Tea Gardens author Phillip Everett shortlisted in Newcastle Short Story Awards

Author Phillip Everett surrounded by some of his inspirations at the Tea Gardens Library.

TEA Gardens writer Phillip Everett has been shortlisted in the Hunter Writers’ Centre’s annual short story competition, the Newcastle Short Story Award.

Phillip has been writing since the 1980s, including time in South Australia (SA) as a founding member of a writers’ group, where he received a writers’ grant from the SA Department for Arts and Cultural Heritage.

Winter LegalAdvertise with News of The Area today.
It’s worth it for your business.
Message us.
Phone us – (02) 4981 8882.
Email us – media@newsofthearea.com.au

Phillip also taught creative writing with Aboriginal communities in Port Adelaide and Ceduna, and became a writer in residence in SA in 1992.

He came to Hawks Nest in the 1990s, where he joined the Tea Gardens Hawks Nest Surf Life Savers, seeking somewhere to “get on with writing”.

“That eventually bore some fruit in 2013, when one of my stories was given second prize in the Rolf Boldrewood Awards,” Phillip explained.

In 2017, another of Phillip’s short stories won first prize in the same competition.

“Writing is an ambition, an escape from domestic duties, and my goal the last couple of years has been obtaining more credit in writers comps to present work to a literary agent or publisher,” Phillip explained.

The shortlisted story, ‘Old Woman Crazy with the Snakes’, is about the title character’s real, and often unreal, experiences living as a widow in a bushland setting, with a seriously serpentine theme running throughout.

“There is a modulation between crazy and senility, her dreams are lifelike, but not at all like life, and she is responding out of that, she has a thing about snakes from the opening,” Phillip describes the tale.

Phillip says his ‘genre’ is “magical realism”.

“The story is set in the real world, but has elements that could happen, maybe in dreams.”

The ultimate moral of his stories, however, he likes to leave to the readers to interpret for themselves.

Phillip’s story will be published in the coming months, as part of an anthology of winners from the Newcastle Awards, the associated Writers’ Festival is set for early April.

By Thomas O’KEEFE

Leave a Reply