Wanted: Writers Who Understand Islands

Wanted: Writers Who Understand Islands Posted Sunday 5th January, 2014

Entries for the Tasmanian Writers’ Prize, an annual celebration of writing with an island resonance, close on January 31. The competition, now in its fifth year, is for short stories up to 3,000 words with an island theme. It is open to residents of Australia and New Zealand.
Judges for the 2014 event are Tasmanian literary heavyweights Chris Gallagher (director of The Tasmanian Writers’ Centre and peer advisor to the Literature Board of the Australia Council) and Pete Hay (author, academic and environmentalist).
The winner receives a cash prize of $500 and publication in Tasmania 40° South magazine. A selection of the best entries will be published in Forty South Publishing’s Short Story Anthology 2014.

Full details and entry forms available from the Forty South website here.

This year the focus for the competition has changed. Lucinda Sharp, Forty South Publishing's director explains the change below:

Search for a story line
A five-year literary search is over for Tasmanian publisher Lucinda Sharp.
The director of Forty South Publishing also runs the annual Tasmanian Writers’ Prize short story competition, and says she has struggled to define the theme of the competition.
“We have always wanted to make it Tasmanian in flavour, but national in appeal,” she said.
“In the past we have asked for stories about Tasmania, or which at least mention Tasmania, or talk about wind or cool-climate wines … in other words, we have had trouble defining what we wanted.
“It was hardly a clear message for writers, and annoying for us because there was a feeling we should be able to say it better.
“What we really wanted, I think, was a definition of ‘Tasmanian’ without using ‘Tasmania’.”
Then Sharp had an inspiration – she handballed the problem to her husband.
“I laid the issue before him and then I said, kindly of course, ‘We have had this problem for five years. You’re the writer, fix this’.”
Sharp’s husband is Chris Champion, co-director of Forty South Publishing and editor of Tasmania 40° South magazine. He suggested they ask for short stories with an “island resonance”. 
“I liked it for two reasons – mainland Australia is an island, and Australians generally identify with that strongly, and, secondly, it gave me the idea of inviting New Zealanders into the competition,” Sharp said.

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