Dr Cassandra Atherton is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Communication and Creative Arts and has recently returned from a Visiting Scholar position at Harvard University. Cassandra is judging the upcoming 2016 joanne burns MicroLit Award:
Prose poetry, microlit and flash fiction have all been an important part of my creative practice. There is something about these short forms that I find provocative and inviting. Perhaps it’s because I’m a pretty verbose person and these forms make me consider and question every word and every space. The Australian publisher, Spineless Wonders, have published a few pieces of my prose poetry and flash fiction in their anthologies over the last couple of years and I was fortunate enough to appear as part of their panel at the Melbourne Writers Festival to discuss short forms of fiction writing.
Since then, editor Bronwyn Mehan has approached me to judge the national category of this year’s joanne burns MicroLit Award. joanne burns is a wonderful poet who is known for her incredible work in these short forms (see photo). This year the theme is ‘Landmarks’ and submissions are asked to respond imaginatively to this prompt. The winner will receive $300 and entries by all finalists are considered for publication in an anthology and selected entries will be included in a multi-platform #storybombingNWF17 project.
Judging competitions is one of my favourite things to do. I’ve judged the Elizabeth Jolley Short Story competition for Australian Book Review, the Lord Mayor’s Poetry Award and the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, Prize for Poetry over the last few years. Reading entries for competitions keeps me abreast of topics, approaches and ideas that are trending and also leads me to think more about my own creative practice from a reader’s point of view. In short, it keeps me on my toes and helps me hone my craft, as well as giving me the pleasure of reading some really dynamic pieces of writing.
So, if you enjoy writing microlit of any kind, please consider submitting. It is judged anonymously!
Submit your entry via the Spineless Wonders website.