AAWP/UWRF Emerging Writer’s Prize 2019

The AAWP / UWRF Prize is a publication pathway for emerging writers. The prize is open to fiction or poetry. The Australasian Association of Writing Programs (AAWP) is delighted to partner with Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (UWRF) to provide this publication pathway for emerging writers. Heartfelt thanks to the judges for managing the judging process with such integrity—thank you for so generously donating your time in the interests of emerging writers.

2019 Winner: Annabel Stafford for ‘Acid’

Judges’ report:

The winning entry for this year’s contest is Annabel Stafford for ‘Acid’. The voice is fresh and raw, intent on unpeeling the mystery of a child’s pain. Stafford presents early, if not primitive, aspects of life in dramatic and uncompromising ways, stripping the world of easy sentiments, highlighting the visceral qualities of experience, its haunting and its premonitions of disaster. The intensity of the story, and its focus on multiple ways of understanding the word ‘acid’ in a medical and societal frame of reference is tempered by the Stafford’s deeply human engagement with the topic. Like smoke rising from a candle and casting shadows and lights that shift and evade, the story will draw you in, hold you firmly there as the story unfolds and in its wake.

About the winner:

Annabel Stafford is a casual teacher in the creative writing program at the University of Technology, Sydney, where she completed her Doctorate of Creative Arts in 2018. She was formerly a federal political reporter for The Australian Financial Review and The Age and Sydney Correspondent for The Age. She has also been published in The Griffith Review, Meanjin, The Good Weekend, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Tablet among other publications.