A writing group has paid tribute the late Laurie Barber with a prize in its 2022 Open Writing Competition renamed in his honour.
Port Writers renamed this year's Hastings Prize as the 2022 Laurie Barber Prize for Local Writers. Mr Barber was the one of the group's inaugural patrons.
The prize is part of the Port Writers Open Writing Competition. The annual national literary event is inviting entries in short fiction, short non-fiction and poetry categories.
The competition has been successful in attracting entries from all over Australia.
A local award was added in 2021 to encourage the region's writers in their creativity and output.
Port Writers encourages its group members to enter and the group is thrilled when they are among the winning entries for the local award as was the case in 2021 with Melanie Wass taking first place with her fiction entry.
Competition convener Tom Penrose said when Port Writers was formed, Mr Barber was approached to become a joint patron, along with the prodigious poet and educator, Bessie Jennings.
"As patrons of our writing group Laurie and Bessie's influence and contributions to the development of Port Writers as a mainstay for writers in the region has been invaluable," Mr Penrose said.
In 2016, Port Writers gained a grant to produce a significant anthology, Beyond the Three Brothers, and Mr Barber was instrumental in ensuring both its success and its launch.
"It was only late in 2021 that Laurie decided to step down as patron of Port Writers for health reasons," Mr Penrose said.
"In recognition of his passing in February this year and his contribution to writing in our community, Port Writers wanted to honour Laurie in some way; hence we agreed that a fitting tribute would be to rename this year's Hastings Prize as the 2022 Laurie Barber Prize for Local Writers."
Port Writers, by holding the national Open Writing Competition, hopes to nurture and encourage writing as a creative pastime and put a spotlight on the Port Macquarie-Hastings region.
Details of the 2022 Port Writers Open Writing Competition can be found at the Port Writers website.
Entries will be accepted until midnight on July 31.
The winners will be announced on September 24 at the Port Writers meeting.
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