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Byron Shire
October 19, 2021

Byron’s Velvet Cafe inspires writers

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Velvet Cafe mural. Photo supplied.
Velvet Cafe mural. Photo supplied.

There were over 100 entries into the inaugural Velvet Cafe writing competition and the winners of the three categories have now been announced. Entrants were asked to use the mural on the cafe wall as inspiration for their 300 word short stories.

‘So many of the stories captured the feeling of the Velvet mural in inventive ways,’ said one of the judges Tristan Bancks, author of Two Wolves and My Life and Other Stuff series.

‘Short stories are difficult because they require so much character, emotion and story to be conveyed in so few words, but the stories were so strong, we found it difficult to choose a winner.’

Velvet Cafe doesn’t just want to offer great food said owner Annie O’Rourke.

‘When Velvet Byron Bay was first conceived, we wanted it to offer something special to the Byron community.

‘We wanted our food to be healthy, nourishing, locally sourced and sustainable. But we also wanted Velvet to become a place that nourished local people and talent. That’s why we chose to sponsor the 2017 Byron Writer’s Festival, the recent Byron Film Festival and launched this local writing competition.’

Winners of the inaugural Velvet Cafe writing competition Reilly Baum (U18), Ruby Jeffries (U12), Sarah Armstrong (Judge and local author), Elspeth Lee (Over 18). Photo supplied.
Winners of the inaugural Velvet Cafe writing competition Reilly Baum (U18), Ruby Jeffries (U12), Sarah Armstrong (Judge and local author), Elspeth Lee (Over 18). Photo supplied.

Winners of the under 18 was Reilly Baum, Ruby Jeffries won the under 12s and Elspeth Lee took out the over 18 category.

‘I just loved seeing the diversity of storytelling that emerged from a single inspiration,’ said local author and judge Sarah Armstrong who wrote His Other House and Promise.

‘I was reminded how much I love a good short story. So much is contained – and implicit –  in those few well-chosen words.’

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