Writers are encouraged to participate in annual literacy awards

Poetry Judge Robert Sullivan directs the poetry workshop that opened in June. Photo/ Provided

Writers are encouraged to put pen to paper and secure their nominations for the Lysaght-Watt Trust Ronald Hugh Morrieson Literary Awards.

This is the 35th year that the awards have been presented in honor of Hāwera-born writer Ronald Hugh Morrieson.

He wrote four novels in his life: the scarecrow (1963), Came on a hot Friday (1964), Hard situation (published in 1975) and his only contemporary novel Pallet on the floor.

The competition, which includes categories for short stories, poetry and true stories, is open to residents and ratepayers of South Taranaki and the wider Taranaki region, as well as students from the Taranaki region.

With entries expected by August 17, news judge Airini Beautrais says it’s time for writers to make those last-minute tweaks and poof proofread their work before submitting it.

She says the key is to write something you love.

“That way, whatever the outcome, it will have been fun. Another tip is to read your work aloud to hear what it sounds like, this will help you spot needed changes, especially with dialogue. there are no rules other than the rules of competition, so the choice is yours, be creative.”

When it comes to writing poetry, Judge Robert Sullivan says the key to writing a successful poem is having an emotional truth at the heart of the poem.

“Only emotion endures” is advice from poet Ezra Pound, while “poetry is an electric force field which is love” said by American poet Joy Harjo, also speaks of commitment and energy that one puts into sincere poems. “

■ Entries for the Lysaght-Watt Trust Ronald Hugh Morrieson Literary Awards close August 17th. To enter online or view rules and categories, visit: www.southtaranaki.com/our-facilities/libraryplus/ronald-hugh-morrieson-literary-prize