Following on from the success of last year’s Hackathon, we decided to stage a writing competition, whose theme was the Autistic experience.
For our first ever edition of the Autistic Writing Competition, we decided to solicit entries from both Autistic and non-Autistic adults. This was a decision which proved to be somewhat controversial in some circles. After all, how could non-Autistic people possibly know what it is like to be Autistic? We would address their concerns in the form of an FAQ.
Controversy notwithstanding, the response to our writing competition has been overwhelmingly positive. We received entries from all over Australia. We we were impressed by all of the entries, not least because it takes a considerable amount of bravery to share your creative writing with the world, let alone have it judged, but also because they were all authentic articulations of the autistic experience.
In a sense, all of the entrants were winners. Unfortunately, this was a competition and we only had so many prizes to give away, so we had to choose who we would give the books and gift vouchers to. In the interests of fairness and impartiality, we enlisted the help of Autistic writing group Spectrum Writing to help judge the entries. Their expertise proved invaluable, as they were able to provide insightful feedback on some of the entries, as well as offering their mentoring services to the first-placed entry.
So, for posterity, we present to you the winners of the 2022 SACLC Autistic Writing Competition, whose entries you can read right here and now:
1st place: Sandra Thom-Jones with The Birthday Diaries
2nd place: Stormy Meiying Liu with Blind Butterflies
3rd place: David Halpin with Donald’s Accident
Thanks to all the entrants for submitting your entries! Thanks also to Constant Reader, Elizabeth’s and Gleebooks for supplying books and gift vouchers and to our media partner Oz Arab Media for promoting the competition.