Kathie in anthology
Drouin writer Kathie Olden is celebrating her first formal publication in the 10th-anniversary edition of “Award Winning Australian Writing”.
Kathie’s short story “Vessels of Stone”, winner of the 2016 Joseph Furphy Commemorative Literary Prize, is amongst over 50 short stories and poetry selected for the anthology released late last month.
Kathie is not lacking writing inspiration, surrounded by books daily in her job as a local librarian.
However, she wrote “Vessels of Stone” about 20 years but had to wait for the right ending.
Telling of a town inundated when a dam is built, a photograph at the Eildon Visitor Centre of old homes coming up out of the water during a drought moved her to finish the piece.
“It originally was a fairly bleak piece of writing and I’m not a bleak thinker myself,” said Kathie. “I sat on it until the right ending presented itself.”
It has been an exciting two years for Kathie, who focused on her short stories and entering various competitions after listening to a guest speaker on goal setting at the library.
The advice – think of goals you’ve always had, break them down and do something. And do something she has. Two short listings followed by a highly commended in the 2016 Waterline Writing Competition run by the Corinella and District Community Centre provided further encouragement.
Kathie attended judging announcements where possible to gain feedback on what judges were looking for. “I think it’s helped, definitely.” Kathie was notified of her inclusion in Award Winning Australian Writing (AWAW) in early July, stating “I was really pleased” at her first formal publication.
The highly anticipated 10th edition of AWAW continues its commitment to showcasing the best short stories and poems that have won competitions around Australia.
The collection features over 50 writers and awards, including a foreword by multi-awardwinning author Margo Lanagan of “Tender Morsels” and “Sea Hearts” as well as seven short story collections.
Many prominent emerging writers, authors and editors are featured in this year’s anthology, including Jenny Blackford, Maryrose Cuskelly, Roger Vickery, Ruth Wykes and Keren Heenan.
As always, the anthology features extensive national representation, with awards from every state and territory in Australia.
Kathie, a member of the Baw Baw Writers’ Network for about five years, is currently focused on short stories but hasn’t ruled out a shift into novels.
“I might one day but the right moment would have to present itself,” she said.
The West Gippsland Regional Library Corporation Baw Baw team leader, Kathie said it can be intimidating to be constantly surrounded by successful writers of the library collection.
Kathie said her favourite was English crime fiction author Susan Hill due to her short stories and use of fairly simple language.
She thanked the support of AWAW publishers, Melbourne Books Publishing.
Local librarian Kathie Olden has achieved her first formal publication with her short story “Vessels of Stone” included in anthology “Award Winning Australian Writing”.