Professional Writing Success

03 July 2018

VU Polytechnic’s professional writing team were again part of the Williamstown Literary Festival in June. The team presented writing workshops, introduced Festival goers to Polytechnic courses and shortlisted for the Ada Cambridge Biographical Prose Prize.

This year’s program included a number of sessions by Polytechnic staff and alumni led by Sherryl Clark who delivered three sessions, including Beginnings and Extinctions with Miles Franklin winner Josephine Wilson. Sherryl’s PhD research into the puzzling appeal of fairytales was further highlighted in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald following the Festival.

Two of the Polytechnic’s professional writing and editing students were awarded as part of the Ada Cambridge Biographical Prose Prize 2018 including the first-prize winner Anne Richardson and Karen Joy who was shortlisted.

It has been a very exciting time for Polytechnic staff teaching professional writing and editing. The following teaching staff have been inspiring their students with their professional successes through a growing list of literary awards. These staff members embody the Polytechnic’s commitment to having staff that are industry engaged and leaders in their fields.

Catherine Crowley won the 2017 Young Adult Literature category of the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards for Words in Deep Blue, and has recently been shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) The Book of the Year: Older Readers for Take Three Girls, written with Fiona Wood and Simmone Howell. Bren MacDibble’s book In the Dark Spaces, has also been shortlisted for the same category, and her book How to Bee (published under the pseudonym Cally Black) has been shortlisted for The Book of the Year: Younger Readers.

Bren has also recently won the Aurealis Award (Australia's premier speculative fiction awards) for Best Young Adult Fiction, for In the Dark Spaces, which was published in 2017 after she won the 2015 Ampersand Prize for unpublished writers. She has also won the Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children's Literature in the NSW Premier's Literary Awards for How to Bee, which has also just been announced as a Finalist in the Long Work category of the 2018 Norma K Hemming Award and listed in the UK for the North Somerset Teachers Book Awards in the Moving On category.

Along with Demet Divavoren’s whose debut novel Living on Hope Street (Allen and Unwin, 2017) was launched at last year’s Wily Lit Festival and won the prize for Young Adult Literature in the 2018 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award. This year Demet appeared in conversation with Enza Gandolfo.

If you fancy yourself as a budding author, the department will be launching a new short course in Creative Writing. The course will be delivered over six evenings by an Industry expert and will provide participants with fundamental skills in the Creative Writing genre.

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