Writing competition winners announced
THE winners of the 2016 Elements of Byron A Wandering Tale writing competition have been selected.
Aspiring writers were able to sign up at the Byron Writers' Festival, held onsite at Elements of Byron, to complete a story already two thirds written by Byron's Nick Couldwell.
Set in Cavanbah, the story chronicles a boy's journey to manhood, Elements of Byron General Manager Michael Skinner explained.
"It would have been quite a difficult story to finish given the indigenous language and historic setting," Mr Couldwell said.
"There wasn't much room to move.
"The tales have been told and the quality of entries we received were of a very high standard.
"We sincerely congratulate the two winners whose story endings shone through."
Bangalow's Sally Schofield embraced the challenge and took out the Major Prize, winning a five-night spa break at Elements of Byron.
"I have never entered a writing competition before so it was pretty amazing to win!" Ms Schofield said.
"I have always wanted to write creatively but have managed to side step anything that contained too much of myself by working in communications.
"Having been successful in this competition is very motivating for me."
Veteran journalist from Coorabell, Phillip Frazer, who started the Australian Rolling Stone magazine and whose career has seen him write for everything from the LA Times to Multinational Monitor and the Byron Echo, received the Peoples' Choice Prize.
Like Ms Schofield, his work was the first fiction he has had published.
"I've written lots but kept them in a file folder," he said.
"So this is new territory for me.
"The story was tricky to finish because it was set in the world of indigenous people.
"I placed it at the time Captain James Cook came up the east coast with his botanist Joseph Banks.
"They sailed by Byron and noted in their diaries that it was a beautiful place and there was a long line of tribespeople walking the beach.
"I posed those blokes' experience alongside the Arakwal peoples, and along the way I learned a lot that I needed to know about them and the Bundjalung nation."
Mr Frazer won a three-day pass to the 2017 Byron Writers Festival during which he and his partner Kate will enjoy a two night stay at Elements of Byron.
Nick Couldwells A Wandering Tale and all story endings can be viewed at www.elementsofbyron.com.au/awanderingtale