Alicia Monkton.
Alicia Monkton.

Respected academic praises local awards

ACCLAIMED editor and academic Dr Robyn Sheahan-Bright paid tribute to local authors, poets and picture book artists during the Gympie Region Literary Awards presentation held at Gympie Library last Tuesday evening.

Praising the creativity and power of the winning entries, Dr Sheahan-Bright congratulated entrants for their original and inventive ideas and concepts, and for their talents as writers and illustrators.

Dr Sheahan-Bright won the 2014 Johnno Award for her outstanding contribution to writing in Queensland.

She has taught courses on writing at Griffith University and on publishing and technology at the University of Southern Queensland, in addition to having managed the Australian Publishers Association's Residential Editorial Program.

Dr Sheahan-Bright has also edited a number of anthologies of Australian writing and books on Australia's publishing history.

This is her second time in the role of judge of the Gympie Regional Literary Awards, the last being a decade ago.

Dr Sheahan-Bright said she was once again impressed by the diversity and depth of writing talent in the local community.

The Literary Awards are sponsored each year by Bendigo Bank, with first prizes of $160 for adults and $110 for children.

There are sections for short story, poetry and picture books in both age categories, with first, second and third prizes for each.

Representatives of the Gympie and District Community Bank Branch, including Elaine Thompson, Andrea Raynell, Rens Poels and regional manager Rob Chittick, joined Gympie Region Mayor Cr Mick Curran and councillor Julie Walker in their praise and ongoing support for the event.

"We are happy to be associated with cultural and sporting events which help to build and strengthen local communities," Mr Chittick said.

The Awards presentation also included the cutting of a Gympie birthday cake, celebrating the 148th anniversary of the discovery of gold by James Nash, with Mayor Curran, Cr Walker, Dr Robyn Sheahan-Bright and Bendigo Bank's Elaine Thompson doing the honours.

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