Clarence Valley Independent

Feels like home

Some of the writers: (l-r) Nadia Smith (high school winner – Grafton High), Bethany McAlpine, Seremi Gorogo-Rawson (primary school winner – Copmanhurst Public School, Kelly Harrison (open winner), and Uncle Ron Heron. Image: Contributed

An anthology of short stories, The Long Way Home, was officially launched at the Ulmarra Hotel on Tuesday December 11.

Co-editor Erin Brady partnered with author Claire Aman and artist Yohanna Dent to bring the project to fruition.

“The book is a collection of outstanding stories from the 2018 Long Way Home writing competition,” says Brady.

“The Long Way Home is a real Clarence moment; featuring stories by adults and students, the book was written, designed and printed wholly in the Clarence Valley.

“When we first dreamed up the Long Way Home project, we had no idea if people would get involved.

“What if we ran a writing competition and nobody entered?

“We started it anyway, without funding or support; we put posters up, started a Facebook page and contacted schools.

“We ran creative workshops in Grafton and Yamba and Byron Writers’ Festival ran workshops at schools.”

More than 150 people entered the competition and the 27 best stories have been published.

Picking the best stories was a difficult pleasure, according to the judges, Erin Brady, Claire Aman and Janelle Brown. “Each story had its own magic,” says Aman, “and so many stories moved us.”

“The book will make a special Christmas present,” says Brady.

“Yohanna artwork and design have made this a very exquisite book.”

Long Way Home can be purchased ($15) at Book Warehouse Grafton, Yamba Nook bookshop, and Yamba River Market.

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