To celebrate the 160th anniversary of their life and mission as the first Catholic congregation of religious women founded in Australia, the Sisters of the Good Samaritan have launched The Good Oil 2017 Young Writers’ Award.
The award seeks to encourage and support the development of younger writers interested in exploring ideas, issues and stories about people and happenings from a contemporary Christian perspective.
The award is open to all secondary school students and post-school young adults in Australia, Japan, the Philippines and Kiribati – countries where the Sisters of the Good Samaritan live and are on mission. Entrants must be eligible to enter one of three age groups: secondary student (Years 7 to 9); secondary student (Years 10 to 12); or post-school (18 to 35 years of age).
In each of these age groups three monetary prizes will be awarded: first prize $500, second prize $300, and third prize $200.
Winning entries will be published in The Good Oil, the e-magazine of the Good Samaritan Sisters, in the second half of 2017. All entrants will receive a certificate of participation.
“We’re encouraging all interested young people to submit a piece of writing, between 750 and 1,000 words, adopting a particular writing style: either journalistic feature writing; opinion writing; creative writing or first person reflective writing,” explained Good Samaritan Sister Bernardina Sontrop, one of the award’s organisers.
“In their chosen writing style, we’re inviting entrants to explore the theme ‘Who is my neighbour?’. What does this central message of the parable of the Good Samaritan mean to young people today?”
Bernardina said the judging panel will base its decision on the entries which best explore this theme in their chosen writing style.
“In particular, the panel will be looking for writing that is topical, engaging, accessible, creative, original, and well written,” she said.
It is Bernardina’s hope that the award will “energise young writers to reflect on their experience of ‘neighbour’ and tap into their particular perspective and understanding of ‘neighbour’”.
She also hopes the award will connect young writers with The Good Oil and allow their voice to be heard by its readers.
“The Good Oil Reference Group has for some time been exploring ways of attracting and involving younger readers and writers. I am delighted with the launch of this Young Writers’ Award initiative in this year of the Good Sams’ 160th anniversary of its foundation,” she said.
Entries for The Good Oil 2017 Young Writers’ Award open on Tuesday March 21, 2017 and close at midnight, AEST, on Tuesday July 11, 2017. Winning entries will be announced on Tuesday August 15, 2017.
Information about The Good Oil 2017 Young Writers’ Award, including the entry form, award guidelines and a poster, can be downloaded from the Good Samaritan Sisters’ website.
The Good Oil 2017 Young Writers’ Award is sponsored by the Sisters of the Good Samaritan and Good Samaritan Education, the ecclesial community established in 2011 to oversee the ethos, mission and stewardship of the ten incorporated Good Samaritan Colleges in Australia.