A Ballarat writer has come away with two awards in the 2016 New England Prize for Crime Writing, winning the Prize for Fiction and the Emerging Author Award.
Maryanne Ross said her story Secrets was written for and inspired by her sister, who has spent 17 years working at a small rural pub.
“With some stories you get in the zone suddenly and it almost writes itself,” she said. “I enjoy the energy, action and suspense of crime fiction.”
The Parks Victoria employee began entering competitions as extra motivation, while trying to balance her work with her passion.
“To win a prize like this changes everything, it just means the world. It is also validation, because otherwise you can feel that you’re just by yourself and you have a lot of self doubt.”
Her tip for aspiring writers is to get involved as much as possible, whether it’s taking on writing opportunities at work, participating in courses or joining local writers’ groups.
Secrets will be published on the New England Writers’ Centre website in December.