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SBS today announced the winners of the 2020 SBS Emerging Writers' Competition, unearthing four emerging writers with unique perspectives often unheard.

A nationwide initiative from SBS Voices, the aim of the competition is to support the discovery and development of emerging talent that reflect the diversity of contemporary Australia, providing a platform to share diverse experiences and perspectives.

The competition received more than 2,000 submissions on the topic of Growing up in diverse Australia'.

The winning submission, awarded $5,000 and published on SBS Voices, was by Papua New Guinean-Australian digital content maker, writer, director and producer, Alana Hicks.

Judge Melissa Lucashenko said the winning entry, detailing Hicks' experiences growing up mixed race, showed a joyful defiance and strength .

Lucashenko added: Judges were looking for courageous and original voices, writing with a sharp take on modern Australian life, and with nuanced views on our multicultural realities. The mix was so powerful and so striking that choosing the shortlist was a real problem. The winners stood out from an exceptional field. We are proud to award them their prizes, and eager to read their future work.

Fellow judge Benjamin Law, said Alana's entry was: One of those stories that makes you tingle, knowing you're reading an important new voice in Australian writing.

The runner up, winning $3,000, is Nadia Johansen, and the two highly commended entries were by Amy Duong and Nakul Legha. All four pieces will be published on SBS Voices today.

Alana Hicks said of her win: I was so excited and immediately humbled. I couldnt feel more honoured.

It is essential that there are platforms for people from under-represented demographics to explore and express themselves. If those platforms are not available or not made available to those people, we will miss out on a massive proportion of fundamental stories.

Marshall Heald, Director of TV and Online Content at SBS, added: We're thrilled that Australians have embraced the SBS Emerging Writers' Competition in its first year, with inspiring stories that engage and challenge our view of Growing up in diverse Australia'. The entries showcased so many vibrant voices that in turn showcase the incredible diversity of Australia today. It was fantastic to receive so many submissions, making the task of choosing our winners a challenge for our judges, and now were excited to share their unique stories with all Australians via SBS Voices.

It was also great to have the exceptional talents of acclaimed authors Melissa and Benjamin take part and help us choose this year's winners.

SBS Voices is a platform for, and champions, emerging writers from diverse backgrounds in Australia, particularly women.

ENDS

For a PDF version of the media release, click here.

NOTES TO EDITORS:

More about the SBS Emerging Writers' Competition

About the SBS Emerging Writers' Competition judges:

Melissa Lucashenko is an acclaimed Goorie author of Bundjalung and European heritage. Her novel, Mullumbimby, won the 2013 Queensland Literary Awards for Best Fiction and her sixth novel, Too Much Lip, won the 2019 Miles Franklin award. Melissa is also a Walkley Award winner for her non-fiction work, and a founding member of human rights organisation Sisters Inside.

Benjamin Law is the author of The Family Law, Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East and editor of Growing Up Queer in Australia. Benjamin created and co-wrote the award-winning SBS TV series The Family Law, based on his memoir, and his debut play Torch the Place.

About SBS Voices

SBS Voices is an online platform which provides a voice for, and champions, emerging writers from diverse backgrounds in Australia, particularly women. It aims to foster a sense of belonging for all Australians, by celebrating the unique stories of Australia's emerging writers.

SBS Voices has a mission ofraising the voices of marginalised Australians with a focus on first person, memoir-style content and video. In the past two years, SBS Voices is proud to have published more than 100 new writers, sharing their unique stories and perspectives with all Australians. Many of those writers had never been published before.

SBS Voices has a successful partnership with Sweatshop, a diverse writers' collective in Parramatta, Sydney. It also has a partnership with The Writing Zone, a mentoring program for young writers from Western Sydney, hosted by Western Sydney University.
LINK: https://www.sbs.com.au/aboutus/sbs-announces-winners-of-the-inaugural-...
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