14 July 2023

Inhale, exhale, go! Creativity the name of the game as writing competition returns

| Claire Sams
Start the conversation

Mr Jeffrey said the Storytelling Competition was open to writers from across New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. Image: StoryFest Inc/Facebook.

In an era when digital life is becoming more prominent, aspiring writers have been invited to return to the written word.

StoryFest program director and president Adam Jeffrey said they were expecting a range of people to get involved as the Storytelling Competition returns in 2023.

“In the past, the response has been really positive,” Mr Jeffrey said. “I think we had well over 100 entries in 2021, and we’d love to see that number go up.

“This year, we’re really keen to get students and anyone who’s got a love of storytelling from across the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales to enter.”

As in previous years, budding writers can enter a category for primary school students, secondary school students or the open age category.

Each category has a different word limit, and there is no entry cost.

“We’ve run a writers competition since StoryFest’s inception in 2019,” Mr Jeffrey said.

“Each time we’ve taken a different approach to organising it, but it’s previously run in the lead-in to StoryFest.

“What we did this time was flip it and run the competition out the back of StoryFest,” he said.

READ ALSO Five spectacular painted silos and water tanks in the Riverina

In 2023, entries must be inspired by the theme ‘inhale’.

“There’s been a few deep breaths needed over the last few years, times when we’ve needed to take stock,” Mr Jeffrey said. “But we also live in a beautiful place, and you can look out the window, breathe deeply and come up with a story.”

The presence of a theme doesn’t mean entrants should feel like their creativity is limited, Mr Jeffrey said.

“It’s not necessary that the word inhale needs to be included, or that the story has to be all about meditation and breathing,” he said.

“The prompt is really there to spark an idea, an image or a moment that a writer can then build a story around.”

There will also be prizes on hand, such as gift vouchers from Harbour Bookshop in Ulladulla.

“We’ve also partnered with the State Library of New South Wales and the South Coast Writer’s Centre, so there will be a range of different subscriptions, vouchers and publications to support people’s creative journeys,” Mr Jeffrey said.

READ ALSO Eurobodalla Mayor’s writing contest is back to showcase kids’ ways with words

The launch of the Storytelling Competition followed the 2023 StoryFest event, which was held in June across several locations in the Ulladulla area.

Part of the schedule saw workshops and other events with students from primary and high schools in the area.

“Obviously, they’re not all going to enter the Storytelling Competition, but we saw them walk away, buzzing from their experiences,” Mr Jeffrey said.

“Hopefully what they learned there will stimulate some really interesting stories that come out of our school students now or in the future.”

After a successful outing this year, Mr Jeffrey said he and the StoryFest team were already busy planning for a 2025 return and potentially running more events for students in the meantime.

“We had almost 2000 attendees, which was up 37 per cent on our previous year, and we sold nearly 3000 tickets,” he said.

Entries to the Storytelling Competition will be judged across August and September, with presentations set to be held for school-age categories later in the year.

“We’ve got a couple of professional authors that we’re talking to about being judges in the final round, once we get to a shortlist of entries,” Mr Jeffrey said.

Entries close at midnight on 13 August 2023, with further information available on StoryFest’s website.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Do you like to know what’s happening around your region? Every day the About Regional team packages up our most popular stories and sends them straight to your inbox for free. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.