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Calling all writers

Tuesday, 11th February, 2020

Lori Emmett (left) won the inaugural short story competition last year. Lori Emmett (left) won the inaugural short story competition last year.

The deadline for entering in the Under the Silver Tree Writing Competition is fast approaching and writers have until March 1 to get their entries in.

For the second year running, the competition offers writers of any age or ilk to engage their muse and throw their hat in the ring.

This year, the theme is “Transformation”, which was selected to commemorate the work of Albert Morris, the acclaimed Broken Hill botanist, landscaper, ecologist and conservationist.

This is an apt choice, considering 2020 is the centenary year of the Barrier Field Naturalists’ Club, of which Morris became the first Secretary, in 1920. 

Under the Silver Tree’s Cathy Farry said entrants may interpret the ‘Transformation’ theme as they wish, meaning it does not have to relate to the environment.

As a variation to the structure of last year’s writing competition, all genres will be judged against each other in one pool of entries. That is, short story, poetry, memoir, etc., will be judged against each other for an outright winner, and the competition is open to all ages.

The only restriction is a word limit of 2,000 words.

First prize is $1,000; and a prize of $500 will be awarded to a Highly Commended local entry, with ‘local’ being defined as a resident of either Far Western NSW, the areas encompassed by Broken Hill City Council, Wentworth Shire Council, central Darling Shire and the Western Unincorporated Area.

Ms Farry said three further prizes of $100 for encouragement or commendation may also be awarded at the judges’ discretion.

Lori Emmett, who was awarded first prize last year in the Open Short Story category, said she felt the cash prizes were very generous and the presentation night was impressive.

“The prize money is amazing,” Ms Emmett said.

“And the presentation night (in the courtyard at the Grand), with all the food and music, was worth coming out for.”

Asked if winning the prize had any impact on her writing, she said it most definitely did.

“It was inspiring to win, gratifying... I can write,” she said.

“I am currently working on a larger piece and I’m working on writing faster and better, to be able to meet publishers’ deadlines.

“I hope the competition continues and that people continue to attend the fundraisers.”

The next fundraiser for the writing competition will be held this Sunday, February 16, at the Silver City Cinema, where “Birds of Prey” will be screened at 1.10pm.

Application forms for the competition may be collected from the bookshop at 29 Sulphide Street, or email UTSTwritingcompetition@gmail.com to request one.

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