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AAWP/ASSF Emerging Writer’s Prize 2019

The AAWP / ASSF Prize is a publication pathway for emerging writers. The prize is open to short stories. The Australasian Association of Writing Programs (AAWP) is delighted to partner with the Australian Short Story Festival (ASSF) to provide this publication pathway for emerging writers. Heartfelt thanks to the judges for managing the judging process with such integrity—thank you for so generously donating your time in the interests of emerging writers.

2019 Winner: Anne Hotta for ‘Kanreki’

Judges’ report:

Anne Hotta’s ‘Kanreki’ is a quietly funny and heart-warming story about an older Japanese woman finding a new passion in dancing the Tango after her husband dies, much to her conservative son’s chagrin. It’s a story about going against traditions and finding ways to be happy within yourself. With writing that is spare but detailed, the reader is gently brought into the foreign universe of the story through the thrill of a crush, which most of us can relate to. ‘Kanreki’ is a multi-layered story that the judges loved reading and re-reading. The standard was high and the judges would like to commend three other entries. Congratulations to the winner and the commended writers.

Commended entries:

‘Sean’ by Judi Morison

‘Freeing Yasmin’ by Wendy Riley

‘Infinite Scroll’ by Rebecca Bryson

About the winner:

Anne Hotta is an Australian now living in Victoria. Anne spent fifteen years living Tokyo and five in New York. She is a teacher with various hobbies, the most important being creative writing. She has written nonfiction articles for newspapers, journals and magazines, but would like to be a successful writer of fiction. In a short but dedicated career, she has had a few stories published by literary magazines in Australia and has received five, now six, awards in both Australian and international competitions.

AAWP/SC Emerging Writer’s Prize 2019

The AAWP / SC Prize is a publication pathway for emerging writers. The prize is open to creative nonfiction. The Australasian Association of Writing Programs (AAWP) is delighted to partner with Slow Canoe Live Journal (SC) to provide this publication pathway for emerging writers. Heartfelt thanks to the judge for managing the judging process with such integrity—thank you for so generously donating your time in the interests of emerging writers.

2019 Winner: Anna Kate Blair ‘Marguerite Duras at the Tepid Baths’

Judging is despairing. Not because there are so few good pieces, but because there are so many that are so near to being fully realised, that never quite arrive, however much they promise that they will. There are of course, inevitably, bad pieces too, that feel like so many small electric shocks. That is meaningless. Every writer, perhaps, arguably, I would say, particularly those who are on to something, that are reaching for something, will in the beginning write poorly or ungenerously or wrongheadedly. I can think of a handful of writers that seem to have been born fully realised, though more likely they were born knowing how to hold off until they were. Maybe Anne Carson, definitely J.M. Coetzee: writers who themselves don’t quite feel real, who don’t have volume, particularly inconstant volume, the way the rest of us do.

So when you are judging, and you’re reading piece after piece, and you come across a writer who clicks words into sentences, and then clicks those sentences into paragraphs in a way that feels unquestionable, it’s a shock. It’s a little bit amusing. It makes you remember why you spend the time doing what you do. You don’t quite hear the back parts of your brain saying thank youthank you, to the author as you read, but that is what’s being said back there. I think of funny Louis Kahn, the architect, asking brick what brick wants to be and saying, in front of a hall full of students, brick wants to be an arch. A good sentence, a good piece of writing, is simply one that feels as though it wants to exist, wants to be.

The winning entry of the inaugural AAWP SC Creative Nonfiction Prize, ‘Marguerite Duras at the Tepid Baths’, by Anna Kate Blair, is a very fine piece of writing. It’s about what it’s about and has to be read, but, in a simple, not quite right sense, it’s about the author taking up an activity, or inhabiting an obsession, of a person they’re experiencing the loss of and a tangible grief for, while they are also experiencing an apparently lesser, yet more immediate, grief, of a relationship breakdown. It works beautifully – as a cohesive block it’s quietly moving and quietly funny; it carefully and elegantly builds both a physical and conscious reality. But it also takes control of your reading – it has that tensile slow urgency that drags you far enough into itself so that you experience its elements, in the small and limited way that’s available to us, as the author does. I look forward to seeing what Anna Kate Blair does next. 

I would also like to acknowledge another excellent entry: ‘The Price of Perfection’, by Helena Gjone, about a personal experience of the cruel rigour of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy and questions around weight and beauty around dance more generally. This is an excellent piece of writing, showing genuine, early promise.

About the winner:
Anna Kate Blair is a writer from New Zealand. She holds a PhD in History of Art and Architecture from the University of Cambridge. Her work has appeared in publications including LitroThe AppendixKing’s Review and 10 Stories: Writing About Architecture. She is currently a Grace Marion Wilson Fellow at Glenfern Writers’ Studios in Melbourne. 

About the commended author:
Helena Gjone recently completed the bachelor of psychological science and is currently undertaking honours in creative writing at Griffith University.

AAWP/UWRF Emerging Writer’s Prize 2019

The AAWP / UWRF Prize is a publication pathway for emerging writers. The prize is open to fiction or poetry. The Australasian Association of Writing Programs (AAWP) is delighted to partner with Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (UWRF) to provide this publication pathway for emerging writers. Heartfelt thanks to the judges for managing the judging process with such integrity—thank you for so generously donating your time in the interests of emerging writers.

2019 Winner: Annabel Stafford for ‘Acid’

Judges’ report:

The winning entry for this year’s contest is Annabel Stafford for ‘Acid’. The voice is fresh and raw, intent on unpeeling the mystery of a child’s pain. Stafford presents early, if not primitive, aspects of life in dramatic and uncompromising ways, stripping the world of easy sentiments, highlighting the visceral qualities of experience, its haunting and its premonitions of disaster. The intensity of the story, and its focus on multiple ways of understanding the word ‘acid’ in a medical and societal frame of reference is tempered by the Stafford’s deeply human engagement with the topic. Like smoke rising from a candle and casting shadows and lights that shift and evade, the story will draw you in, hold you firmly there as the story unfolds and in its wake.

About the winner:


Annabel Stafford is a casual teacher in the creative writing program at the University of Technology, Sydney, where she completed her Doctorate of Creative Arts in 2018. She was formerly a federal political reporter for The Australian Financial Review and The Age and Sydney Correspondent for The Age. She has also been published in The Griffith Review, Meanjin, The Good Weekend, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Tablet among other publications. 

Chapter One prize announced!

Chapter One is a publication pathway for emerging writers. The prize is open to authors who have written a poetry collection, literary novel, short story collection, or a hybrid work that crosses genre boundaries. The Australasian Association of Writing Programs (AAWP) is delighted to partner with University of Western Australia Publishing (UWAP) to provide this publication pathway for emerging writers. Heartfelt thanks to the judge for managing the judging process with such integrity—thank you for so generously donating your time in the interests of emerging writers.

2019 Winner: Benjamin Muir for The McMillan Diaries.

Judge’s report:

The submission I favour is the one that has come to me as The McMillan Diaries.   The standard of writing in all the submissions is very high, and a good proportion seem to me to be worthy of publication.  I have chosen The McMillan Diaries, though, because of its special ingenuity and inventiveness.  I find it impossible to separate out its various strands – fact and fiction, scholarly interpolation or satire on scholarship, history and fantasy – and  immediately somehow I felt the need for far more than one chapter and one brief synopsis to ‘orient myself’ with this work, while at the same time wondering f the whole exercise wasn’t just a Laurence Sterne ‘shaggy dog story’, but one which, as in the case with Tristam Shandy, distributes a lot of wisdom and insight along the way, as it romps through a veritable smorgasbord of genres, interpolations and digressions (much of which comes in the scholarly appendages), while constantly in review of its own methods, strategies and subterfuges. 

It’s a work which generously toys with and takes inspiration from the mysteries at its core: from the small part I have been given to read, it neatly offers the spectacle of the mystery of its central subject working its way up and out into the structure, the prose and the methods of the investigation.  The whole novel will not, I suspect, ‘solve’ the mystery as it seems itself so heavily infected and shaped by it?  For me, it evokes Rabelais, Swift, Sterne, Borges, Sebald – that delicious feeling that the writer is somehow ‘having a lend of one’, dismantling (and satirizing?) the kind of assurances and conventions that usually support this mode of inquiry.

It is, however, a work of serious intent – as is of course the case in all those writers I’ve noted above.  Can this writer pull it off?  Will the core narrative, at full length, keep the reader engaged and focussed, while at the same time being entertained, waylaid, diverted, teased and provoked?  I couldn’t be sure, from just this one chapter and brief synopsis.  It is indeed a very risky venture.  I think that’s why I have chosen it… 

About the winner:

“Benjamin D. Muir is a writer and doctoral candidate from Western Sydney, who predominantly authors postmodern Gothic and horror fiction. His work has appeared previously in FBI Radio’s Or it Didn’t Happen and Antipodean Science Fiction. He is currently completing the manuscript that won AAWP’s First Chapter contest as the creative component of his DCA thesis. The exegetical component examines depictions of grief and trauma in Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves and The Fifty Year Sword, the works that chiefly informed his creative component. You can follow his work atfacebook.com/benjamindmuir and @benjamindmuir on Twitter.“  

Bridging Worlds with Words – registrations open

Registrations for the 12th annual gathering, ‘Bridging Worlds with Words’ #APWT2019, from 5-7th November at the University of Macau are now open!

“In addition to a stellar line up of feature authors, registered participants at APWT get to be part of the experience.

Would you like to launch a book, speak on a particular issue, run a workshop or propose a panel or event? We’re open to your ideas and want to hear from you. The sooner you register the sooner we can begin to consider you as a priority in our programming. Register now to tell us how you would like to be involved. With generous member, early bird and student discounts it’s time to lock in Macau! Visit our website now for full details” 

Call for Papers: AXON journal

Axon: Creative Explorations (ISSN 1838-8973; axonjournal.com.au) is a Scopus-listed journal that publishes material aimed at building understandings about creativity, the creative process, and the cultural contexts, and theoretical frameworks, that inform creative practice.

For issue 9.2, ‘Living in the world: creativity, science, environments’, we are publishing material associated with cities and creative thinking/practice; creativity and space/place; science/art relationships, and related matters. We invite submissions of between 500 and 6000 words, by 30 September. Details and submission portal can be found here

2019 SA Gender, Sex and Sexualities Postgraduate and ECR Conference

Abstracts are being sought for the Sixth Annual South Australian Postgraduate and Early Career Researcher Gender, Sex and Sexualities conference. All applicants whose abstracts are accepted also have the chance to submit a full paper for publication in the special issue of an academic peer-reviewed journal.

Past, Present and Future: contested histories and emerging identities will be held on September 23 and 24 at the Napier Building: Theatre 102, University of Adelaide. It will feature exciting, local and interstate keynote speakers and panellists (TBA).

The submission deadline is June 3, 2019.

‘Standard presentations’ (20 minutes) are eligible for the Dr Michael Noble Prize for Outstanding Contribution to the Conference. The prize is a book voucher, awarded to the best conference presentation, in honour of Dr Michael Noble. We recognise Dr Noble’s life work, including his contributions to intersex activism, his role as Intersex Consultant and Communications Officer for the 2017 Gender, Sex and Sexualities Art(i)culations of Violence Committee, alongside many other achievements and experiences. More information on the Dr Michael Noble Prize to follow. 

The aim of this conference is to bring together postgraduate students and early career researchers from across South Australia to share their work and research with their peers and to continue building a collegial and collaborative environment for South Australian and Australian students. This year’s theme aims to explore the past, present and future of gender, sex and sexualities in relation to the structural, personal, institutional, cultural, symbolic, epistemic, and discursive. This theme is purposefully broad and can be applied to any number of issues, theoretical and practical.

This is an interdisciplinary conference that aims to bring together a network of postgraduate students and early career researchers from across South Australia whose research explores gender and/or sexualities. Previous conferences have featured papers from students of Sociology, Gender & Women’s Studies, Indigenous Studies, Politics, Anthropology, History, Visual Art, Cultural Studies, Creative Writing, Health Science, Law, Philosophy, Linguistics and more. We are excited to bring together a multitude of exciting thinkers across disciplines!

This year’s theme is Past, Present and Future: Contested Histories and Emerging Identities. Possibilities for exploring the concepts of past, present and future include (but are not limited to):

  • Post genderism
  • Intersectionality
  • Activism and privilege
  • Diversity and the academy
  • Decolonisation
  • Performance and storytelling
  • Human rights, health and wellbeing
  • Family, intimacies, transformation, and marriage
  • Childhood and youth
  • Environment and sustainability
  • Violence
  • Power
  • Education

We invite three different types of presentation:

  • Standard presentation (20 minutes)
  • Short ‘snapshot’ paper (5 minutes)
  • Visual art (see call for visual art)

Our invited speakers will talk about their exciting research and offer helpful guidance to postgraduate and early career researcher attendees.

Visit our website for more information: https://sagenderandsexualitiesconf.wordpress.com/

Submit your abstract using the relevant proforma and email to: gsspostgradconference@gmail.com

Poetry on the Move: Small Leaps, Giant Steps.

Special issue of the journal Axon: Creative Explorations www.axonjournal.com.au

This special issue of the Axon journal is connected to a one-day symposium to be held in Canberra on 21st October 2019 during the Poetry on the Move Festival (17-21 October 2019), organised and hosted by the International Poetry Studies Institute (IPSI) in the Faculty of Arts and Design at the University of Canberra.

This issue aims to explore ways in which contemporary poetry uses or harnesses knowledge of various kinds and how poetry understands the world. For example, how does poetry make use of, interact with or transform existing bodies of knowledge? And how is poetry itself a form of knowing? If poetry may be said to produce knowledge, what kind of knowledge is this?

We are particularly interested in papers that relate to:

  • Poetry’s relationship to various conceptions of truth (social, political, abstract, aesthetic)
  • Embodied knowledges
  • Cultural knowledge
  • The play of convention and subversion
  • Poetry’s use of and intersection with knowledge from other intellectual domains (e.g. science, mathematics, philosophy, economics, etc.)
  • Poetry’s incorporation of knowledge about the environment, climate and landscape
  • Poetic modes of thinking and cognition
  • Poetry and the thought-feeling nexus
  • Ways in which poetry explores knowledge
  • Heuristic knowledge and trial-and-error
  • Ways in which poetry produces knowledge
  • Poetic revision as a pathway to knowledge
  • How poetic expression relates to the production of knowledge
  • Poetry and the ephemeral

What we would like from contributors:

  1. A 150-word abstract of your proposed paper by 30 April 2018
  2. If your abstract is accepted (we will notify you by 20 May 2018), a full written paper of between 3,000 and 6,000 words by 15 November 2018.

The editors of this issue of Axon: Creative Explorations journal are Professor Paul Hetherington, Professor Jen Webb and Shane Strange.

All abstracts, papers and related correspondence should be addressed to Shane Strange at Shane.Strange@canberra.edu.au