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NT Literary Awards

CALLING ALL NORTHERN TERRITORY writers – entries for the 2020 NT Literary Awards are now open!

This annual competition covers a range of categories including Short Story, Poetry, Creative Non-Fiction and more, and is a great opportunity for writers across the NT to receive acknowledgement for their creative abilities.

We had a chat with last year’s Poetry winner Sue Fielding.

Why are the NT Literary Awards important to NT writers?
It’s recognition. At least a form of recognition. What’s wonderful is to be recognised in your own state or territory – it has an additional significance. To win any award is great, but this one is special.

Do you think there are enough opportunities for Territory writers to get recognition?
I think we could always get more. There’s a solid literary tradition in the NT, especially in the last 10 years with Indigenous and collaborative works. For example the Arrernte Women’s Poetry Project in Alice Springs is a great example of community.

Congratulations on winning the Poetry award last year – will you be entering again in 2020?
I will be, yes, most likely something to do with the terrible bushfire crisis. I’ve been thinking and writing about that, but also about my work in the hospital in Alice Springs.

How do you get to a point of manifesting words on paper?
It starts with inspiration for me –  it doesn’t start with me thinking about writing, but more of a spark or a reflection of something I feel. A movement of energy inside me, then my imagination gets involved and then the words come.

There’s a real music in poetry, it’s like writing a song, a very delicate process. Occasionally I’ll do some generative writing on the side, then I’ll return to the poem itself.

What advice would you give to writers thinking about entering?
Make sure you do! Even if you’re just starting out, have a go. It’s open to everyone and that’s wonderful. It’s part of the journey – don’t take it too seriously, whether you win or don’t win is subjective. Don’t feel down, just keep going. Stay faithful to your writing and keep learning the craft.

NT Literary Awards

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