Writers share $45,000, McInnes announces top learn-to-read tales

Writers share $45,000, McInnes announces top learn-to-read tales Writers share $45,000, McInnes announces top learn-to-read tales Posted Thursday 1st September, 2011

New and established writers have won shares in a $45,000 prize pool and national acclaim in a new short story competition for their compelling stories of the struggles and triumphs experienced by people learning to read as adults.
Patron of the National Year of Reading 2012, award-winning writer and actor William McInnes, announced the national winners in Melbourne at a celebration event today (1 September.)
Judges from among the country’s most outstanding writers selected the winning entries, which will be recorded and podcast nationally, from almost 300 entries from across Australia.
National Director of Writing Australia, Mary Delahunty, said the exciting new competition had set the stage for the National Year of Reading 2012, with today’s winners’ announcement during Adult Learners' Week.

“The competition was held to find and record stories, true or fictional, which would inspire adults to learn to read or improve their reading”, she said.
“There is an amazing range of settings and characters in the winning stories, which will be produced as recordings to help reach the 46 per cent of Australians who struggle with literacy.”

“Running this innovative competition has been the first key project for Writing Australia, the new national affiliation of state Writers’ Centres, and we are delighted that it has attracted entries from Australia’s best contemporary writers, as well as new voices.”
The 12 winners from the ‘published writers’ category are: Ms Jane Downing (NSW), Mr Matt Blackwood (VIC), Ms Amy Jackson-Shelling (VIC), Dr Maria Arena (QLD), Ms Jennifer Mills (SA), Ms Philomena van Rijswijk (TAS), Ms Sophie Constable (NT), Ms Penny Gibson (VIC), Mr Tom Dullemond (QLD), Ms Melanie Joosten (VIC), Dr Ruth Starke (SA), Dr Tansy Rayner-Roberts (TAS). The nine winners from the ‘unpublished writers’ category are: Mark Joseph, Steve Wilson, Cassandra Dickserson, Faten Chendeb, Kath Harper, Kerri Turner, Vanessa Jones, Kiralee Baldock, and Karen Eastwood.

Judges were Australian authors Leonie Norrington, who herself returned to study literacy as an adult and went on to become an award-winning author; Amanda Curtin, lecturer and prize-winning fiction writer; Rohan Wilson, winner of the acclaimed The Australian / Vogel Award for a novelist under 35; and Sean Williams, New York Times best-selling speculative fiction writer.
The competition and prizes have been funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), through Adult Learners' Week National Grant Funding.
The competition has been a partnership between the National Year of Reading 2012, the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), Writing Australia, the NT, and Queensland Writers' Centres and writingWA.

Twelve previously published writers have each won a $3,000 cash prize, and nine previously unpublished writers will win $1,000.
Further information is available at the National Year of Reading, www.love2read.org.au.

1 Sept 2020


Mary Delahunty, National Director, Writing Australia, Ph 03 9682 0475, email: ceo@writingaustralia.org.au

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