Budding writer set to bloom
  • Friday 30 October 2009

What: Announcement of winner of manuscript mentorship – Regional Writes
When: 29 October, 5.30-7.30pm
Where: Cooroy Butter Factory Arts Centre
Bookings: 5472 0107
Cost: Free

Chevallum author Rhys Rodgers is one step closer to publishing his first novel after winning the Regional Writes manuscript development mentorship.

Rhys, 20, briefly studied creative writing at the University of the Sunshine Coast, but quit to write his novel instead. His story Jac and the Wild Children, picks up from where JM Barrie left off, re-imagining the origin of the Lost Boys and pirates of Peter Pan.

Jac and the Wild Children is a beautiful tale of power, friendship, betrayal, and resistance – about growing up and holding onto the truth that to love one another is the only rule we need to follow.

The winning manuscript was selected from a blind read, where the selector did not know the identities of the authors of the 20 full-length manuscripts received. The strong field from across the Sunshine Coast was narrowed to a shortlist of three, including authors Tanya Overson of Cooroy and Christine Wunderlich of Yandina.

Rhys will be mentored by local author Annette Hughes, writer in residence at the Butter Factory Arts Centre in Cooroy, receiving one-on-one coaching through the process of redrafting, to take his manuscript to the next stage of development towards publication.

"I've been completely blown away by the quality of submissions to this mentorship program and by the range of genres, from fantasy to non-fiction, travel writing to the philosophical investigation of the natural world," Annette said.

Community Policy and Programs Portfolio holder Jenny McKay said the Regional Writes program had been an outstanding success.

“The professional development workshop component of the Regional Writes program has received great feedback from participants, with most of the workshops booked out, and an extra session scheduled to meet the demand,” Councillor McKay said.

“There is an amazing wealth of literary talent on the coast which council is pleased to be able to identify and nurture through the Regional Writes program. The collaboration between council and the two funding bodies, Regional Arts Development Fund and Arts Queensland, has enabled the delivery of a fantastic program.”

The Regional Writes program continues until 15 December, just prior to the official opening of the new Cooroy library, due for completion in March 2010. The major strand of the program still remains to be completed, and Annette is calling for submissions of stories from all writers in the community to the community blogging project.

“If you've got a story to tell about why, how, and since when you came to live in this beautiful part of the world, we want to hear it,” Annette said.

For further information check out www.regionalwritess.blogspot.com, email regionalwrites@sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au or phone Sarah Wood, Cooroy Library Community Liaison Officer, on 5472 0107.