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2020 Winners

Prize winners and commendations for the 2020 Sutherland Shire Literary Competition were announced on Friday 17 April.

Explore the 2020 Winners

Message from the Mayor

Mayor Carmello Pesce in the Library

The Sutherland Shire Literary Competition aims to promote the diverse cultural heritage of the Sutherland Shire whilst contributing to the rich tradition of literary practice in Australia. It encourages and showcases the talent of our local writers and those in other states and territories, while promoting our unique Sutherland Shire to the nation.

Now in its second year, our Literary Competition and the presentation of prizes is the culmination of this vision and is our way of nurturing, promoting and celebrating literary creativity in Sutherland Shire, as well as building on the love of literature and reading fostered by our Sutherland Shire Libraries.

The journey began in 2017 with the formation of a Working Party comprising three Sutherland Shire Councillors, Tom Croucher, Michael Forshaw and Chair, Barry Collier OAM who took the competition concept to Council. The creative new idea was unanimously approved by Council which established the Sutherland Shire Literary Competition following extensive research and consultation with local writing groups, recognised writers, judges, academics and national competition organisers. The competition has been coordinated by Sutherland Shire Libraries and was a huge success in its inaugural year.

In 2020, the nationwide competition sought entries in four literary categories: traditional (rhyming) poetry, free verse poetry, short story and a new themed short story category.

The year 2020 marks the 250th anniversary of first contact between the Gweagal Clan and the crew of the Endeavour ship on the southern shores of Kamay Botany Bay in 1770, an area now known as Kurnell in the Sutherland Shire Local Government Area. To acknowledge this historic event and reflect on all perspectives of our shared history with truth and with respect, this new category was added and themed 2020: Looking Back, Moving Forward.

Attractive prize money was offered in each category thanks to the generous sponsorship of Tradies, Moran Aged Care, the University of Wollongong, Club Central Menai and the NSW Government. To encourage entries from local writers a Shire Resident’s Prize was again made available in each of the three competition categories.

Council was fortunate to secure the services of experienced judges: well-known, national award-winning poet, David Campbell and award-winning writer and Professor of Writing at UTS, John Dale. I would like to thank this year’s judges for the hours spent considering hundreds of entries and for their valued expert commentary

In 2020 the Sutherland Shire Literary Competition attracted submissions from almost every State and Territory in Australia. A total of 400 entries were received: 217 in the poetry sections and 183 in the short story section. Significantly, and confirming the perceived need to acknowledge local literary talent, 27% of entries were submitted by residents of the Sutherland Shire.

I thank members of Council’s Working Party and Council’s Library staff for their hard work in bringing the Competition to life.

Finally, I congratulate the prize-winners and thank the many entrants from across Australia for their contribution in continuing the success of our Sutherland Shire Literary Competition.

More Information

If you have questions or would like more information about the Sutherland Shire Literary Competition please contact Sutherland Library.

phone 02 9710 0351

This competition would not have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors