Entries in the StoryFest storytelling competition gave the judges many quality entries to select from and the shortlisted finalists in three categories have been announced.
StoryFest's storytelling competition opened on January 27 2021 and this year's theme is 'The Guardian Tree'.
The storytelling competition was open to all Shoalhaven residents and has categories for primary school students, secondary school students, and adults.
Finalists in each of the categories were just announced Festival Director, Meredith Jaffé, was impressed.
"I never cease to be amazed by the wide variety of interpretation around the theme," she said.
"This year we chose 'The Guardian Tree' as a way to explore loss and healing to reflect on the impact of the recent bushfires and the pandemic, and how these extremes can shape our future.
"Again, we thank Murramarang Yuin woman and artist Lea Brook for her wonderful and inspiring design."
The judging panel, given the standard of entry, had a tough job
"The judging panel congratulates everyone whose story made it to the shortlist in each category," the festival director said.
"These stories were considered to best reflect the overarching principles of the StoryFest storytelling competition - creativity and originality."
President of the Rotary Club of Milton Ulladulla, Leonie Corrin-Smith, was also impressed with the standard.
"It is inspiring how many talented writers we have living in the Shoalhaven region," Mrs Corrin-Smith said.
"Once again, Rotary is delighted to support the StoryFest storytelling competition and especially to see so many wonderful stories each and every year from our school students."
Winners and the Honour Roll in each category will be announced on Thursday June 17, on the eve of StoryFest 2021.
All shortlisted stories will be available to read on the StoryFest website www.storyfest.org.au
The shortlisted stories (in alphabetical order) are:
The Guardian Tree by Elijah Clarke
The Guardian Tree by Tully H Lonard
Untitled by Lily Sproule
Untitled by Evie Starkey
The Guardian Tree by Matilda Wilde
The Sacred Tree by Tully Williams
I Walk by McKenzie Ashford-Brown
My Guardian Tree by Karina Maya
The Russian Man's Love for the Girl in the Window by Tarnny Merz
It Rained by Samuel Penny
It Takes Two by Elijah Pryde
The Ocean Seeks Violence by Anna Simon
Guardian Tree by Gaby Brown
Precious Cargo by Trevor Brown
Syncarpia Glomifera by Elanna Herbert
Singing Out to Ancestors by Gerry McCarthy
A Change in the Air by Julia Mierau
Bunya by Kathy Sharpe
StoryFest will hold its second festival on the weekend of Friday June 18 to Sunday 20 June 2021 in and around the Ulladulla Civic Centre precinct.
The StoryFest Schools Program will span the preceding week from Tuesday June 15 to Friday June 18.
In 2021, the main festival program will include the popular Friday and Sunday workshops, with sessions running through both Saturday and Sunday in events featuring an exceptional line-up of some of Australia's most talented storytellers.
For full program details, including how to buy tickets, go to www.storyfest.org.au
StoryFest is proudly sponsored by the Rotary Club of Milton-Ulladulla.