Creative writing competitions Melbourne


1966 image courtesy of The National Trust

Are you a creative writer who enjoys history? In the Melbourne of the 1850's the gold rush was in full swing. Many people had migrated here to find their fortune and were living in tent cities. Houses were in short supply, and so were many of the tradies who could build them (they were off panning along with everyone else). And so iron houses - made of corrugated iron and wood - filled a deep need. These prefab houses were sort of like the IKEA of their time. Made in the factories of England and shipped to Australia in pieces in wooden crates, in theory, the National Trust says, "anyone could follow the instructions and put the houses together very quickly." Just like IKEA.

There are three iron houses in South Melbourne owned by the National Trust which are open to the public twice a month. One stands in its original spot, while two have been transported from their original sites in Fitzroy and North Melbourne. In the 1850's there would have been quite a few of these houses in South Melbourne.

The National Trust is looking for creative adults, teenagers and kids to write short stories set around those three houses. Shortlisted entries will be collected together and published in a free booklet that will be celebrated at the Stories From the Iron Houses event on 18 May, part of the National Trust's Heritage Festival celebrations.

To get your story juices flowing, there will be an historical tour of the houses, followed by a creative writing workshop:

The guided history tour will run three times on this day, at 11am, 12pm and 1pm, followed by a workshop run by Tony Birch at 2pm. Bookings are required. Short stories up to 3000 words.

Teenagers (13-18) and Kids (8-12) ~ Sunday, 10 March 2013
The guided history tour will run three times on this day, at 11am, 12pm and 1pm, followed by a workshop for kids at 2pm and for teenagers at 3pm, both run by Catherine Bateson. Bookings are required. The short story lengths for teenagers are 1500 words, and 500 words for kids.

The short story competition will close on 8 April, with winners being announced at the Heritage Festival event on 18 May. No prizes unfortunately for the winner (although they will receive a free National Trust membership).

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Achiever | Noah Bunch wins writing contest  — The Courier-Journal
Achievement: Noah won first place in Kentucky's 2014 Letters About Literature writing contest for level 2, grades 7 and 8. He was the only local student to win an award this year.