John Hawkins / Stuff
Cilla McQueen, patron of the Dan David Literary Foundation, with Dr. Maxine Alterio, who delivered the talk and judged the foundation’s news contest.
Adult winner of the Literary Foundation’s annual writing awards Dan Davin was praised for her “short, grainy fiction.”
At an awards ceremony held at the Kelvin Hotel in Invercargill on Friday night, judge and novelist Maxine Alterio said that the Mouse Diver-Dudfield story, The Fort, which portrays the side the darker of a mother-child relationship, “leaves the reader in shock.”
The child’s fort, built in an entrance closet, served as a distraction when a certain visitor arrived at the house.
* Dan Davin Literary Foundation Senior Student Winner
* Dan Davin Literary Foundation Junior Student Winner
* Adult winner of the Dan Davin Literary Foundation
“The child’s interpretation of what she hears from her safe place and of real reality leaves the reader in shock,” said Alterio, a former southerner now living in Dunedin.
“I admire the restraint the writer uses to tell this emotionally devastating story. It’s a great example of when less is more.”
The senior and junior winners were from Aparima College.
The play The Wanderer by Grades 11-13 participant Jack Halder conveyed an “evocative sense of place” with language that indicated the importance of place as a backdrop to the action. Alterio encouraged Halder to continue writing and reading too, “especially the short stories of Rick Bass, an American writer and environmental activist.”
Grades 7-10 winner Leigha Fuller had “the potential to become a well-known Southern writer,” she said.
Her play Someone Brave had “all the hallmarks of an award-winning short story,” with an intriguing storyline, memorable imagery, a lively setting, appropriate pacing, and a captivating writing style.
“This story stuck with me long after I first read it and continued to hold my attention throughout the judging process.”
Prize administrator Anne Rainbow said 14 entries had been received for the adult section, which was slightly less than for the poetry competition, which was held every two years.
Twenty-one entries were received for the senior section and 26 for the junior, which was similar to other years.