A short story about learning to read as an adult could win you a share of $30,000, in a National Year of Reading competition for Adult Learners' Week. The competition closes on 6 August.
True stories as well as fiction pieces are eligible, with a special category for those who are new to writing. Entries are welcomed from published writers, emerging writers, as well as from people who have their own learning-to-read story to tell.
A panel of judges will select one winner in each state and territory. Each will win $3000.
A further six prizes of $1000 each will be awarded to entries from new writers or people who are writing about their own learning experience.
Chris Gallagher, Director of the Tasmanian Writers' Centre (the National Year of Reading partner for the competition), said the "It's never too late... to learn to read" short story competition was now in its second year, and had attracted 280 entries last year from across the nation.
"If you learned to read or improved your reading as an adult, or learned English as an adult, your story can inspire others.
"The expert judges will be looking for quality of writing, an inspiring storyline and a strong fit with the theme.
"For some, this will be the chance to tell their own stories; for others, it will be the opportunity to imagine and creatively document the experiences of an adult learning to read."
Winners' names will be announced on 25 August at a special event for The Reading Hour (www.thereadinghour.org.au).
Ms Gallagher said recordings of the winning entries would be available as free downloads so that people could listen to them online, with a People's Choice winner being chosen through online voting during September.
The stories from last year's competition have been welcomed by agencies working in the literacy field, and winners have spoken about their stories to community groups.
The prize is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), through Adult Learners' Week National Grant Funding.
Stories must be 3000 words or less, and must be entered by 5pm on Monday 6 August online at http://www.love2read.org.au/never-too-late.cfm