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Writing student shortlisted for national award

Bendigo TAFE writing student Maddox Quinn has been shortlisted for the 2023 Newcastle Writers Festival (NWF) Joanne Burns Microlit Award.

Open to entries from across Australia, the award invited writers to submit micro-fiction or prose poems in line with the theme 'play'.

Maddox’s submission ‘I Called Your Name’ made the cut, with the part-time student recognised alongside nearly 40 Australian finalists. 

Being shortlisted for a national award is a step in the right direction for Maddox.

“It's very exciting and certainly encouraging,” said Maddox.

“I toyed with a few ideas before a sentence appeared from somewhere in my mind, and I built the story around that. I also tend to subvert themes, so submitting my story was a risk that paid off in the end.”

Currently completing the Certificate IV in Professional Writing and Editing (CUA40118), Maddox said the course has strengthened her confidence as a writer.

“I've always written stories, including a novel in my teens. However, I've always been hesitant to share my work,” Maddox said.  

“The course gave me the confidence to show my stories and made me realise that people want to read them.

“I also loved meeting like-minded people, people who love words and language just as much as I do, as well as the cross-pollination of ideas and getting to know others who think differently and create differently. It's been so inspiring, not to mention affirming. Everyone at Bendigo TAFE has been supportive.”

Bendigo TAFE teacher Honeytree Thomas said professional writing and editing courses at the TAFE prepare students for a competitive industry and congratulated Maddox on being shortlisted amongst talented writers across Australia.  

“Our students learn the craft of writing and editing and tap into the rich history of literature and mythology to enhance their creative practice and storytelling skills. They also gain confidence and insight by offering constructive feedback to their peers in writing workshops. This combination of creativity, critical analysis, and community helps to prepare our students for the highly competitive publishing world,” she said.

“We are thrilled to hear about Maddox Quinn’s shortlisting in the 2023 Joanne Burns Microlit Award. Maddox’s story has been selected alongside entries from some very fine Australian writers.

“Maddox is a talented, dedicated emerging writer and we look forward to seeing more of Maddox’s work in print in the future.”

Maddox aims to complete the course at the end of the year and hopes to work in the industry soon.

Co-hosted by NWF and specialist microliterature publisher, Spineless Wonders, the 2023 NWF/ Joanne Burns Microlit Award offers cash prizes and publication. Winners will be announced in early 2023, with Maddox’s story to be published in the Play anthology due for release in April. 

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