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Subject: ETRA Michele Turner Awards
Date: Mon, 26 Oct 1998 10:36:40 +0000
From: Kieran Dwyer <>

from East Timor Relief Association (ETRA)

Michele Turner Writing Awards

Project of East Timor Relief Association to be implemented in 1998 and beyond

The East Timor Relief Association is pleased to announce the inauguration of the annual Michele Turner Writing Awards. These awards aim to encourage and foster creative and documentary writing about and related to East Timor, and to honour and commemorate Michele Turner and her life's literary work.

Michele Turner Awards are for published work (if it has been published in the 12 months before the Award - ie. since 4 December 1997) OR unpublished work - not separate categories for published or unpublished work (we already have heaps of categories!).   The Awards will be made annually, and after this first year ETRA will seek ideas for developing/improving the structure of the Awards.

Michele Turner was a great friend of the East Timorese people, and spent ten years of tireless work assisting them to tell their and their country's stories in her powerful book Telling: East Timor, Personal Testimonies 1942-1992. In her earlier work, Michele's efforts to give voice to people often silenced resulted in the powerful Unemployed People Talk to Michele Turner. Michele's work is characterised by her deep respect for human dignity in the face of awful situations.

Over recent years publications about East Timor have increased considerably, but there remain so many stories untold, voices unheard. With the inspiration of Michele Turner's work, ETRA seeks to foster these voices and storytellers, poets and documenters.

They may be voices and stories of direct experience inside East Timor, or those which shed light on some of the ways East Timor has come to effect people throughout the world. They might tell of world leaders and great historical events, or take us into the daily lives of so called ordinary people: it could be a cook book, a children's book, a biography or a novel or anything else you can think of!

You might be an experienced and published writer, or a first-timer. Your work might be published, or it might not. We especially want to encourage young people and unpublished writers to share their voice, and we may be able to assist when it comes to publication.


As guidance we have established 4 categories for the first year of the Michele Turner Writing Awards, and awards will be made for these in both Youth (18 years and under) and Open groups:

1. Poetry- poem: any form. - length: not more than 100 lines

2. Fiction - short story - length: not more than 3000 words

3. Fiction - Novel or collection of short stories - Length: open

4. Non-fiction, essay, article, interview, or collection of these, documentary history or other form of non-fiction.


These are yet to be announced. They may be monetary or perhaps by way of gift or voucher. They will certainly be about acknowledging the value of your work, and with the prospect of assistance with publication.


1. Entries can be in any language, and we especially encourage entries in East Timorese languages.

2. Judging will be by a panel appointed by the ETRA Board. The panel has the right, with the Board's approval, to co-opt extra judges where language expertise is necessary in a given language. The judges' decision is final.

3. Entries can be hand written (neatly please!), typed or word-processed, on one side of the paper only, and are to be submitted in triplicate (3 copies).

4. An entry form is not necessary, but entries should be accompanied by an attached piece of paper with the author's name, address and contact details.

5. If the entrants wish their work to be returned they must provide a stamped, addressed envelope.

6. Copyright remains with the authors, though ETRA will be granted the right to publish winning entries (or excerpts from these, with full acknowledgement of the author) in its newsletter Matebian News and/or in other publications (including electronic forms).

7. Entrants may be of any nationality

8. The judging panel may decide not to award a prize in any or all of the categories, if they do not consider entries to be of a suitable standard and they have the discretion to award special prizes.

Entry Date

All entries must be received by ETRA by November 1, 1998. Winners will be announced during ETRA's Annual Dinner on 4 December in Melbourne, Australia.

Kieran Dwyer
East Timor Relief Association PO Box 1102 - Parramatta NSW 2124 Australia
email :

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