Once again the Henry Lawson Festival Verse and Short Story writing competition has been well supported, with a total of 348 entries received from all over Australia and even one from Canada! Our two judges commented on the high standard of writing.
Verse judge, Amanda Anastasi, commented that 'It was a joy to read all of the poems, especially the winning poems, which contained well-crafted lines, rhythmic flow and emotional presence. Across all sections of the competition, the strongest poems contained resonant images, clear and economical language and unforced rhymes'
Short Story judge, Narrelle Harris, wrote that judging the entries had been 'a very difficult task. The entries at all levels displayed a rich seam of writing potential: a deft turn of phrase here, a delicious sense of humour there; a knack for the traditional Aussie tall tale in this tale; a beautifully communicated appreciation for our landscape and way of life in that'. Among the winning entries were local students from Henry Lawson High School and St Joseph's Primary School.
From Henry Lawson High School:
Short Story: 1st: Connor Day- 'Control'
Highly Commended: Tara Schaeffer- 'Storm'
Verse: Highly Commended- Brett Knight 'Look Up'.
From St Joseph's Primary School:
Verse: 2nd: Blake Reeves- 'Earth'
Highly Commended: Annie Nealon- 'The Simple Things'
Short Story: Highly Commended: Zi Jie Xia- 'The Worst Pirates'. Congratulations to our local talented students.
A full list of winners can be found at: https://www.henrylawsonfestival.com.au/
Narrelle M Harris - Short Story Judge
Narrelle M Harris's 30+ novels and short stories have been published in Australia, US and the UK in the crime, horror, fantasy, romance and erotica genres.
Award nominations include Fly By Night (nominated for a Ned Kelly Award), Witch Honour and Witch Faith (both short-listed for the George Turner Prize), Walking Shadows (Chronos Awards; Davitt Awards). Her ghost/crime story Jane won the Athenaeum Library's "Body in the Library" prize at the 2017 Scarlet Stiletto Awards. On Patreon, Narrelle is writing novellas in the Duo Ex Machina series of M/M romance crime novellas. The third in the series, Number One Fan, is currently being serialised for her supporters. Alongside her writing career, Narrelle also conducts regular writing talks and workshops, and has guided attendees through topics such as Growing Up Reading, the Vampire Metaphor, Building Believable Fantasy Worlds, Killer Opening Sentences, Writing about Sex and Intimacy, the enduring popularity of Sherlock Holmes and where writers get their ideas.
She has also been a panellist at writing festivals and literary events, including the Dicks Vs Dames debate for the St Kilda Writers Week and Melbourne University's Dark Imaginings: Gothic Tales of Wonder in 2018, the Emerging Writers Festival, Melbourne's annual SF convention Continuum, Melbourne Writers' Festival, and others. I have often spoken on Lucille Hughes Readings and Writings program on 96.5 Inner FM and was a regular contributor to John Richards' The Outland Institute radio program on Joy FM when it ran.
Amanda Anastasi - Verse Judge
Amanda Anastasi is the curator of La Mama Poetica, a poetry reading that has been running since 1967 at Melbourne's iconic La Mama Theatre. She has a Bachelor of Arts (Professional Writing and Editing) from Deakin University and has been published as locally as the Australian Poetry Anthology and Cordite to The Massachusetts Review in the US. Her poetry collections are '2012 and other poems' (2012) and 'The Silences' (Eaglemont Press, 2016; co-authored with Robbie Coburn). Amanda is a two-time winner of the Ada Cambridge Poetry Prize (2011, 2010) and the Words in Winter Trentham Contemporary Poetry Prize (2017), and has been shortlisted in the W.B. Yeats Poetry Prize in Australia and the MPU International Poetry Competition. In 2018, Amanda was the recipient of a Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship.