Competition a cause for celebration

January 17, 2022 BY

Encourage: Library services officer Shae Hellstedt is calling on writers to enter the Mulga Bill Writing Award. Photo: KATIE MARTIN

ENTRIES are now open to the annual Mulga Bill Writing Award and wordsmiths of all skill levels and experience are being encouraged to apply.

Named after Banjo Paterson’s 1896 poem, with its titular character from Eaglehawk, the award runs alongside the suburb’s popular Dahlia and Arts Festival.

Library services officer Shae Hellstedt said this year would be the first time the local library led the initiative.

“We’d been participating in the Eaglehawk Dahlia and Arts Festival by putting on activities for kids and families, and then a couple of years ago they asked if the library would be interested in taking the Mulga Bill Writing Award on,” she said.

“Last year we attempted to get it up and running but then with the uncertainty around COVID, they decided to cancel everything, so this is our first year being able to confidently get it going and hopefully it runs to its conclusion.”

This year’s theme is ‘celebration’, coinciding with the festival’s 50th run, and entrants can try their hand at short story or poetry categories with cash up for grabs.

Local award-winning writer Lorraine Marwood will judge the poems, while journalist and writer Lauren Mitchell will oversee the short stories.

“Celebration seemed like something that people might be able to find a story in,” Ms Hellstedt said.

“The award is open to anyone, it doesn’t matter where you’re at in your writing journey. We just want you to be able to give it a go.

“Perhaps if you have had a bit of a hiatus with COVID or haven’t really known what to write about, it might be a prompt that you can use to get started.”

Entries close on 7 March and can be submitted via the Goldfields Libraries website, with winners to be announced at the opening of the Eaglehawk Dahlia and Arts Festival.