Kathie in an­thol­ogy

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT -

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”.

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