Call for entries in Banjo Paterson Writing Awards

Entries are now open for this year’s annual Banjo Paterson Writing Awards.

The contest is sponsored by Orange City Library, the Central Western Daily and ABC Central West.

Established in 1991, these awards aim to honour Banjo Paterson, a great Australian writer and favourite son of Orange, with a competition to encourage short story or poetry writing with Australian content.

INSPIRED BY BANJO: Mayor Reg Kidd catches up on some of Banjo Paterson’s poetry ahead of the Banjo Paterson Writing Awards.

A major change this year is that entrants will be able to email their entries, as well as post, by the due date, Friday 23 April 2021.

Well-known local author Kim Kelly has come on board as the Short Story judge this year. Kim’s most recently published book is The Truth & Addy Loest.

“I’m also a book editor and have spent my professional life nurturing and discovering talented writers of all kinds,” Kim said.

“I’m looking forward to being surprised and delighted by the entries – especially those from voices that are a little bit different and have interesting things to say.”

Orange Mayor Reg Kidd is encouraging everyone to be creative and start writing.

“Entries in any of the categories don’t have to be written in the same style as the work of Banjo Paterson. These awards are aimed at promoting Australian writing and writers,” Cr Kidd said.

“This is a nationwide competition and entries have been received from right around the country in previous years.”

“We expect the judges will kept busy with lots of entries.”

There are three categories with generous prizes to be won. Category 1 is for Short Stories with a maximum word limit of 3,000 words. Category 2 is for Contemporary Poetry to submit no more than 200 lines. There is a $15 joining fee for both categories 1 and 2, and the winner of each will take home the grand prize of $2,000.

The final category is for the younger generation of writers. Those aged 16 years or younger are asked to submit a short story no longer than 1,000 words or a poem no longer than 30 lines with an entry free of $5 dollars.

Orange City Council’s Services Committee Chair Cr Scott Munro said he was pleased to see the competition open to all ages.

“This is a fantastic way for adults and children to showcase their writing, short stories or poetry, in a nationwide competition. They can write about any topic that interests them,” Cr Munro said.

The winners will be publicly announced at the Readers and Writers Festival planned for Saturday 31 July at the Hotel Canobolas. The winning short story, poem and children’s entry will be published on the Central West Libraries website.

Entry forms with full Conditions of Entry are available from the Central West Libraries website or by phoning 6393 8120.

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