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.

Blethering with the local bookshop

The Book Barn, Daylesford, Victoria, Australia:  a local gem

Andrew Green runs a delightful second-hand bookshop and cafe on the shores of Lake Daylesford, in a small country town about 90 minutes from Melbourne. It’s the perfect spot to indulge in some scones and tea (or some local wine) on the deck whilst contemplating life and your next book purchase.

I chatted with Andrew about his business and what it’s like to own a local bookshop.