Heidi gives us hope

I have a deep sense of pride that an actual person that I know has won a writers’ prize in a hugely competitive and highly esteemed writing competition. The person I am referring to is, of course, Heidi Catherine.  Heidi has won herself, and her story The Extra Piece, a commendation in the Hope Prize short story competition and therefore a place in the very recently published Hope: An Anthology.

heidi-0990The Hope Prize was held for the first time this year by the charity the Brotherhood of St Laurence to encourage Australian writers to tackle the subject of poverty. It’s a vital topic that simply doesn’t get enough coverage in our press, despite the alarming statistics: one in eight people and over 600,000 children are living in poverty in Australia.

I spoke to Heidi about how it feels to win a national competition centred around such a vital topic and to be commended by a judging panel which comprised actress Cate Blanchett, author Kate Grenville and the Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce.

Hunger pains, anorexia and poetry

The connection between women and hunger is not as easy to make as, say, women and dieting, or women and body image, but there is connectivity. In global development terms for instance, women often hold the key to defeating hunger in their communities. In fact, some posit that empowering and equipping women could be the most powerful way to combat world hunger. At the other end of the ’empowerment’ spectrum, I find the gruesome physicality of force-feeding suffragettes on hunger strike as the ultimate insult to women’s personal and political autonomy.