Spineless Wonder announces the The joanne burns Award

joanne burns - Photo by Juno Gemes
joanne burns – Photo by Juno Gemes

It is pleasing to note that  short/micro/nano/flash fiction publisher Spineless Wonder has named a new award in honour of renowned experimental poet/writer joanne burns. Spineless Wonder has described the award int the following terms:

The precise form that The joanne burns Award will take each year may change. For the past two years, for instance, the Spineless Wonders prose poem/microfiction competition has called for submissions with a maximum of 800 word limit. In future years, The joanne burns Award may be for other brief forms, such as nanofiction or for blended, genre-bending prose poem or poetic prose forms yet to be developed.

The theme of each year’s joanne burns Award will also vary. Some years the theme may be open whilst in others, such as in the 2012 Australian icons competition, the theme will be specified.

As in previous years, the competition will be blind judged according to the criteria set out in the Terms and Conditions. The joanne burns Award judge for each year, along with the competition parameters, will be announced in the first half of each year.

The joanne burns Award will carry a monetary reward as well as an offer of publication for those pieces judged to be the highest quality entries in our annual competitive cull.

The 2013 award is will be judged by Shady Cosgrove and opens on 1 June. It is un-themed, which I think means that you don’t have to worry about incorporating a particular topic in your writing, and the word length is limited to 800 words. Micro fiction and prose poems submissions are invited.

More information about the award can be found here: http://shortaustralianstories.com.au/the-joanne-burns-award/ and submission guidelines at http://shortaustralianstories.com.au/submissions/prose-poetrymicrofiction/.

It is fitting that Spineless Wonder have chosen to name this award after joanne burns. As I wrote in a review of burn’s last collection, amphora, “Burns has been writing and publishing for almost four decades, her first collection Snatch being published in 1972. Over the years she has established a reputation for pushing poetic boundaries and for blurring the distinction between poetry and prose with her published work consisting of a combination of poetry, prose poems and prose sequences”. Her work has been, perhaps, the most consistently experimental  poetry/prose produced in Australia over the last 3 to 4 decades and she shows no sign of compromise now. I hope that those submitting work to this award are inspired by burns’ work and are prepared to push and crash through the barriers that guide so much creative writing in Australia today.

– Mark Roberts


Mark Roberts is a Sydney based writer and critic. He currently edits Rochford Street Review. He is currently working a collection of poetry.

The review of amphora can be found at https://rochfordstreetreview.com/2013/03/19/pushing-boundaries-mark-roberts-reviews-amphora-by-joanne-burns/

Spineless Wonder can be found at http://shortaustralianstories.com.au/

A selection of joanne burns’ work can be found at http://www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/poets/burns-joanne

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