The Elyne Mitchell Rural Women’s Writing Award for 2012 was presented in Corryong on Saturday night. The Award is a national competition and shortlisted winners travelled from all over the country to join in on the event and to show support for an event that encourages writers to share their rural anecdotes.

In the Open category, Robyn Winter, an emergency doctor and mother of seven who lives in Eltham, Victoria, won $1000 for her story Poste Restante. Robyn was unable to attend the Awards night but was thrilled to win the Elyne Mitchell Award, ‘…having grown up like so many Australian girls on the stories of the wild brumbies of the High Country’.

In the Emerging Category, Lauren Fuge from Salisbury, SA won $500 for her story March and Everything After. Lauren was disappointed to miss the awards night but was over the moon to find out she had won.

And in the Local Category, Felicity McDonald from Mitta Mitta won $500 for her story The Stone Axe. Felicity was delighted and told the audience that it was, in fact, the very first story she has written, but certainly won’t be the last.

Runner–up for the Emerging Category was Ainslee Hunter, who stole our hearts when she read out her prize-winning story, For the Better. At only 12 yrs old Ainslee was our youngest ever entrant. She traveled all the way from the Gold Coast with her Dad.

Guests were treated to a night of humour by our guest speaker Susan Berran, a children’s book illustrator and writer from Bethanga.  Susan was generous enough to share a very cheeky tale that her late father wrote but never published. She encouraged women and men to write and share their own untold stories, and talked about how she wished her father had taken that next step to sharing his wonderful stories with the world.

Honor Auchinleck, Elyne Mitchell’s daughter and patron of the Elyne Mitchell Writing Award, doesn’t want your story to go untold and suggests women start writing now, then let it sit for a few months and re-check it before entries close for the next award on 31st July 2013.

The Friends of Corryong Library who run the Award would like to thank all the entrants, judges, sponsors and people that helped put the Award together, including Harper Collins, Towong Shire, and the Uniting Church ladies who supplied the delicious catering. The perpetual trophy listing all winners can be viewed in the Elyne Mitchell Public Library in Corryong. Booklets of the short-listed stories can be ordered though our website.

2013 will mark the 100th birthday of Elyne Mitchell and we are pleased to announce that Harper Collins Publishers Australia are sponsoring a special category for a non-fiction rural memoir which will be open to men and women. So start writing and get those untold stories onto paper. We can’t wait to read them! The Women Writers Category and the Upper Murray Writers Categories will also be up for grabs, with over $2,500 in prize money across the 2013 Awards.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook!