Express Media and John Marsden are pleased to announce entries are now open for Australia’s foremost literary competition for young writers, The John Marsden Prize for Young Australian Writers.The prize is facilitated by Express Media and generously funded by celebrated author John Marsden, author of the Tomorrow When the War Began series.Young writers under the age of 24 are urged to enter the competition to share in $5,500 in prize money and have the opportunity to be published online and in the December issue of Voiceworks, Express Media’s literary quarterly.The first place winner of the Short Story prize will receive $3000 (18-24) and the winner of the poetry prize wins $1500 (18-24).First place winners of both the Poetry and the Short story prize (under 18) receive $500 each.John Marsden encourages young writers to submit short stories and poetry to the competition. “I feel really enriched by the opportunities given to me by this award over the years. I’ve been able to read so many wonderful poems and stories. It’s given me a sense of the power and strength of writing in our community, and how alive and energised it is among younger people. Many thanks to Express Media for putting this community of young writers in contact with such a wide community of readers.”Raeden Richardson, one of the 2010 winners, says the competition gave him reassurance to keep writing and keep producing ideas.The then-15 year old took out first prize for the under-18 Short Story section with his tale of an encounter with a mysterious being on a train platform, The Real Delusion.Raeden is to have another story, Clay, published in the next edition of Voiceworks: Issue #85, Other (out July .“Winning the award gave me recognition and the reassurance that my writing was coming along. Ultimately, you’re only really a writer when the ideas exist outside of your own head, so having other people read, and hopefully enjoy, your work is the best possible choice you can make,” he explains. “It was an awesome experience.”Entries for 2011 close on Wednesday 31st August.
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