THE WITCHES GARDEN
“I grew up in central Victoria in the small country town of Euroa. I was a farm girl and loved riding my horse around the lonely granite hills and hated being sent off to boarding school in Ballarat.
My first job was writing up prescriptions for the local Chemist in his ledger book in the days before computers. I had to decipher doctors’ handwriting and write down their formulations for hand mixed cough mixtures. In those days it was a bit like an apothecaries with bottles of coloured liquid and funny shaped pills that needed to be counted out before packaging and labelling. Perhaps that’s where I became interested in medicinal plants and witchy things.
I began a Fine Art degree and interspersed assignments with travelling around Australia in a Kombi. It’s no wonder I never finished but at that time I was more interested in learning outside of the classroom.
In 1984 I moved to Mitta Mitta with my travel buddy Lew. We have four children and a large garden, 2 dogs and too many chooks.”
THE GIRL WHO WASN’T THERE
John Jenkins writes poetry, non-fiction, and stories. His Poems Far and Wide will appear in November 2018 from Puncher and Wattmann. John lives in Kangaroo Ground, Vic. with his partner, Shan Shnookal, who is also a writer and keen equestrian. John is currently completing his first collection of short stories.
Best Non-fiction Bonus Prize
IN THE MIDST OF MY TRUE LIFE
Jillian Sullivan lives in a small village on a high alpine plateau in New Zealand. Her twelve published books (for adults and young adults) include creative non-fiction, novels, short story collections and poetry. She teaches writing in New Zealand, in Philadelphia for Rosemont College, and in Pennsylvania for the Highlights Foundation. Once the drummer in a woman’s rock band, and now grandmother of eight, her passion is natural building. Her latest book is the memoir A Way Home.