNCED – 2017 CutCommon Young Writer of the Year

Meet the winner and runners-up!



We are thrilled to announce the winner and runners-up of the 2017 CutCommon Young Writer of the Year Competition.

In its second year, the national competition provides emerging music journalists with the opportunity to have their writing workshopped and showcased on CutCommon throughout Young Writers’ Month, which takes place this August.

This year’s award was judged by CutCommon Editor Stephanie Eslake, Deputy Editor Lucy Rash, and 2016 CutCommon Young Writer of the Year Myles Oakey.

Myles, our inaugural winning writer who has received year-long mentoring with CutCommon, says the entries showed a “surprising breadth of styles and voices”.

We couldn’t agree more, and that’s why we’ve chosen to announce three runners-up along with our winner. You will be able to read a series of competition blog entries throughout the month, each skilfully addressing the question: Classical music. What’s in it for young people?

So without further ado…


Meet our 2017 CutCommon Young Writer of the Year, Celine Chong!


WINNER: Celine Chong

Celine is undertaking her second year of a Bachelor of Music (Honours)/Bachelor of Arts dual degree at the University of Queensland, studying piano performance with Dr Anna Grinberg. A conscientious and passionate student, Celine regularly performs a variety of solo and chamber music repertoire, having recently participated in the Advanced Masterclass program at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music. In addition to her 13 years of piano experience, Celine also enjoys writing and has won numerous awards from the University of Queensland, Queensland Piano Competition, Redlands Eisteddfod, and the English Teachers Association of Queensland. Celine aspires to have a portfolio career in music, using her skills in performing, chamber music, teaching and writing. However, in her spare time, she seeks out good food, and is a self-proclaimed stationery enthusiast.


RUNNER-UP: Fiona Murphy

Fiona Murphy is a writer based in Melbourne. Her work has appeared in Kill Your Darlings, The Age, FasterLouder, and The Spit Press, among other publications; and she’s a writer-in-residence for Feminartsy. Fiona is also an audio geek — she regularly reads the weekend news for Vision Australia radio, and co-hosts the podcast Literary Canon Ball.


RUNNER-UP: Jasmin Wing-Yin Leung (梁詠然)

Jasmin Wing-Yin Leung (梁詠然) is an Asian-Australian composer, erhu player and improviser. She has written for orchestras, new music ensembles, theatre, ballet and is active in the free improvisation scene in Brisbane. A graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, her honours thesis investigated the process of creating intercultural situational structured improvisations within China and Australia. Her work is focused on the possibilities of sonic and extra-musical phenomena during the live generation of music. Jasmin has studied with Erik Griswold, Gerardo Dirie, Gerard Brophy and Uros Rojko, and has attended masterclasses at the Bosnian International Music Festival (Bosnia and Herzegovina), the Impuls Akademie (Austria), and spent a semester at Akademija za Glasbo Ljubljana (Slovenia). This month, she will be a resident at the Ostrava New Music Days in Czechia.


RUNNER-UP: Salina Myat

Salina is studying her second year at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. She majors in percussion performance, after having spent a year training in composition. Salina says: “I still struggle to be decisive about my specialisation; I’m genuinely passionate about both composition and performance, but realise how difficult it is to maintain both at a high enough standard. I think it’s important to write about what we do in a way that might prompt a more open-minded reception of classical music, and create a better platform for us to exist within. I have no formal experience of music or arts journalism so this is an exciting opportunity that I’m very grateful for.”


We congratulate and welcome these four talented writers!


We would also like to thank all those who entered the competition. Each entrant will receive in-depth feedback on their blogs and the opportunity for publication.

Be sure to check back in throughout August to read fresh music journalism as part of our CutCommon Young Writers’ Month!


Images supplied.

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