Writing and Literature
City of Rockingham Short Fiction Awards - Now Open
Entries close: 14 July 2017
Entries are now open for the 2017 City of Rockingham Short Fiction Awards, with more than $5000 in prizes on offer.
Authors can submit up to three stories. Entered stories must be inspired by, drawn upon, or use the theme of the artwork "Arts Centre Cafe" by Daniela Selir (1994), which can be found on the entry form.
Individual stories cannot be entered in more than one category, and must be original, unpublished, not have received an award in another competition, and not be under consideration elsewhere from the time of entry in the awards until the official announcement of winners.
To ensure anonymity, please do not put names or contact details on the manuscript. Entries are read ‘blind’ by the judge, and all entries must be accompanied by a completed and signed entry form. Entries must be type-written, double-spaced on one side only of A4-sized white paper, with pages numbered, and the story title on each page.
Email entries as an attached .rtf of word document to firstname.lastname@example.org with "2017 Short Fiction Awards: [STORY TITLE] by [YOUR NAME]" as the subject line OR post it in an A4 envelope to:
City of Rockingham Short Fiction Awards
Community Development Officer, Arts and Culture
City of Rockingham
PO Box 2142
Rockingham DC WA 6967
Entry is free, and winners will be notified by phone or mail prior to the official announcement. The judge’s decisions is final, and no correspondence will be entered into. Any attempt to lobby judges or City of Rockingham employees, or influence decisions, may result in disqualification.
For further queries, please contact the Community Development Officer (Arts & Culture) on 9528 0333 or email@example.com.
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Community Christmas Poetry Competition
Congratulations to Ashleigh Mounser, whose poem “On the Drive Home From Christmas” was awarded the 2016 Christmas Poetry Prize. Ashleigh makes it a double for 2016, having won the 2016 Castaways Poetry Prize earlier this year.
Judge Karen Murphy said: "This poem stood out among the rest because of the vivid imagery, particularly surrounding heat such as the sister going 'dahlia pink' over the oven and the sweat from wearing a Santa hat. For me these images capture the dichotomy of Christmas in Australia as we seek to maintain some of the tradition of a European Christmas while still establishing traditions of our own. This is captured best in one of the final lines where the poet uses a traditional Christmas food to talk about how the heat makes them 'warm and sticky like toffee' when they go to bed the night before."
"While this poem still represents Christmas tradition, it represents some of the uniquely Australian adaptations as a result of the heat, which defines Christmas Day for many Australians. These mentions of heat are both direct, in lines like 'the bitumen burning my toes' and indirect, in lines like 'I can almost hear the sleighbells over the cicadas'. While many images throughout this poem convey an Australian summer, such as the in-season mangos, what truly defines its references to Australian culture is the image of walking barefoot. Few people would understand why you'd do this in heat except for an Australian! This poem also represents an ordinary Christmas, a Christmas many can relate to - the Christmas crackers are old and don't pop, the heat makes it uncomfortable. This isn't a glorified Christmas and the voice is authentic. The metaphor of 'fat, shiny cherries' that is woven throughout this poem is also indicative of that Christmas bloat many of us suffer from. The 'shiny', again, could be seen as alluding to the heat."
As well as the$200 prize, Ashleigh’s poem will be displayed on posters throughout Rockingham during the festive period to bring a little extra joy to the occasion.
Community Christmas Poetry Competition Winner 2016
On the Drive Home from Christmas, Ashleigh Mounser
On the drive home for Christmas,
I pass boxes of cherries on the highway.
My mother always said
she knew it was Christmas time
when the cherries got fat and shiny.
I always know it’s Christmas mid-November,
when I kick off my shoes,
don’t put them back on until February
and walk barefoot to the store for mangoes
in a fleecy Santa hat that makes sweat run down my cheeks,
the bitumen burning my toes.
I know it’s Christmas when my sister starts baking,
turning dahlia pink as she leans over the oven
to check on a cheesecake,
my grandfather grinning in a paper hat he won from a cracker.
The crackers under the tree are so old,
that when we bought them
my mum could still force me to wear shoes,
They don’t pop anymore, so we just pull apart the paper.
Even the puns are dated.
I go to sleep on Christmas eve,
warm and sticky like toffee,
lips glowing from too many cherries
and I can almost hear the sleighbells over the cicadas.
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