Norman McVicker Youth Literary Award 2016

 Competition Results



1st     Welcome Home Freya Cox TAS

2nd     The Man With the Voice Like A River Daisy Andrews NSW

3rd     On My Own Terms Freya Cox TAS

H/C   Behind A Barbed Wire Fence Brynnie Rafe VIC

H/C   The Best Laid Plans Brittany Doolan NSW

H/C   The Price of Liberty Freya Cox TAS

C       Walls Michaela Rowe ACT

C       Always Margie Sophie Eldridge SA

C       Multiple Neuroses Alexandra Elgue ACT

C       Variation on an Ancient Tale Clare Yan-yu Pryor NSW

C       Clocks and Bombs Lizzie Hughes ACT



1st       Painting the World Freya Cox TAS

2nd     Harmony Celine Ng WA

3rd     If All the World’s A Stage Freya Cox TAS

H/C   Villiers Lane Brooke Murray NSW

C       I Am Rain Brynnie Rafe VIC

C       To Be A Doll Grace Jin SA

C       Where the Coolibahs Grow Rachel Goodwin NSW

C       The Bushfire Alexandra Elgue ACT


President’s Report


Joan Taylor

2015 was a lively year for our small but talented and progressive group, and I have to say it has been a pleasure to have again acted as President.

Pamela Meredith and Tony Hennessy were welcomed as new members.

We were very proud of Kevin when he was awarded Senior Citizen of the Year and Miriam, Joy and Kevin all won awards in the poetry section of the Mid-Western Regional Council Seniors Week Awards.

Our 29th Birthday was marked on April 14 by a visit to the local Henry Lawson historical site, followed by our meeting, held just a little further down the road in the Old Eurunderee School. We were rapt in readings of stories and poems from Henry’s works, followed by our members’ readings of our monthly themes which, by happy co-incidence, happened to be ‘School Days’ and ‘Swaggies’. It was a lovely way to mark our birthday and Kevin Pye composed a poem about the day, cleverly incorporating the names of those attending. We were pleased that the Mudgee Guardian devoted over half a page to reporting our event along with 2 of Kevin’s poems. Great publicity for our group.

April 24 saw our members enjoy the invitation of Probus to join them on a bus tour, and as we travelled via Wellington to Yeoval we were entertained by Kevin reading some of Banjo Patterson’s works. We visited Yeoval’s local museum, following which we were treated to an inspection of the 1840s Dundullimal Homestead and heard some of the history of the property. We continued on to Dubbo for lunch and a visit to the Japanese Gardens. A wonderful day out.

In May, we heralded the release of Kevin Pye’s 8th book “All Aboard” which was celebrated by a great many enthusiasts at Club Mudgee. Bravo Kevin.

Kevin’s Play, “Joe Wilson’s Courtship”, adapted from a Henry Lawson story, and very capably directed by Jill, was enacted at this book launch. The authentic costumes and a host of local actors contributed a great colonial atmosphere to the evening.

Mr Sof Lee, executor of the Will of the late Norman McVicker who was a solid supporter of the Arts, entrusted our group with the management of the 2016 Youth Literary Award.   Substantial cash incentives were offered for the encouragement of poetry and short story writers up to 22 years of age.   We are looking forward to the outcome.   Entries are yet to be judged, having closed at the end of February 2016.

We are also thankful to Sof for setting up a webpage for us and also a Facebook Page called ‘Mudgee Valley Writers’.

MaxPotential representative, Fiona Brown, invited us to host a stall at their event at Club Mudgee on 30th July. We did so and used this opportunity to advertise not only our group, but also our Youth Competition,

In September Tony organised the St Mary’s Wine, Cheese and Poetry Reading night. A poem by Kevin was read by Ross Kurtz and much enjoyed by all present. Joy provided the music for the evening, together with her granddaughter and friend.

Bob published several items on YouTube. ‘Killer Black Coal, Running on the Great Divide’, a radio programme about Jimmy Governor, and a new item on refugees titled ‘When It All Boils Down’ will soon be released.

Pamela is interviewing senior local residents for the Museum Records. She and Jill have branched into the radio world, each reading a short story they wrote over ABC Radio.

Jill enjoyed the success of her play, ‘Storm Shelter’, being chosen to tour as part of the Central West Short Play Festival.  Jill went touring with the play and had a ball.

She continues to host the Krazy Korner page in FreeXpreSion Magazine.

We submitted applications for two grants. The first, via CASP, was unsuccessful and we are awaiting notification on the second through Commonwealth Government Volunteer Grants which, if approved, will fund a workshop during 2016.

The ‘Ínk Spot’ continues into a sixth year, and appears to be quite a popular feature in the Mudgee Guardian. We receive submissions from non-members as well as our own writers, and these are appreciated.

Our end of year meeting was kindly hosted by Jill who opened her home to us once again. With such an enthusiastic gathering the day could only have been the success that it was. Good food, music, games, readings and lots of laughs.

If the foregoing is any indication, our group has a bright future ahead.

Youth Awards for Performing Arts and Literature

Young people are encouraged to participate in a number of awards being run by both the Mudgee Performing Arts Society and Mudgee Valley Writers in the next six to eight months.

The prizes for the awards in each category are provided by the estate of Norman McVicker OAM. The award is given in memory of Norman’s passions in theatre and writing. He spent his life involved in writing and producing theatrical plays and writing articles about Australian and local Mudgee history. Now he has left ongoing legacies in his Will to be used to encourage young people to write, and to become involved in the performing arts.

Mudgee Valley Writers will host a literary competition of Short Stories and Poetry by young people 22 years of age and under. The initial competition will have a closing date of 29th February 2016. Prizes for each section will be $800 for First Place, $200 for Second and $100 for Third. Highly Commended and Commended Certificates will also be awarded. If the initial competition is successful it will become an annual event.

Entry forms and all details are on this website.

Mudgee Performing Arts Society will use Norman’s legacy to offer a scholarship to the value of $1500 to attend a NIDA course, or equivalent. This would be awarded to an interested young person 16 – 25 years of age, not necessarily to a student.

A further $500 will be awarded as prize money for participants in the Short Shorts Play Festival at Mudgee Town Hall Theatre on 28th and 29th August. The Cudgegong Youth Theatre is already working towards this production and will feature short plays written, directed and performed by local youth.

Anyone interested in this should join Sam Paine at The Stables in Mudgee on Monday afternoons, from the end of school till 5pm. There is no charge to participate. Sam will have application forms available.

Norman McVicker
Norman McVicker

Norman McVicker’s Legacy

Norman McVicker
Norman McVicker

In his legacy, Norman McVicker allocated funds/awards to encourage young Australians to be active in producing Australian literature and becoming writers.

His vision is also to encourage young people to take up Australian literature and become a distinguished scholar in the field.

The prize will be awarded yearly and organised by the Mudgee Valley Writers. The estate of Norman McVicker will provide the
prize money.

To read more about the award, please click here.

Since 1986, we still WRITE ON!