Some of Melbourne’s top emerging writers and storytellers have been celebrated in the Lord Mayor’s Creative Writing Awards.
The latest awards saw the prize money for each category double to a combined total of $22,000, and the judges – a group of well-known publishers, authors and booksellers – were impressed by many of the 1250 entries.
The overall winner was Jack Callil, for his narrative non-fiction piece about an episode of psychosis. Monique Grbec was named winner of the inaugural Life Writing Award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander authors.
‘As an aspiring editor and writer, I suppose the most valuable part of the prize is knowing that a group of strangers understood what I was trying to say and thought it was important,’ Jack said.
‘Having gone through this period of mental health, I would advocate the therapeutic effect of writing about it.
‘Writing definitely isn’t everybody’s thing, but even if it’s some scrawls in a journal, there’s something about the process that helps you understand its nuances, and serves to detach yourself from it, even if only slightly and momentarily.’
As a UNESCO City of Literature, Melbourne is a place for writers to explore subjects that are important to them and be rewarded for their craft.
‘I hope that readers’ gain a new perspective about The White Australia Policy’s Stolen Generations from my work, and feel confident to share their own stories of historical trauma,’ Monique said.
‘I feel empowered that my story has been heard, and my wordsmanship acknowledged.
‘With two manuscripts parked on my laptop, this award gives my confidence to approach publishers. Watch out world!’