IT’S time to start typing with just over two weeks to submit an entry for this year’s Dan Davin Awards Short Story Writing Competition.
With prizes including money and mentorship, the annual event has three age categories: Junior Student (Years 7-10), Senior Student (Years 11-13, or under 19 years) and Adult Short Story.
Securing last year’s Senior Student section title with her short story Water Colour Photography provided Autumn Marshall (16) with an opportunity to develop her skills and confidence as a writer.
“In previous years the prize was money, but last year they also gave all placegetters the opportunity to take part in a mentoring programme where you got to meet with a mentor and be part of an online writing group,” Autumn said.
“We were given writing tasks and shared our stories with the group, which was quite scary because I was one of the youngest there – sharing stories with people who had been writing for years.”
Autumn said she valued the feedback she received and it had helped build her confidence to pursue her dream of a career as a writer.
“I would love to be published, that is definitely my ideal.”
Autumn had already submitted her entry for this year’s awards with a story that had taken on “a darker tone”, and she strongly encouraged other writers to “give it a go, because you just don’t know if you don’t try”.
Internationally-acclaimed writer Tracey Slaughter will judge this year’s competition and she features as a keynote speaker at the Dan Davin Short Story Conference held in September, where the awards will also be presented.
Entries close on July 28 and can be submitted through the Dan Davin Literary Foundation website, www.dandavin.org.nz.
The Dan Davin Literary Foundation was established in the mid-1990s with the purpose of promoting and supporting creative writing in Southland.