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joanne burns Microlit Award 2021 winners announced

Writers Jane O’Sullivan and Deborah Van Heekeren have each been awarded prizes in the 2021 joanne burns Microlit Award. This year the prize invited writers to submit fiction or prose poems of up to 200 words that play with popular genres.

O’Sullivan, a Sydney writer, won the national category of the award for ‘Portals’, a piece of magic realism involving a cat and a parallel universe, which award judge Cassandra Atherton praised for its ‘incredible brevity and wit’. Van Heekeren won the Hunter Region category for ‘If On An Anxious Wednesday A Dreamer’, which was praised for its use of intertextuality and clever pacing.

Both writers receive a cash prize of $300 and the winning entries are published in the anthology Pulped Fiction, which is edited by Atherton and will be released this month by Spineless Wonders.

O’Sullivan and Van Heekeren will receive their awards from Newcastle Writers Festival director Rosemarie Milsom during an online event on 7 April, featuring readings from Pulped Fiction as well as a pop culture-inspired trivia quiz, fancy dress and cocktails.

Established in 2011 and named for the Australian poet, the joanne burns Microlit Award is an annual competition dedicated to nurturing, rewarding and showcasing high quality microliterature up to 200 words in length by Australian writers. Since 2016 the Newcastle Writers Festival has sponsored the local category of the award, regularly programming panel discussions of the microlit form and hosting the launch of the annual Spineless Wonders’ microlit anthology.

For more information about the award, see the Spineless Wonders website.


Category: Awards Local news