Description

The Theme for the 2024 Prize is Up the Country

Short Story and Verse Competitions

The theme for the Henry Lawson Festival this year is Up the Country after one of the earliest and most celebrated poems of the young Henry Lawson.

Adopting this theme for the Short Story and Verse competitions, we seek contributions of high-quality literary merit which present Australian country life in any of its phases.

In recent times, Australia has seen its share of hardship in the COVID pandemic and in the impact of individual isolation; floods; fires and drought.

This year’s theme invites reflections on Australian country life that we have witnessed, which might capture the elements of hardship and despair; courage and fortitude; or compassion and mateship.

Context of Up the Country

Up The Country was first published in The Bulletin magazine on 9 July 1892, under the title Borderland, and started the Bulletin Debate, a series of poems by both Lawson and Andrew Barton “Banjo” Paterson about the true nature of life in the Australian bush.

In Up The Country, Lawson recounts his trip to the barren and gloomy Australian bush, and criticises “City Bushmen” such as Banjo Paterson who tended to romanticize bush life.

Fortunately for Australia, Henry’s later short stories and verse also presented many other aspects of Australian life, observing the wider world with wry humour, insight and compassion. It is this wide range of elements that we encourage competitors to explore in this year’s competition.

POETRY

Section 1 Open Section (limited to 48 lines)

Entrants must be 18 years or over on 31st March 2024

First Prize: $1,000

Second Prize: $500

Section 2 High School Student

First Prize: $250

Second Prize: $100

Section 3 Primary School Student

First Prize: $100

Second Prize: $50

SHORT STORY

(Limited to 2000 words)

Section 1 Open Section 

Entrants must be 18 years or over on 31st March 2024

First Prize: $1000

Second Prize: $500

Section 2 High School Student

First Prize: $250

Second Prize: $100

Section 3 Primary School Student

First Prize: $100

Second prize: $50

The 2024 Grenfell Henry Lawson Festival POETRY and SHORT Story Prize

Entry deadline

Entries into the 2024 Grenfell Henry Lawson Festival POETRY and SHORT Story Prize will be accepted until Midnight (AEST), 5 May 2024.