The Writers’ Forum will be in an informal atmosphere at Shear Outback, Hay where all those interested in books, writing, and bush history are invited to sit down with a group of people who have achieved success in the world of publishing. It will be an opportunity to hear the personal accounts of how these writers came to bring shearing characters and outback shearing sheds alive on the printed page. Enjoy listening to:

· Shearer Denis McIntosh tell his own story of how he wrote “Beaten by a Blow” and changed his life to become one of Penguin’s star writers.
· Evan McHugh relate the secrets behind his prolific publishing career in the bush including his new work “The Shearers”.
· Rory O’Malley explain how he came to research strikes and wide comb disputes for his work “Mateship and Moneymaking”.
· Freda Marnie Nicholls tell about her career as farmer and writer, most recently writing the story of shearer Hugh Tindall in “Back of Beyond”.
· Valerie Hobson AO who has documented the lives of shearers of Western Australia in “Across the Board”.
· Lorraine Roberts whose beautiful book “Shearers, Sheds and Stories” tells about the shearing industry in South Australia.
· Geoff Barrett whose publication “The Inspirational Board“ profiles Australia’s leading shearers.
· Bernie Walker, well-known shearing historian whose recent book “A Test for the Best” documents the Golden Shears competition era.
· Martin Auldist, a leading contributor to RM Williams’s “Outback” magazine
· Andrew Chapman, Australia’s best-loved photographer of the shearing industry who will try to justify that a picture is worth a thousand words.

The Forum is at 2 pm on Easter Saturday 4th April, at Shear Outback, Hay. It will be followed by a dinner at which the winners of the “Shear Stories” short story competition will be announced. Contact Shear Outback telephone 02 69934000 or Ian Auldist 02 69931092 for more details.


This is a national competition, and an opportunity to craft an experience, a memory or a character into a written story which can communicate, entertain, or document history, and earn a substantial reward. Simple rules for the competition are as follows:

· Subject matter of stories to have a link to the bush, to shearing or the world of sheep and wool. The story may be drawn from real life and real events, it may be biographical in nature, or it may be fictional and based on the imagination.

· Multiple entries from individuals are welcomed

· Entry free

· All entries to be accompanied by a signed declaration stating that the work is original and unpublished, and the writer has not earned more than $10,000 from writing in the last 12 months.

· Entries to be submitted, preferably electronically, by 30th March 2015 to Shear Outback

· Stories will be judged by a panel of authors, and winners announced at the Festival of Blades on 4th April 2015

· Stories will be the property of Shear Outback, and selected stories will be published in the Shear Outback Newsletter or other publications associated with Shear Outback.

Three categories of entries:
1. Open age category 1000-5000 words. Prize $1000
2. Secondary school (age 12-18 years). 1000 word limit Prize $200
3. Primary school (age 5-12 years) 500 word limit Prize $100

Contact Shear Outback telephone 02 69934000 or Ian Auldist 02 6993 1092 for more information.


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