Banjo Paterson Writing Awards 2013
Winner – Pilbara Ash
‘This short story was a real stand out among some very well-written and accomplished stories. The narrative is tightly structured and the use of beautiful descriptive language adds strength to the piece.
The writer has managed to tell a story, evoke a wonderful sense of place, and give meaningful insight into the main characters.
The story is one of loss, its acceptance and in turn, moving on. James is confronted with the death of his much-loved Grandfather and the insult of being presented with his ashes in an urn. James decides that the most appropriate way to farewell his Grandfather is a ritual trip to the Pilbara, a re-creation of similar outings with him.
The power of the farewell is in the language used to describe the sights, sounds and even smells of the area. The writer creates a real sense of the West Australian bush and James’ memories of it.
Despite the subject matter, the story is far from morbid or maudlin. The tone is kept light and hopeful and is grounded in the present and the future.’