Mulga Bill Writing award | Goldfields Library Corporation

Mulga Bill Writing Award  Mulga Bill Writing Award logo. Pennyfarthing illustration

Entries are now closed for the 2024 Mulga Bill Writing Award, and winners have been selected!

Thank you to everyone who took the time to enter our award, and inspiring us with a myriad of takes on the theme 'Mystical Waters'. We have so enjoyed reading your poems and short stories and wish to acknowledge the hard work and creativity you put into your work - thank you!.

We're also very grateful to our judges, Anne Gleeson and Leslie Baker, who read and deliberated over a combined 300+ entries - it was not an easy task! Hard decisions had to be made, and congratulations go to:

Short Story first place

Michelle van Dyk, South Australia

Leslie Baker’s judges Comments:

As the theme of “Mystical Waters” encompassed many subjects, ideas, flights of fancies, fantasy and sheer imagination “Frankie” stood out as a story that will simply, and purely resonate with many people. The language beautifully and evocatively describes the mundane, creating its’ own mystical veil over a simple yet moving story. Divorce, uprooting family and place, taking chances, being courageous and finding oneself in a place of comfort will tug at many of our hearts and memories of shared experiences. The Australian spirit that the reader can feel soaking through the paper into sun heated skin connects us all. And offers us the reminder that something as normal as a dam can be both lifesaving and soul renewing.

Powerful writing and vibrant descriptions really arouse your senses.

Short Story second place

The Sound of Silence
Carolyn Nicholson, Victoria

Leslie Baker’s judges Comments:

A beautiful, haunting, painful look at loss, grief, family, and shared memories. Reminding us that if we let it, the mystical can be found in the ever day. Raw emotions, misplaced anger and childhood guilt, can both break and build.

Beautiful writing, exquisite depictions of emotional growth.

Poetry first place

Of Blood, Water and Home
Linda McQuarrie-Bowerman, New South Wales

Anne Gleeson’s judges comments:

This poem stood out in its gentle and shifting form mirroring themes of remembering and loss. The use of specific poetic technique especially, alliteration and imagery added a beauty to both the sound and meaning of this poem. A moving and important poem.

Poetry second place

Zenadth Kes Arrival
Lynelle Kendall, Queensland

Anne Gleeson’s judges comments:

Powerful verb usage and distinctive imagery set this poem apart to tell a compelling story. The energetic pace moved with its vigorous phrasing and then swept to a surprisingly gentle and personal ending, making for a very satisfying poem.

Highly Commended short story

The Legend of Saltwater Sal, Andrea Rowe

Highly Commended Poetry

A Rural Devotional, Athena Law
Island of Fire, Susan Muranty

About the judges

Anne Gleeson: Anne is a poet and funeral celebrant who works in central Victoria and lives in Kyneton. She has published three collections of poetry, with a fourth manuscript in its final stages. She has won multiple awards, both in Australia and overseas. Read more about Anne here:

Leslie Baker: An avid bibliophile, and librarian for over 20 years. Having worked in a variety of libraries from school to corporate, it's the connection to community which has lured her back to public libraries, time and time again. With a degree in literature and a masters in librarianship, Leslie has a passion for all things written and is looking forward to being involved in this year's Mulga Bill Writing Award.

Read the 2023 winning entries here.

Read the 2022 winning entries here. 

With thanks to:

Eaglehawk Festivals Inc.