2012 Voiceless Writing Prize
The 2012 Voiceless Writing Prize was awarded to both Craig Simpson, for Kangaroo and Wayne Strudwick, for Caged, and they will split the $15000 prize money.
The Voiceless Writing Award is a short story competition with the aim of ‘increasing public awareness of animal sentience, human-animal relations and the ethical treatment of animals’. The criteria for the Award is a 5-10000 word story, published or unpublished that relate to Austalian animals, or animals produced for food. The collected entries were initially published as an e-book, with the public voting for their favourite stories. The best 10 entries, including the winning entries and the People’s Choice Award – which went to Jessica Stanley for Not Long Now, ‘a tale of one woman who forms a tight relationship with a kangaroo joey while recovering from the trauma of a mastectomy.’ – were published in the 2013 Voiceless Anthology.
Strudwick’s Caged “tells of the horror one boy faces when he encounters the suffering of thousands of caged hens and his struggle to protect them in the face of indifference”. Simpson’s Kangaroo “details the brutal and traumatic death of a kangaroo and its impact on one woman, changing her life irrevocably”. The Voiceless judging panel included J.M. Coetzee 2003 Nobel Laureate and twice winner of the Man Booker Prize with The Life and Times of Michael K, and Disgrace; Voiceless co-founder and managing director Ondine Sherman; Sydney Morning Herald literary editor Susan Wyndham, and former director of the Sydney Writers’ Festival, Wendy Were.
25% of the royalties from the sale of the Anthology goes towards ending the institutionalised suffering of animals.