True Story

Published : Friday, July 27, 2012

Annette Hughes has been running Reality Bites, a festival of literary nonfiction, in Cooroy, in the Noosa Hinterland, since 2008.

This year’s festival kicks off tonight in Cooroy. And at the launch, the winner of a new prize for young writers will be awarded. Annette set up the prize this year and named it the Mark Tredinnick True Story Prize. True story. Here’s the link:

This year’s theme is environment. Since I can be there in name only this year, I sent these words:

“I spent the morning getting wood from a friend’s forest. When the trailer was brimming with eucalypt and blackwattle offcuts, I walked along the river with the dog. The way the track bent and rose and fell and articulated under my feet—and under the dog’s feet—the very selfhood of that bend of the river brought to mind for the first time in ages that piece at the very start of my red book, where I describe a good sentence as a track, not a road. If I were to say anything at the award ceremony, it would be to mention my walk this morning and to read from that opening section of the book and to say that maybe the truest truths good writing tells it tells in the way its sentences reprise the contours of speaker’s unique self, her inner life, her aspirations and attitudes and gifts.”

Congratulations to the winner (s). And thanks to Anne. I’m honoured.

The prize was offered locally this year. Next year Annette hopes to open it up State-wide in Queensland. After that, nationally…

I’m glad to have my name associated with a festival and a prize aimed at encouraging a literature of fact and a literature of place, especially among the young.

I’ll be up in Cooroy running a writing workshop in late October. The winner has been offered a place on the workshop as part of the prize.