Join us for the launch of the Hope Prize anthology
Earlier this year, we were thrilled to be involved with the Brotherhood of St Laurence’s inaugural Hope Prize.
The Hope Prize was established, thanks to the generosity of the late Prudence Myer and the support of her family, to encourage writing that transcends stereotypes of ‘the poor’ and reflects the resilience we know that people show in the face of poverty and testing times.
Judging this Prize really was a community effort. The Brotherhood received over 1,000 entries and volunteers from the Brotherhood, Readings and RMIT read through these powerful, diverse range of entries to create a longlist of 46 stories.
Here are some comments from the judges involved with the longlisting process:
‘There was an extremely exciting response to the inaugural Hope Prize, and the judges were privileged to gain insight into such a wide range of stories and experiences. Every writer engaged actively with the broad themes of hardship, poverty, resilience and hope, and a wide range of styles and approaches were taken. In particular, we received many stories detailing domestic violence and abuse, homelessness, childhood trauma, ageing, ill health and the breakdown of families. Many entrants grappled with past personal experiences in a mature, self-aware, courageous, honest and humorous way. We hope that the act of writing was an empowering and healing act for these writers; we gratefully read your stories, and were impressed with your efforts.’
Staff at publisher Simon & Schuster then read through the longlist and handpicked a shortlist which was presented to the 2016 judging panel, comprising Cate Blanchett, Kate Grenville and Quentin Bryce. (Cate and Quentin are pictured below with our Managing Director, Mark Rubbo.) These esteemed judges were impressed with the very high standard of writing and reported that all the finalists revealed powerful perspectives on the world at large, and displayed unique, unpretentious and authentic voices.
Our sincere congratulations to the prize-winning and highly commended writers:
- First Prize – Catherine Moffat, ‘Better Homes and Gardens’
- Second Prize– Eloise Young, ‘555 to Reservoir’
- Third Prize – Katherine Hayes, ‘Queen St’
- Young Writer winner – Eleanor George, ‘Colours’
- Highly commended – Laura McPhee-Browne, ‘The Surprise’
- Highly commended – Marlish Glorie, ‘Machine Man’
- Highly commended – David Porter, ‘We are Looking at Hun Chen’
- Highly commended – Heidi Catherine, ‘The Extra Piece’
- Highly commended – Christine Fontana, ‘The Common Good’
- Highly commended – Yvonne Popplewell, ‘The Flatscreen’
Simon & Schuster were so impressed with the stories that they’ve published a collection of the winning and recommended stories. We hope you will join us for this wonderful anthology’s launch in our Carlton shop next Monday.