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First prize for aspiring young writer

4 May 2020

Heidi Rogers
Waikato writing student, Heidi Rogers, received first prize at this year’s Peter Wells Short Fiction Contest.

Master of Professional Writing student, Heidi Rogers, has claimed first prize in this year’s Peter Wells Short Fiction Contest.

Rogers won the competition for her piece Finding Our Way Around Violets– a story about a couple who is aware of their neighbour being abused, and the struggle of not knowing what they may have come across.

Waikato University’s writing lecturer and author, Catherine Chidgey, and Dr Tracey Slaughter, both lecturers of Rogers, and said they were thrilled with her success.

“It seems very appropriate that a Waikato student should win the inaugural prize since Peter Wells used to teach creative writing here. Rogers is an exciting writer and a name to watch; her work entertains and provokes in equal measure,” says Chidgey.

Rogers graduated with a Bachelor of Social Sciences and a Graduate Diploma of Teaching in 2015, but wanted to find something that harnessed her creative talents.

After coming across the Master of Professional Writing programme, and speaking with Dr Tracey Slaughter about her paper, Creative Writing: Writing and Embodiment, Rogers thought, “This is it, this is what I want to do.”

As part of her master’s degree, Rogers’ thesis focuses on creative writing. It was during her master’s studies that Rogers stumbled upon the Peter Wells Short Fiction Writing contest.

She thought it would be a good challenge, and decided to give it a go, not knowing her work would come out on top.

“As a writer, I enjoy a lot of creative freedom. I like to challenge myself by observing deadlines and working within parameters. This is my motivation for entering competitions, I think they help me grow as a writer.”

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