We are a prosperous country, but there are far too many pockets of poverty and disadvantage in our cities, suburbs, regions and remote areas.
We established The Hope Prize, thanks to the generosity of the late Prudence Myer and the support of her family, to encourage writing that transcends stereotypes of ‘the poor’ and reflects the resilience we know that people show in the face of poverty and testing times.
We are delighted to announce the winners of this inaugural short-story competition, after a rigorous judging process assisted by book retailer Readings.
First Prize, $5,000 – Catherine Moffat – ‘Better Homes and Gardens’
Second Prize, $3,000 – Eloise Young –‘555 to Reservoir’
Third Prize, $2,000 – Katherine Hayes – ‘Queen St’
Young Writer winner, $500 – Eleanor George – ‘Colours’
Laura McPhee-Browne – ‘The Surprise’
Marlish Glorie – ‘Machine Man’
David Porter – ‘We are Looking at Hun Chen’
Heidi Catherine – ‘The Extra Piece’
Christine Fontana – ‘The Common Good’
Yvonne Popplewell – ‘The Flatscreen’
Our esteemed judging panel comprised Cate Blanchett, Kate Grenville and Quentin Bryce. They were impressed with the very high standard of writing and reported that all the finalists revealed powerful perspectives on the world at large, and displayed unique, unpretentious and authentic voices. A collection, including the winning and commended stories, will be published by Simon & Schuster in time for Christmas 2016.
Read about the competition guidelines
The three - actor Cate Blanchett, author Kate Grenville, and the former Governor General Quentin Bryce - are passionate about defeating disadvantage in our communities and care deeply about encouraging good writing.
Kate Grenville, one of Australia's best-known writers including of short stories, says:
'Stories enrich both the storyteller and the story-reader, bringing new understanding and new perspectives to both.
'I'm delighted to be part of such a good project, supporting such a very worthwhile cause.’
Cate Blanchett notes how art holds up a mirror to society:
'The stories we tell ourselves are a reflection of who we are. To be excluded from such national imaginings is to live a half-life. I am excited to take part in the Brotherhood short story competition and look forward to reading the stories that shine a light on disadvantage.’
Quentin Bryce says she would like to see The Hope Prize help raise awareness:
'Poverty and disadvantage are pressing issues in contemporary Australia, especially in outer suburbs and rural areas.
'This important new short story competition will help illuminate this to new audiences.’
The Hope Prize is supported by publisher Simon & Schuster and books retailer Readings.
@prestontowers for your interest: theage.com.au/victoria/vcat-…
Acknowledgement of country
The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.