Seniors in NSW are being asked to turn their anecdotal memories into short stories to be published

PUBLISHED: Colleen Parker with the third edition of published short stories. Photo: Laura Telford.
PUBLISHED: Colleen Parker with the third edition of published short stories. Photo: Laura Telford.

Seniors card holders across the state are being encouraged to enter a short story competition aimed at getting older people to think about all they have achieved in their life under the theme of ‘ageing positively’.

The competition, now in its fourth year, is a collaboration with Seniors Card NSW, the Fellowship of Australia Writers NSW and the NSW Department of Family and Community Services, and is designed for seniors to think about turning their memories and anecdotes into short stories.

Organiser of the competition in 2018 and President of the Port Macquarie branch of the Fellowship of Australian Writers NSW, Colleen Parker, said she thinks the competition is a great way for seniors to do something positive, turning their anecdotal memories into stories.

“The top 100 short stories are published in a book that is distributed around the state, and with over 600 entries in 2017 it is fairly competitive, but a lot of fun,” Mrs Parker said.

“The stories submitted must only be 1000 words and have the structure of a short story, that is a beginning, middle and conclusion and we are wanting people to think about their past for inspiration.”

Mrs Parker said especially in Port Macquarie there are so many seniors leading full and active lives, volunteering in all aspects of the community but there are also those who can be quite separated from society.

“Lots of seniors in the Port Macquarie-Hastings area are aging positively, volunteering and participating in the community, but we also have lots of seniors who feel they do not want to burden people, isolating themselves,” she said.

“So this competition is about elderly people recognising that they have lived big lives and about encouraging them to tell their stories.”

The free competition opened on February 1 and is open until June 1, 2018 and Mrs Parker said she is hosting a free short stories workshop on February 19 at the Port City Bowling Club for seniors wanting to refresh their writing skills.

“I am running this workshop so that seniors can learn or refresh their skills on writing short stories so they can go and write their story for the competition,” she said.

“The workshop will go through the very basics of story telling to ensure seniors who want to enter the competition feels confident to do so.”

The competition and workshop are open to all seniors who hold a NSW Seniors Card. For more information contact Colleen Parker on 6583 3997 or via email parkerpattinson2@bigpond.com.

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