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Fresh Ink Emerging Writers Prize Shortlist

Fresh Ink Emerging Writers Prize Shortlist

Congratulations to Alex Chalwell, Rebecca Chaney, Lorina Mason and Nate McCarthy who have been shortlisted from 80 emerging regional NSW writers for the inaugural Fresh Ink Emerging Writers Prize.

The prize has been judged by Sunil Badami, Ivy Ireland, and Inga Simpson. It was established by Newcastle Writers Festival to support emerging regional writers during the pandemic with sponsorship from Newcastle wine label Elephant in the Room and funding support from Create NSW.

The winner will be announced at a special online event from 5pm on Saturday, September 25, and will receive $5000 for professional development. Tune in for the announcement of the winner via our YouTube channel or Facebook. There is no need to register.

Get to know the shortlisted writers and read their prize submissions:

Alex Chalwell lives in Wollongong. His shortlisted story The Anatomy of Laughter is part of a novel he is working on which isinspired by his five years’ experience as a hospital clown. It centres on a misanthropic recruit to a hospital’s clown program who finds himself the guardian of the elaborate fairy tale easing the anxiety of a young patient. Set in a fictitious children’s hospital that rattles with colour, the begrudging newcomer learns how to walk into any room, no matter how dark, and find the light. Read Alex’s submission here

Rebecca Chaney lives in Forresters Beach and is a writer and bookseller. Stu and the Sketchy Time Stops is the story of a 12-year-old Australian boy who uses his time-stopping ability to rob the world’s biggest casino and to save his non-biological little sister. Highlighting that family means more than genetics, this work celebrates the diversity of 21st-century families and acknowledges the one in 20 Australian children is now born via IVF. Read Rebecca’s submission here

Lorina Mason lives in Wangi Wangi. Her first job as a teacher took me to remote NSW and the “greatest loves of my life; my husband and our four children, and the gift of a large extended family”. Her interest in bringing the use of Yuwaalaraay into fiction underpins her submission, which is “for my children from my heart”. Brushed is part of a novel about “ordinary people” living in the fictional town of Warrumbool in remote NSW. Dane Owen falls in love with newcomer Skye Williams and as their lives brush together there are unexpected consequences for everyone. It negotiates a respectful relationship with Country and the obligations of all of us who belong to it. Read Lorina’s submission here

Nate McCarthy lives in Tuross Head. They have been published in SAND Journal and Soft Borders, Hard Edges, a special edition of Bent Street: A Journal of Australian LGBTIQA+ Arts, Writing & Ideas. After the Fires is set during the pandemic. Scott gets a van and heads south to the bushfire-affected coast to escape the city. He’s not above reading himself in the burned-out landscape he drives through, in the ash and the struggling gums. For a hot minute though, he could be at the start of something that feels like freedom, like hope. Read Nates’s submission here