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The Winners of the 2022 Emerging Writers Competition

The 2022 Grace Marion Wilson Emerging Writers Competition

Writers Victoria is delighted to announce the winners and runners-up of the 2022 Grace Marion Wilson Emerging Writers Competition.

Now in its thirteenth year, the prize supports emerging Victorian writers. Winners of the fiction and non-fiction categories will receive a $1000 cash prize, with second prizes of $250 awarded to a runner-up in each category. The winning and runner-up entries will be published in the December 2022–February 2023 issue of The Victorian Writer. A $500 prize and publication in The Victorian Writer is also awarded to the highest placed Writers Victoria member from regional Victoria in either category (Fiction and Non-Fiction).

Our judges for this year’s competition were Melissa Manning and Wayne Marshall (fiction) and Eda Gunaydin (non-fiction).


WINNER: Emma-Grace Clarke, ‘The Arboreal Lens’

Nonfiction judge Eda Gunaydin said the following about Emma-Grace’s submission:
“’The Arboreal Lens’ is a warmly realised series of letters to the structures that provide shade, protection, curiosity and intrigue to the life of the author. I loved this work’s eccentricity, and learning details about the author’s relationship with their family, so richly drawn. This work reads like a prose poem in places, animated by the attention to nature that has given it shape. This is a work of non-fiction that is truly alive, teeming with energy and affect.”

RUNNER-UP: Marion Taffe, ‘A Year on Saturn’

Eda shared the following about Marion’s entry:
“’A Year on Saturn’ is a personal essay that is slow and quiet, in all the best ways. I admired the author’s willingness to write about the pandemic and lockdowns without giving into the demand placed upon writers – as the author notes – that we don’t write about this period at all. Inside of this, the author has tenderly sketched the contours of grief, mourning, and loss, but they also dwell on this time, and its strange passage, with real beauty.”


WINNER: Robyn Grace, ‘Sleeping’

Fiction judges Melissa Manning and Wayne Marshall said the following about Robyn’s submission:
“’Sleeping’ is the story of a marriage unravelling. Where the piece succeeds is its great ability to take the reader inside the head and heart of its protagonist, to make us feel her potent mix of dread and confusion as she attempts to keep her marriage and young family together. Every detail is perfect, the short backstory beautifully rendered. And the ending is a gut punch that’s impact lingers long after the devastating final sequence. A very worthy winner of this year’s Grace Marion Wilson Emerging Writers Competition in the Fiction category.”

RUNNER-UP: Elsie Mellor, ‘Birdfall’

Melissa and Wayne had these comments on Elsie’s entry:
“’Birdfall’ is an intriguing story. Vivid, and yet somehow ethereal, this work is peppered with exquisitely crafted lyrical descriptions. Affecting and tender, it speaks to large world concerns in the context of the protagonist’s personal anxieties and yearnings.”


WINNER: Jen Majoor, ‘How did I love thee? Let me count the love heart emojis’

Nonfiction judge Eda Gunaydin gave the following comments on Jen’s piece:
“’How do I love thee? Let me count the love heart emojis’ is a fun and candid piece of work that is relatable, self-aware and modern, without feeling hackneyed. I adored the author’s single-mindedness, which undergirded the attempt to wed psychoanalysis with the whackiness of Jennifer Egan. Funny, forthright, frothing with observational charm.”

Our warm congratulations to Emma-Grace, Marion, Robyn, Elsie and Jen, and our heartfelt thanks to our scrupulous judges: Eda Gunaydin, Melissa Manning, and Wayne Marshall.

Our thanks go to the Grace Marion Wilson Trust, whose support is integral to the existence of the Emerging Writers Competition.

We also would like to thank everyone who entered the Emerging Writers Prize this year. As always, it’s a delight to receive and read your entries, and we want to encourage each and every one of you to continue writing, learning, and submitting your work. We appreciate your efforts and talents and hope to be reading more from you in the future.

To find out more about the Grace Marion Wilson Emerging Writers Competition, including past winners and details about applying when the competition is open, visit this page on our website.

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