Jennifer Burbidge Award

There are a lot of writing competitions on the web; a lot of chances to have your work read and published.

Ian has had success through the years as a fiction writer. He's a regular in the NYC Midnight story competitions. Though the entry-price is steep, Ian has been able to take stories and ideas developed for this competition, workshop them and have them win other copmetitions.

Jennifer Burbidge Story Comp, 2021
Winner : No Returning
No Returning
Falling out of a treehouse broke more than just Tween Taylor's spine.

This story "No Returning" has a lot of meaning to me. Though the protagonist is a teenage girl, paralysed from the waist-down, I knew I'd got "into her head" when I had the father ask her a question. My response was not what I thought I would write, but it was purely what I "knew" a girl in the same situation would've said. I remember laughing out loud at that point and the story became easier to write from that point, since I had discovered Taylor's "voice". It meant I could better advocate on her behalf and consider the world more as she might.

I might have mentioned elsewhere writing stories for the NYC Midnight short fiction competition. I had a perfect story with some feedback from my writing group that I was able to hone for this competition. I initially had to write a romantic story, and so often these are centred around the protagonist. For this one, I wanted to have something tear our lovers apart, and a way to bring them back together again.

The Jennifer Burbidge award is an annual award presented as part of the Willy Lit Festival (the Williamstown Literary Festival). It was established in 2001 by the late Mary and Andrew Burbidge to honour the life of their eldest daughter, Jennifer, who died aged 21. The award is funded through royalties from Mary’s memoir Forever Baby.

Since 2021, the Burbidge Prize has been offered as part of the Williamstown Literary Festival suite of writing awards.