Mark Smith: Regional Literary Exchange Winner

Congratulations to Mark Smith, the winner of our Regional Literary Exchange!

In 2016 Emerging Writers’ Festival, Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, and Ibis Hotels have teamed up to connect writing communities from Melbourne, Bali, and regional Victoria.

Victoria’s literary community extends far beyond the City of Melbourne. On exchange from UWRF, poet Adimas Immanuel will be featured in several EWF events, and we will be connecting him with regional Victorian writer, Mark Smith, for a cultural and community exchange. Both writers will attend EWF in June, meet with each other at The National Writers’ Conference and stay at Ibis Hotels.

On Monday 20 June, Adimas will travel down to Anglesea to take part in a tour of the Great Ocean Road to sites of literary significance, from Gregory Day’s Aireys Inlet, to Peter Temple’s settings for A Broken Shore and Jock Serong’s Port Fairy, the setting for Quota. Mark’s novel The Road To Winter (Text 2016) is also set in and around Anglesea.

During his visit, Adimas will also take part in a Write Here on the Surf writing group session in Torquay, which includes poets, novelists, short fiction writers and children’s writers. See the Facebook event here!

Mark’s winning submission:

“My writing community is diverse and widespread, straddling the length of the Great Ocean Road. Through monthly meetings and exchanges of writing online, we seek to overcome our isolation from Melbourne’s hub by encouraging our members to use the coastal environment to inform their writing. In many ways our isolation enhances our connection with each other, as we share not only our writing but information gathered through workshops, book launches, festivals and visiting authors.

The opportunity to make connections with the international writing community through Adimas’s visit would be invaluable for our members, particularly to understand the way culture, language and landscape influences his writing. The reach of his visit could be further enhanced by our social media platforms and through engagement with the local media, who are always willing to publicise the ways in which rural and regional communities can develop artistic connections.”

Mark Smith’s writing has appeared in Best Australian Stories 2014 & 2015, Review of Australian Fiction, The Australian and the Big Issue Fiction Edition, among others. He has won a number of awards, including the Alan Marshall Short Story Prize and the Josephine Ulrick Literature Prize. His debut novel, The Road To Winter, will be published by Text in June 2016. Mark is a regional ambassador for Writers Victoria.