Friday, October 28, 2011

Announcing the winners of the third annual GREW Prize

Griffith REVIEW is pleased to announce the winners of the third GREW Prize with the release of Edition 34: The Annual New Fiction Edition.
Now in its third year, the 2011 prize has received continuing support from the Copyright Agency Ltd (CAL), Text Publishing and Varuna Writers’ House. CAL’s sponsorship has made it possible to recognise four winners from the emerging writers published in Griffith REVIEW this year. The GREW Prize offers a week’s residency at Varuna – or, for the first time, on Stradbroke Island, where Griffith University has established a writers’ retreat – plus manuscript appraisal and professional mentoring.
CAL’s Chair Sandy Grant said, ‘The GREW Prize is exactly the sort of project that the CAL Cultural Fund wants to support. It is exciting to see the quality of the winning entries – they are truly emerging talent, and talent CAL is proud to be supporting through this sponsorship.’
Romy Ash and Rachael S Morgan share the fiction award, and Meera Atkinson and Nicolas Low share the non-fiction award.
Romy Ash’s ‘Underwater’ appears in Edition 34: The Annual Fiction Edition. Her debut novel Floundering was shortlisted for the 2011 Australian/Vogel Literary award and will be published by Text in 2012. She has written for The Big Issue and Frankie magazine. She writes a cooking column for Yen magazine and the blog Trotski & Ash. Romy lives in Melbourne.
She said, ‘Receiving the GREW Prize will allow me time to pull together disparate strings of thought and begin my second book.’
Rachael S Morgan’s short story ‘Tryst’ is also featured in the fiction edition, and this story won the 2011 Josephine Ulrick Literature Prize. She is a graduate of the Griffith University Creative Writing Program and until recently, she supported herself as an entertainment journalist and arts and entertainment publicist. She is currently writing full-time, putting the finishing touches to her first full-length manuscript and is based between the Gold Coast and Brisbane.
Upon hearing that she won the award, Rachael said, ‘I am so honoured and excited and can’t quite believe it. As a beginning writer, or indeed even as an established writer, you often have doubts about how good your work is. Winning an award like this gives a real sense of validation. It’s extremely encouraging.’
Meera Atkinson’s most recent piece for Griffith REVIEW, ‘Child’s play,’ appeared in Edition 33: Such Is Life; this was her seventh piece in Griffith REVIEW and her work has also appeared in HEAT,, Best Australian Short Stories and Meanjin. She is a Doctoral Candidate in the University of Western Sydney’s Writing and Research Society Group, exploring the transgenerational transmission and poetics of trauma.
Meera said, ‘Griffith REVIEW has been the single most important publication in my development as a writer over the last ten years. I am immensely grateful to Julianne Schultz for her inspired and inspiring work and support.’
Nicolas Low has written both non-fiction and fiction for Griffith REVIEW, including ‘Octopus’ in the current edition. His essay ‘Notes from the feral edge’, about his time as Artist Director of the National Young Writers Festival, appeared in Griffith REVIEW 23. He is contributing a major essay on the Christchurch earthquakes for Griffith REVIEW 35: Surviving. A New Zealander of European and Ngai Tahu Maori descent, he has spent the last eight years in Melbourne. In addition to writing, he is an award-winning installation artist, exhibiting work at festivals across Australia. He currently runs the international writing program at Asialink Arts.
Nic said, ‘I've been shifting my focus to writing in earnest over the last six months. I’ve been reading Griffith REVIEW for a while now, and to be included in its pages and recognised by its editors is a huge affirmation. I’m very much at the beginning of a writing career, so the kind of assistance offered by the prize is invaluable.’
Griffith REVIEW has had a tradition of publishing emerging authors alongside established writers. Five years ago, Edition 13: The Next Big Thing featured thirty-four young writers, many of whom have since become well known. Emerging authors benefit from professional editing, visibility and opportunities to engage in major literary events such as writers’ festivals. Publication in Griffith REVIEW has been an important first step for many and a significant part of the role for a publication based at a university which offers outstanding education in the creative arts.
Editor Julianne Schultz AM said, ‘Since the first edition of Griffith REVIEW we have been determined to make space for new and emerging writers to grow on the page, and this year’s new fiction edition is a showcase for new and emerging authors. We are grateful to CAL for the sponsorship which enables us to devote the time and resources to nurture another generation of writers. The intensive experience at Varuna or on Stradbroke Island is a wonderful gift which will help these writers develop further.’
Text Publisher Michael Heyward noted, ‘Text shares Griffith REVIEW's commitment to developing and nurturing new writing talent. The GREW Prize is a demonstration of this joint passion, and we're proud to be associated with it.'
CEO of Varuna, Lis Bastian said, ‘The partnership has made it possible for emerging writers to spend a week of focussed writing time at Varuna with the support of a consultant. Varuna has been impressed by the diversity and standard of writing that has been published by Griffith REVIEW through this process and see it as crucial to the development of new voices nationally.’

Griffith REVIEW 34: The Annual Fiction Edition will be released on 31 October. The island-themed edition presents a unique summer into localities of exclusivity, escape and enchantment and features new writing from Craig Cliff, Chris Womersley, Georgia Blain, Tony Birch, Benjamin Law, Melissa Lucashenko, Ashley Hay, Favel Parrett and many more.

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