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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Celebrating our Territory writers

NT Writers’ Centre Poetry Award winner, Johanna Bell. Photo by Sarah Mackie.

The winners of the 37th annual NT Literary Awards were announced last night at a ceremony that spanned two cities.

The event was livestreamed from the Northern Territory Library in Darwin to the Araluen Arts Centre in Alice Springs and via the Library and Archives NT Facebook page.

This allowed those who usually attend the popular event to take part in the celebration while adhering to COVID-19 social distancing measures.

The NT Government Awards celebrate the unique and diverse talent of the Territory’s literary community; support participation and achievement in culture and the arts; and build connections with the sector and wider Territory community.

The NT Literary Awards are part of an ongoing program of Northern Territory Library and Archives (LANT) events to highlight the achievements of established and emerging writers, storytellers and prominent Territorians.

Participants have a chance to win cash prizes along with an annual membership and masterclass with the NT Writers’ Centre.

Nearly 200 submissions were received from multiple Territory locations including Katherine, Tennant Creek, Yulara, Alice Springs and Darwin with winners sharing the $5700 prize pool.

“The Territory has a diverse culture with unique characters and it is exciting to see these stories brought to life,” said Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Chansey Paech.

“We have such interesting stories to tell the world about who we are, including our ideas about the world, how we think and write about ourselves and the topics we find important,” she said.

 “I’m looking forward to reading the winning works.”

The judges selected the winning compositions based on their excellence in craft, originality and sense of creative flair.

Topics covered by the winners and finalists included family relationships, death, rebirth and climate change. Other highly charged and original works touched on isolation brought on by COVID 19, the human condition and the environment.

Of the finalists in the short story, poetry, essay, young writer, flash fiction, non-fiction works and theatre categories, seven winners were chosen:

o    Brown’s Mart Theatre Award – $1000
When the Clock Strikes Two – Sarah Rose Reuben and Jeffrey Jay Fowler;
o    Charles Darwin University Creative Non-Fiction Award – $500
Mother’s Day – Susannah Ritchie;
o    Charles Darwin University Essay Award  – $1000
To what extent does architecture of the paediatric department of the RDH promote a child’s mental wellbeing and healing process? – Nuhansie Wijesinghe;
o    Flash Fiction Award – $600
Sardines – Kaye Aldenhoven;
o    Kath Manzie Youth Award – $600
The Dripping Tap – Jethro Pollock;
o    NT Writers’ Centre Poetry Award – $1000
If I were a Bird – Johanna Bell (pictured);
o    Zip Print Short Story Award – $1000
Take Shelter – Miranda Tetlow.

“The Northern Territory has a number of talented writers and this is made evident by the 190 creative submissions received this year,” the Minister said.

“I congratulate the seven award winners who were selected as the top picks in their categories and all finalists whose works were celebrated at last night’s event.”

The winning and shortlisted works have been published in an annual publication, available free in printed form at the Library or online.

Read more about the LANT’s Awards and past winners here.

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