Changing of the Guard
The Friends of the Corryong Library (FOCL) who have successfully run the Elyne Mitchell Writing Awards for many years have stepped away from their role in 2016. Unfortunately, their group of hard working volunteers are
no longer able to meet the demands of the Award administration. We thank them for the work they have done over the years.
The Corryong Neighbourhood Centre (CNC), who worked with the FOCL on the 2015 Awards, has now taken over as administrator. The CNC is involved in developing, supporting and running many events and activities in the Upper Murray and is committed to raising the profile of the Awards and making sure it is a viable and sustainable event for many years to come.
We are delighted to welcome Sue Briskey to the Awards in 2016. Sue is a literary agent with a background in bookselling and publishing who recently moved to the Upper Murray and has generously taken up the mantle of becoming the co-ordinator of the Elyne Mitchell Writing Awards from 2016.
Elyne Mitchell’s daughter and author, Honor Auchinleck, continues to offer her time and invaluable experience and expertise as the patron of the Awards.
Broadening the Scope
With the 2015 open category winner returning to her New Zealand home, we have made the decision to extend the reach of the Awards and invite writers from across the Tasman to share their stories.
Entries are now required to be “Up to 2500 words referencing an Australasian rural experience”.
The 2016 theme, “A New Perspective” , is inviting writers to look at their stories from a different angle and offer something more than a lovely, safe story about experience. This year we are focusing on the “wow” factor and would love to see some humour and more non-fiction works as well as more entries from young and local writers.
We endeavour to choose our judging panel from diverse backgrounds, ages and experiences. Some are new to the Awards and some have judged before. We have decided to keep the identity of the judges anonymous to ensure they can be fair and open in their assessment of all entries. The number of judges required depends on the number of entries received. As volunteers with busy lives, we feel it is unreasonable for any one judge to have to initially assess more than 35 entries.
In 2015 a new judging format was trialled. Based on the analysis of and feedback from the 2015 process the judging in 2016 will be:
- all entries initially assessed by 3 randomly selected judges
- local entries initially judged together with open category entries
- judges will be asked to identify entries they think should be shortlisted, including at least one local entry in their selection (rather than a specific number of shortlisted entries in each category)
- shortlisted entries for the open and local categories will be sent to all the judges
- shortlisted entries will be scored out of 100 by each judge with the highest overall score in each category being the winner
For many years, the awards presentation was held on a Saturday evening. In 2015, the concept of “Creative Corryong” was introduced with a lunchtime presentation ceremony which included a number of art & craft stalls and an opportunity for creative locals to showcase their wares.
No decision has yet been made regarding the format for the 2016 Awards presentation, or even if it is necessary to hold an award ceremony at all. Updates will be posted to the website and Facebook page to keep you informed. If you have a preference, an opinion or another idea, please get in touch and let us know.