Writing prizes celebrate Central Vic

Bendigo Writers Festival announces two competitions to celebrate the landscape, history and people of Central Victora.

The 2016 Vox Bendigo Fyffe Award is open to everyone, for writing on the theme “In This Place: Central Victoria”. Shortlisted writers will be published in a book, to be launched at Bendigo Writers Festival in August, and the winner will receive $1000.

The 2016 Vox Bendigo Book: Young Writers Anthology is open to school students from years 3 to 11. The theme of the competition is “My Place”, with winning entries to be published in a book that will be launched during Bendigo Writers Festival.

“Our festival is about reading and writing and we know how much people enjoy hearing stories about this region, so these two prizes invite people young and old to see their work published in books we hope will delight us all,” coordinator of the Young Writers Anthology competition, Cecile Shanahan, says.

“Bendigo Mayor Rod Fyffe got behind the open prize last year and this year we’re really pleased that Rotary Club of Bendigo is backing the Young Writers Anthology.

“It’s going to be very interesting to see what kind of writing about our region turns up for both prizes.”

The Vox Bendigo Fyffe Award will be coordinated by Bendigo Writers Festival director Rosemary Sorensen.

Ms Sorensen says there will be no quibbling about whether or not a place is within the Central Victorian region.

“We are happy for the region to be inclusive, and would love to receive writing by and about those people who live outside Bendigo,” she says.

“We think of ourselves as geographically sitting somewhere in the middle of a big, complex, diverse and fascinating region, and the idea of these prizes is to do our bit towards documenting all that in entertaining words.”

More information about both prizes can be found at the Bendigo Writers Festival website, or from The Capital, marketing manager Anne Henshall, a.henshall@bendigo.vic.gov.au.

Borough writing prize: closes Feb 16

The 2016 Mulga Bill Writing Award celebrates Bendigo’s neighbour Eaglehawk, known as the “borough”.

Mentioned in Banjo Paterson’s ode to Mulga Bill, Eaglehawk has a proud local history. The Dahlia and Arts Festival is a much-loved annual event, which has now launched its own writing prize:  the Mulga Bill Writing Award.

The competition calls for short stories, poems and bush verses that name drop Eaglehawk.

Award coordinator Lauren Mitchell says the judges for this year’s Eaglehawk-themed award are journalist and novelist Dianne Dempsey (short stories); bush poet Geoffrey Graham (bush verse); and writer and poet John Holton (poetry).

Entries need not be “about” Eaglehawk, but they do need to contain the word ‘Eaglehawk’ (as in the Mulga Bill poem).

Winners will share in $1100 prize money.

Entries close on February 16, go to www.mulgabillwritingaward.wordpress.compenny farthing.jpg for details.