People’s Choice Awards – 2019 winners

Dr Chris Ringrose introduces a speaker.

“I’d like to push myself (way) out of my comfort zone and explore an audience response, when shared in person,” Leigh Bell (2019 joint poetry winner)


Joint Winners: Leigh Bell – Defib Number 5 and   Toby Guthrie – Hot Day, Big Tree*

Runner up: Richard Dove – Rat

The People’s Choice Awards is an event that allows you to express your words to a welcoming audience and have a bit of fun along the way. Joint winner, Leigh Bell sums it up perfectly in her biography when she says, “I write poetry to express my experience of living with a life-threatening illness. I recently shared a poem publicly for the first time, on social media, and received a positive response. I’d like to push myself (way) out of my comfort zone and explore an audience response, when shared in person.”

Richard works with refugees in the Western Suburbs. He is a writer of fiction and a member of Western Union Writers. He is the author of the best-selling picture book Us Karen, about the Karen people and their journey to Australia.

*No biography supplied


Winner: Mary Burbidge – Settling Saskia

Runner up: Jayne Hepworth – Massage Chair

Mary has retired from her various paid jobs but still keeps busy with committees, caring and writing. She loves to ‘have a go’ at Willi Lit Fest events and has lived in hope — until 2019!

Jayne says, “I spend as many waking moments as possible enjoying life in Newport, after retiring from Community Service Management, Social Work, and counselling. A member of Williamstown Writers’ and U3A City Writers, I enjoy writing and performing my stories and poems, attending life-drawing, painting, gardening, movies, singing with Newport Community Choir, attending Newport Fiddle and Folk club, and most of all, spending time with my two granddaughters, age three and five, who are totally amazing.”





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