Dear SPINELESS WONDERS, I facilitate a group of young, emerging writers and have been encouraging them to enter your Icons competition. Could you tell us a little more about it?
Frustr8d Teacher

Dear FT,
Thank you for your inquiry and for the chance to explain a little more about our latest competition.
An icon is a representative symbol, usually of something which is admired. In Australia, for instance, the beach shack is an icon.
Our competition invites poets and fiction writers to take a closer look at such symbols. What is a beach shack? Do they exist these days or have they morphed into something else?  Did the beach shack idyll ever really exist? Who does the beach shack icon represent and who does it ignore? What would Roland Barthes say about the beach shack?
Our competition invites poets and fiction writers to interrogate the Australian icon and to also have fun. To come at them from the side, to turn them upside down. We welcome submissions about iconic people, places, objects and expressions. We encourage creativity. We want the new mythologies for existing icons. We want writers to unearth the icons that are forming now, around us. To show us the icons that only exist in their corner of the country – or in their households.
Perhaps your young, emerging writers are also uneasy about the form that their submissions should take? We love the openness of the prose poetry and microfiction. Again, the idea is to be inventive and to have fun. So, the only rules really are that the lines run from one side of the page to the other and that each piece be no longer than 800 words. For those unfamiliar with either form, we highly recommend our publication, Small Wonder and Vivienne Plumb’s  Cheese and Onion Sandwich & other New Zealand Icons.
Tell your young writers to get their skates on, deadline is November 30. Details here

Bronwyn Mehan

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