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Central West Queensland since 1923
Central West Queensland

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2 September, 2021

Western writers encouraged in essay prize

Entries for the Lorna McDonald Prize close September 30.

By Michael R Williams

The Longreach Writers Club are excited to have a shot at entering in the prize. PHOTOS: Michael R Williams.

AN UPCOMING prestigious writing prize urges writers from the central west to have a go at winning $2,000. 

The Arts Central Queensland Lorna McDonald Essay Prize honours the titular Rockhampton historian.  

Entrants are invited to deliver essays with a word count between 3,000 and 5,000 words exploring any topic of Central Queensland. 

Topics may range from history, art, lifestyle, science the natural world, personal accounts, and untold stories.   

Prize Coordinator Mark Svendsen said one topic that he thought could be explored in the Central West could be dinosaurs.  

“There’s far more knowledge on dinosaurs in the Central West than in anywhere in Central Queensland,” he said.  

Mr Svendson said the Central West does a great job of promoting its assets and history at a tourist level. 

“This [writing] is just a different way of recording that history and also might spark somebody who might start off writing an essay and then somebody might say you know what that’ll make a great bit of a documentary, and I could put it up as a film,” he said. 

“It’s supposed to be a living document that could inform all sorts of things.” 

Local writer Alan Blunt was an entrant in the prize in 2017. 

His paper, “Reflections on the Central West, 1955/ 2017” garnered him $50 from the coordinator and asked to have his essay used as encouragement for Central West writers.  

The essay tells the story of Mr Blunt's first trip north with his father.  

 Mr Blunt urged young writers to grab their pen or typewriter.  

“As Arthur Conan Doyle once, the only thing I hate more than writing is not writing,” he said.  

“Put your bum on the seat in the morning and get to it.” 

The Lorna McDonald Essay Prize 2021 is open for entries until September 30.  

Entries are free and can be submitted online through the Arts Central Queensland.  


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