Now in its fourth year, the event asks local seniors to tap into their creative side and channel their inner Shakespeare for the chance to have their stories published in an anthology by the NSW Government.
With a 1,000 word limit and a 2018 theme of ‘positive ageing’, Project Manager Colleen Parker encourages local seniors in NSW to start writing.
“I am strongly aware of the many benefits writing gives people, especially seniors,” Ms Parker explains.
“Writing thoughts of memories, traumas, experiences, achievements, in fact documenting our world, is therapeutic - even if we tear it up afterwards.
“It assists us to explore our own thoughts and feelings and even judgements.
“Seniors love to share their memories, they compare their childhoods with others of similar ilk but also with their grandchildren.”
She adds that topic variety and literary merit will be judged as part of the competition, as well as the demonstration of the theme ‘positive ageing’.
She says the story can be about war service, cancer survival, travel journeys, volunteering - whatever seniors feel pleased about that they have survived or which makes them “love getting up every morning to embrace the day ahead and look forward to living it”.
Ms Parker, a writer herself, says the prize of the top 100 stories being published in the NSW Government’s anthology is a “huge achievement” and says everyone has a story in them.
“I get so much from writing, I love to encourage and motivate others to try it for themselves,” she says.
“To have their story published by the NSW Government is a HUGE achievement, a tangible item for them to leave their family, a record of something they wanted to document.
“It costs nothing to enter and there is not just one prize but 100 prizes, so that is pretty good odds.
“The idea then is that the published book will be an inspiration to others, motivators to other seniors not yet ready to accept their age group and feel satisfied that ageing is just another stage of life and instead of fearing it be brave, be daring, put themselves out to see what life might still have in store for them.”
As well as the top 100 authors having their stories published, they will also receive an invitation to the launch of Seniors Stories Volume 4 at NSW Parliament House on 1 October 2018, as well as a free copy of the book.
Voluntary workshops are also being held across NSW as part of the competition and to support those entering.
More information about the workshops and entering before midnight 1 June 2018 can be found online. http://fawnsw.org.au/seniors-card-short-story-competition/
Winners are expected to be announced in September.