The 2015 Glenfern Fellowships for Emerging Writers were awarded to Audrey El-Osta to work on her ‘Primavera’ poetry collection, Jacquie Byron for the second draft of her crime novel, ‘Trouble Sleeping’, and Jessica Yu for her Young Adult manuscript, ‘The Strong and Silent Type’.
The three fellows will be given three months’ use of a writer’s studio within the National Trust property of Glenfern in East St Kilda between October and December this year.
The fellowships were judged by Melbourne writers Chrissie Keighery and Eddie Creaney. “These entries shared a clear, strong vision, sharp and original writing and potential for development with the peace and tranquillity Glenfern has to offer,” the judges said.
Tamsin Martin and Kerry Lee Munnery have been announced as this year’s winners of the Grace Marion Wilson Emerging Writers Competition.
Non-fiction judge Lorna Hendry (herself a past winner of the competition) noted that many of this year’s entries shared common themes.
“The Australian landscape featured very strongly (more than one story had a spider in a woodpile) and climate change was the focus of several pieces,” Hendry said. “There were reflections of childhood, memories of first love and moving accounts of the loss of friends and family.”
Martin’s ‘Lady M’ is “clever, funny, evocative and moving,” says Hendry, “but it’s also unflinchingly honest.” Julie Lyndall Perrin took out the second prize with ‘The lore of candle care’ – “a beautifully told story that is infused with a quiet sadness.”
Hendry also awarded high commendations to Susan Bennett for ‘3778' and Mark Brandi for ‘Pensioner’s Concession.’
In awarding the $1,000 fiction prize to Munnery for ‘Solatium’, judges Steven Amsterdam and Bianca Stapleton noted that her piece was “subtly told and felt, allowing readers to sympathise with a man who has the appearance of having ‘given up’ but has simply grown accustomed to who he is and what that means for the people, and things, in his life.”
Second prize was awarded to William Stanforth for ‘An Anatomical Exercise’, with Melisabeth Cooper Fell and Katy Warner receiving high commendations for ‘Frank's Girls’ and ‘Because’ respectively.
The four winning stories will be published in the September/October double-edition of The Victorian Writer magazine.
Writers Victoria acknowledges the generous support of the Grace Marion Wilson Trust for these programs.