Prize winning entries are
published in the
Bass Coast Post.
Long section (4000 to 10,000 words)
The Prom by Lucinda Bain
The author questions her own place in nature in the midst of a climate emergency. It feels slightly bleak, yet ends on a hopeful, simple, profound truth.
The judges did not award a second or third prize in the long section.
Short section (2000 to 4000 words)
She and I (and truth and fiction) by Grace Elizabeth Elkins
The writer uses fog on the Phillip Island bridge as a metaphor for writing memoir and the discussion of the blurred lines between what is found and what is imagined,
One Morning, On the Way To School by Jim Connelly
A rollicking snapshot and beautifully detailed description of the daily school bus ride from Garfield to Warragul in the 1940s.
Sands of Time by Kit Fennessy
A witty slice of memoir that seamlessly weaves together metaphysics, geology, history and Jimmy Hendrix.
Adrift in shallow waters: 92 days of winter swimming, walking & watching
By Rees Quilford
Every day of that first Covid winter, Rees Quilford dived into the bracing cold of Bass Strait, took a Polaroid photo, and documented his thoughts.
The Snow Girls By Graeme Wheeler.
Foster writer's vivid account of the search for two young women missing in the Gippsland high country in the 1960s.
Wallace Avenue Community Park Inverloch By Judy Vradenburg
Meticulous account of community activism.
Saved by Martha, Two Sticks of Wood and a Woolly Sheep By Leonie Margetts
A moving story of grief and recovery
Rescue at the Bridge By Roman Kulkewycz
A true adventure story
At Screw Creek by Linda Cuttriss’
Part local history, part family history, part true detective story.
Who speaks for the trees and creeks? By Jeannie Haughton
The author mourns the loss of an avenue of beloved trees and embarks on an investigation of the Kafkaesque world of environmental law.
Paper Thin By Lucinda Bain
A child is born as her great-grandfather is dying. A meditation on the trajectories of birth and death, from breath to breath.
Sometimes nothing can happen but fire By Max Hayward
A personal essay combining family memoir with recent history and an argument that we must stop trying to dominate the landscape.
No Place Like Home By Karen Bateman
Can we ever know a place that we didn’t grow up in? The author is caught between gratitude for the beauty of her adopted home in Bass Coast and longing for another place where she has deeper roots.
On the Shore of the Wide World By Fiona Power
A wry account of growing up in small town Gippsland, on the edge of Western Port.
Cape Connection By Lauren Burns
A personal journey of discovery with a gradual “coming home” to Bass Coast.
Nothing We Liked Better By Jillian Durance
The story of a house and its inhabitants, anchored by two old trees: a pine and a pear. It weaves memoir, local history and natural history. A great feat of imagination and beautifully written.
Jobs that no longer exist: a memoir By Christine Grayden
Memories of the various physically hard jobs the writer did as a young woman with her uncle while spending her holidays and weekends on Phillip Island.
Pittosporum Flowering By Julie Constable
Memoir of an environmental awakening.
Alzheimer Sufferer/Carer Suite By Malcolm Brodie
A cycle of 56 poems celebrating the poet's mother Florence.
Ed and the Birds by Karen Bateman
A very local response to environmental issues.
Beyond the view by Linda Cuttriss
An Accidental MP by Susan Davies
Wandering Dogs, Broken Hearts by Julie Maclean:
From left, Malcom Brodie (third prize winner), Don Watson (author and guest speaker), Julie Constable (second prize winner), Christine Grayden (first prize winner) and Phyllis Papps (prize sponsor) at The Gurdies winery following the announcement of the prize winners in the 2019 Bass Coast Prize for Non-Fiction.
February 9, 2020
By Catherine Watson
PHILLIP Island writer and historian Christine Grayden has won first prize in the inaugural Bass Coast Prize for Non-Fiction with Jobs that no longer exist – a memoir.
Her story relates memories of the various physically hard jobs she did as a young woman with her uncle while spending her holidays and weekends on Phillip Island, and later when living there.
Most of these jobs – handline commercial fishing, chicory drying, and collecting kelp and cuttlefish – were traditional on Phillip Island until the 1980s, but they are no longer done, so the memoir is an invaluable historical record as well as being a fascinating story.
The three prize winners were announced by the judges at The Gurdies winery on Sunday. Prizes totalling $10,000 were awarded for first, second and third, along with four special commendations.
Julie Constable won second prize for Pittosporum Flowering, a memoir of an environmental awakening, which alternates the focus from the large scale – the logging of native forests for wood chips – to caring for one’s own little patch.
Malcolm Brodie won third prize for Alzheimer Sufferer/Carer Suite, a collection of 56 poems covering the period from when his mother was first diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease until she died 14 years later.
Special commendations were presented to
The inaugural competition attracted 42 entries from throughout Gippsland, ranging from personal memoir and true adventure through to biography, natural history and local history.
Chief judge and prize sponsor Phyllis Papps said the judges were gratified by the response from writers and impressed by the very high quality of the work submitted.
The other two judges were Bass Coast Post editor Catherine Watson and Waterline News editor Geoff Ellis.
The special guest at the prize giving was Gippsland-born author Don Watson, acclaimed for works including The Bush, Recollections of a Bleeding Heart, American Journey and Weasel Words.
Ms Papps said she would like to keep the Bass Coast Prize for Non-Fiction continuing because of the wonderful response from writers of all ages, in all parts of the Gippsland region.
“Many were superb pieces of non-fiction. Unfortunately not all could be on the short-list or win a prize. But I have the greatest admiration for the 42 writers who had the sensitivity and skills to write and share their stories."
The award winning and commended works will be published in the Bass Coast Post over the next few issues.