20 October 2023

Booranga Writers' Centre reveals the shortlist for the 2023 fourW anthology

| Chris Roe
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The Booranga Writers’ Centre at CSU has been running the anthology for 24 years. Photo: Supplied.

Wagga’s Booranga Writers’ Centre has released the shortlists for the 2023 fourW anthology prizes for poetry and prose.

A collection of new writing has been published every spring since 1999 and the Writers’ Centre’s Greg Pritchard said some great pieces were among the finalists.

“The anthology has been running for 24 years with people submitting both poetry and prose, and the quality is really good,” he said.

“Early in the year, we put a call out for writers from all over Australia, and a few internationally have also put submissions forward.”

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Greg said the winners would be announced at the launch on Saturday, 25 November, at the Wagga Wagga Art Gallery.

“A blind panel goes through and judges them all and decides who’s going into the anthology,” he said.

“Then the same kind of panel judges who will be shortlisted and who wins the $500 prize for each section.

“We are a relatively small organisation, but I think it’s fairly prestigious.”

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The centre is a not-for-profit that is run from the Booranga Writers’ Cottage on Wagga’s Charles Sturt University campus.

The group focuses on providing support and opportunities for writers, poets and storytellers in the Riverina and more broadly with members from across the country.

As well as offering residencies and regular workshops, the centre hosts popular monthly readings at The Curious Rabbit Cafe and Bookshop.

“Part of what the Booranga Writers’ Centre does is, four times a year we have a renowned writer stay in the cottage for a two-week residency and they get paid to do that,” Greg said.

“They will usually do a reading of what they’ve been writing, at The Curious Rabbit, which is followed by our regular open mic for members of the community, which we run for 10 months of the year.”

man speaking at lectern

Previous winner Lachlan Brown has again been shortlisted for the fourW Anthology. Photo: Supplied.

With the 34th edition of the fourW soon to be released, Greg explained the origin of the curiously named anthology.

“fourW is kind of an old joke,” he said.

“When they incorporated in the ’90s, they thought it would be funny to call it the ‘Wagga Wagga Writers Writers’.

“Not a great joke, but we are formally the Wagga Wagga Writers Writers Inc and so when we publish something, it’s fourW.”

Here is the 2023 shortlist:

For poetry:

  • Linda Albertson from Bega with Some Woman
  • Cary Hamlyn from Adelaide with The Baby Locket
  • Mark Macleod from Bathurst with Chinese New Year, Gangtok
  • Jena Woodhouse from St Lucia in Brisbane, with Midnight Trolleybus
  • Neill Overton from Wagga Wagga with Gimcrack
  • Lachlan Brown from Wagga Wagga with Pneumatic: Eight ‘Sigh’-ku.

For prose:

  • Jane Downing from Albury for The Thing about things
  • N G Hartland from Lyneham in Canberra for Carrot
  • Coco X Huang from Waitara in Sydney for Underground
  • Karla Portch from Taringa in Brisbane for Down the line
  • Christopher Scriven from Strathfieldsaye in Victoria for So much depends
  • Jennifer Severn from Bermagui for Birthday Girl.

The prize winners will be revealed at the Wagga launch on Saturday, 25 November, at the Wagga Wagga Art Gallery (1:30-3:30 pm), and there will also be a Sydney launch from 3:30-5 pm on Saturday, 2 December, at the Academy of Interactive Technologies in Ultimo.

You can find out more here.

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