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And the winners of the MWN Writers’ Competition are...

The judges have spoken.

The Mamamia Women’s Network and HarperCollins Publishers are excited to announce the winners of the inaugural MWN Writers’ Competition.

With more than 800 entries and $8,500 raised the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, the competition has exceeded expectations, with the judges delighted by the standard of talent shown by the entrants across all categories.

Mia Freedman, Editorial Director of Mamamia Women’s Network says, “It was incredible to see the vast pool of talent out there. While there was so much diversity in age and backgrounds and so many stories, there were also a number of common themes. These are the stories and voices we are all about at MWN.”

And you will be reading their stories and hearing those voices over the next few days on Mamamia Women’s Network sites.

S.A. Jones – Winner of the Attitude category. 

S.A. says she has had a diverse career, but lives for reading, writing, wine, her girlfriends and family. “Writing can be a solitary task with endemic rejections and disappointments. To be recognised like this and introduced to such a diverse readership is wonderfully affirming.”

S.A Jones.

Elena Sardella – Winner of the Family category.

Elena lives in Sydney and is a digital trainer by day and a frustrated writer by night. “I am so thrilled to have won the Family category. The Mamamia network provides such a valuable platform for women who want to share their stories, their ideas – their lives. To share my thoughts with such an audience is beyond a privilege. And admittedly, it also reassures me that my internal dialogue might not be so crazy after all…”

Elena Sardella.

Alex Sizer – Winner of the Lifestuff category.

Alex works as a radiographer but says that really, she’s just stepped out of adulthood and responsibility and gone travelling instead. “I have always enjoyed writing long catch-up emails to friends but only started writing anything beyond that this year when I quit my job to travel and starting blogging about my adventures. I don’t have trouble expressing my opinions, but I never thought writing was something I could ‘do’. I was hoping during my time away that I’d have some epiphany about what I wanted to do with my life… I think I may have found it.”

Alex Sizer.

Kate Luckins – Winner of the Opinion category.

Kate Luckins says she is “a mother of two little fellas, wife of a handsome and clever gent. friend to many, maker of much tasty food, occasional writer and illustrator and enthusiastic consumer of fashion. “Out of the haze of early motherhood, I’ve realised I have something (ok, many things) to say about modern life. The Mamamia Writers Competition gave me the incentive to put fingers to keys and pen a winning piece”

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Kate Luckins.

Carly Mitchell – Winner of the Culture category. You can read her initial entry, here. 

Carly is in her early 30s, currently working in retail and “singing my favourite song: ‘I’m gonna write a YA novel one day, I swear!’ (The dance remix feat. Pitbull out soon).” “Thank you to the MWN and HarperCollins Publishers for giving us the opportunity to share our writing – I’m still in shock that I actually won. And I’d also like to give a shout out to the Backstreet Boys, who gave me an idea for an article in the first place (I knew my affinity for 90s nostalgia would come in handy one day).”

Carly Mitchell.

 Jennifer Boyd – Winner of the Memoir category:

Jen Boyd is a 40-year-old mum who says she’s always dreamed of being a writer. “As someone who has always had a love affair with words but who has, hitherto, found herself as far away from the realm of possibilities of turning this affinity into something more, this competition has provided me an opportunity I had only dreamed of. As flaky as this may sound, it has given me a confidence boost, some much needed direction and some encouragement that by following my instincts, unimpeded by fear, that I am on the right track to finally knowing what to do with this passion of mine.”

In addition to the cash prize of $1000, each winner will receive a mentorship and ongoing relationship with MWN and a meeting with a HarperCollins publisher.

Catherine Milne, publisher at HCP says: “After watching the gangbuster success of Mamamia writer Rosie Waterland and her recent book The Anti-Cool Girl, we recognise the talent that can be discovered through sites like Mamamia and we look forward to meeting and provide advice to other aspiring writers and authors.”

MWN would like to thank all competition applicants for sharing their stories and talent. Many of you will be contacted about your work appearing on Mamamia as a paid submission.

Special thanks also to HarperCollins Publishers and the Indigenous Literacy Foundation for partnering with us and amplifying women’s voices across Australia.

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