Three Hunter region residents are among the six writers shortlisted for the 2023 Fresh Ink Prize. This is the third year Newcastle Writers Festival has offered the prize, which is open to regional NSW writers aged over 18.
This year’s judges – Amal Awad, Chris Flynn and Wendy James – said: “The quality of this year’s Fresh Ink entries was commendable, with some strong writing, and ambitious professional development plans. We were impressed with the variety of ideas and perspectives.
In choosing our shortlist, we have focused on works that feature assured, confident prose, as well as vivid characterisation and that crucial — if notoriously hard to define element — a memorable voice. In considering the narrative proposals, which counted towards final scoring, we have favoured originality and engaging text. We would like to congratulate all the entrants for their dedication to the craft.”
The winner will be announced at a special event on 15 October and will be awarded $5000 for professional development thanks to the generosity of Newcastle wine label Elephant in the Room, as well as a week-long residency at Varuna. The prize is also supported by Create NSW.
The shortlisted writers are:
Anne Greenwood, Torment’s Mirror
Anne, a former regional newspaper journalist, lives on Kamilaroi country near Barraba in northern NSW. She currently works part time as a photographer and gardener. She is also working on a crime novel set in and around the area she lives.
Christine Johnson, Sweet Frances Adams
Christine Johnson was born in England and grew up in Australia. She worked around Australia and in Hong Kong as a theatre director. An award-winning short fiction writer, Accessible Arts NSW, gave her first novel an Amplify Your Art Grant. The work won Busybird Publishing Manuscript Competition 2019. It was longlisted for the Hawkeye Publishing Manuscript Development Prize in 2021. Christine lives on the NSW Central Coast.
Acey Monaro, Jasmine
Acey Monaro is a housepainter and musician from Maitland. After spending a decade living and performing in Texas and California, she obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Creative Writing) during the pandemic – her first completed schooling since dropping out at 14. Her work is preoccupied with welfare-class and working-class stories. She now lives in Mayfield.
Briony O’Hara, The Flood
As a regional journalist and communications professional for more than 20 years, Briony is inspired by local stories and the connections between people and events. The idea for her novel was planted in the Maitland 1955 flood and grew into a compulsion to write. She lives in Kurri Kurri.
Leanne Paine, Lemons
Leanne is a film student at Newcastle TAFE. She said ” I’ve always wanted to walk with the artists, the dreamers, and the story tellers. They are my people. Also, I’ve always believed I could fly a helicopter. But we’ll never know, until one day someone leaves the keys in one”.
Holly Trenaman, Shells
Holly Trenaman (she/her) is a writer and filmmaker from Coledale, based on Dhawaral land. She has a Bachelor of Screen Production from AFTRS, and now studies a Masters of Creative Writing at UTS. She’s been published in Rachel’s List, Uni Junkee, the South Coast Writers Anthology and the UTS Anthology. She lives in Woonona.