University of Waikato English lecturer Tracey Slaughter has won the 2015 Landfall Essay Competition for her essay Ashdown Place.
Better known as a writer of fiction and poetry, Dr Slaughter says the news of the win stunned and amazed her. She's on study leave this semester and says her essay was the first piece of writing to brew to the surface. It was unexpected. "I hadn't set out to write non-fiction. The writing flowed – it's so exciting to have that voice confirmed."
The Landfall Essay Competition is judged 'blind' by Landfall editor David Eggleton. He said the burnished sentences and subtle imagery lifted Dr Slaughter's essay out of ordinariness. "Slaughter addresses some of the cultural shifts that occurred in New Zealand in the 1970s, ones whose aftermath we are still dealing with today."
There were 32 entries in this year's competition, and for her win, Dr Slaughter receives $3000 and a year's subscription to Landfall.
Dr Slaughter's novella the longest drink in town was published by Pania Press in June 2015, and her collection of short stories deleted scenes for lovers is due for publication by Victoria University Press in early 2016. In 2014 she won Britain's popular Bridport Short Story Prize and was shortlisted in the Manchester Poetry Prize.