The Darebin Mayor’s Writing Award

The Darebin Mayor’s Writing Award is an annual award for writers who live, work or study in the City of Darebin.

The winner of this year’s award received a prize of $2000. Additionally, two shortlisted writers each received a prize of $500. Entries were judged by a panel of three professional writers: Louise Swinn, Susan Johnston and Adolfo Aranjuez.

This year’s award was for short works (700 words or less) on the theme Migration: People and Places. Works of all genres as well as work written in languages other than English were accepted.

Darebin Mayor’s Writing Awards 2017 

Advice to a Young Migrant by Terry Donnelly

Last Week’s Lunch by Prithi Rao and
Spread by Sarah Walker

Sarah Walker was unable to be at the function to announce winners as she was travelling overseas at the time.

Check out the next edition of n-SCRIBE 12 for the full version of the winning entries.

dmwa-winners-2017   Darebin Mayor Cr Kim Le Cerf with Terry Donnelly and Prithi Rao

dmwa-winner-terry-donnelly   Winner of the Darebin Mayor’s Writing Award  2017, Terry Donnelly


About the 2017 Award:

Entries opened 24 March 2017.

Entries were submitted by Sunday 30 April at 5pm.

The winner was announced at a special event on Thursday 8 June, 2017.




2016 Darebin Mayor’s Writing Awards for Flash Fiction

Judges’ Comments

Mark Brandi, Transport

Transport is an exquisite example of compressed storytelling. Each carefully chosen word and each beautifully crafted sentence builds character insight and adds narrative tension. An adult voice looks back to their ten-year-old self when, for the first time, a strange Italian man—Strange among our strangeness—is welcomed into the family home. The voice then takes us effortlessly forward, to the old man’s dying (Like a small bird, laid sideways on the bed¬), the narrator’s last moment with him (Pale eyes locked in some distant, serious concern) and his funeral In a dense, sticky moment before summer. With a minimum of words Transport opens a small window onto work, family and the migrant experience and does so with great tenderness and compassion.

Transport has been made into a Radio National Pocketdocs piece. Listen to an extended version of this story here.


Vashti Kenway, Hot Air

In Hot Air, Kenway immediately throws the reader into Abdul’s world with striking and image-laden prose. Although just a slice-of-life, it is a very atmospheric piece, so lucidly conjuring up a whole world from just a few pages. The writing is masterful—each word has been carefully selected and the author shows a genuine command of various writing techniques. Perhaps most strikingly, it is a very moving piece—the reader is forced to both think and feel, and by the end we have been taken on a comprehensive journey. We very much look forward to more work from Vashti Kenway.


Oliver Coulter, Uncle Monti

The drooping lights smiled on and off; blown-out bulbs like rotted teeth. It is Christmas, and from the first sentence Uncle Monti deftly pulls the reader into its domestic scene. A mother and her two daughters at home on Christmas Eve are finely drawn, they and their environment captured with striking imagery. Coulter shows a particular talent for dialogue, where each line reveals as much by what is left out as what is said. Uncle Monti displays that this writer is not only able to create a compelling story in short form, but flourishes in its limitations. The judges commend it as a piece of fiction where fragments linger in the mind long after it has been read.




Darebin City Council
274 Gower St, Preston Victoria 3072

Phone: (03) 8470 8888
Fax: (03) 8470 8888