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NT Literary Awards

A pretty weird trip to an outback town had a significant effect on the life of writer Kylie Stevenson.

Stevenson spent two weeks in Larramah, a 400km drive down the track from Darwin, for a solo residency at the Andrew McMillan Memorial Writers’ Retreat.

Her experience in the sweltering outback town, inhabited by a handful of people with generations of family feuding, was documented in her personal story Notes From A Dying Town. The piece won the 2017 NT Literary Award for Creative Non-Fiction. 

“I’d just been taking notes each day so I could write about the residency, but I knew I needed to write something more because the people were really interesting,” she says.

“I didn’t know what I was going to do and then the Lit Awards came up. I thought it was a good opportunity to tell the story of the town.”

Since the residency and the Literary Award win last year, Stevenson has been a go-to for journalist all over the world after the disappearance of local Patrick “Paddy” Moriarty who featured in her story. 

But winning the award meant more than just expanding her network and opportunities, it gave Stevenson a confidence boost.

“A lot of the time writing is such a solitary experience, so you write stuff and you’re not really sure if you’re hitting the mark or doing well at what you’re doing,” she says.

“So to receive that kind of feedback and win an award is special and encouraging.”

Entries for the 2018 awards are now open; with April 30 the cut off date for local wordsmiths to hit submit.
There are categories open for writers of all type – fiction, poetry, travel, theatre and youth.

NT Writers’ Centre executive director Sally Bothroyd says the organisation is running workshops in the lead-up to the awards to help inspire people and get their creative juices flowing.

“If people are interested in writing something, workshops are a good way of improving your skills,” she says.

The 2018 awards ceremony will be held for the first time in Alice Springs at the Araluen Arts Centre in July.

 ENTRIES CLOSE MON 30 APR | FREE | See the event listing

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