No. In this post, I want to celebrate all the women writers, all over Australia, who wait for the quiet moments when their kids are out with their friends and their partners are off playing cricket, the moments when they can finally take a breath and work on their novels, their plays, their poems, their memoirs. I want to celebrate the girls in high-school English classes who dare to write something utterly unlike what their friends are writing, what they worry they're supposed to write, and thereby find themselves through the joy of artistic risk. I want to celebrate the women who, like me, were called to write early on, but, for one reason or another, wandered away for years or decades before finding their way back. The little girls who scrawl stories about their stuffed toys. The university students who gasp at the beauty of a poem shouted to a crowd, then go home and write their own. The girls who perform their own plays to each other in the garage. The reporters who swallow their own fear and shyness, their own worry that they are not being "feminine", to find out and write the truth. The academics who search for treasure to bring back for the rest of us.
These women and girls may never publish, let alone win prizes. Some will, of course. But most love their writing in a way completely apart from personal gain. They gather the electricity of words within them, letting the charge build up until it flows from their very heart, and the words come out. That kind of energy, that kind of love, is a gift to the world. Even if we never read her words, every woman who writes is giving us a gift. And I thank her.
Laura E. Goodin's stories have been published in numerous magazines and anthologies in Australia, the US, and the UK, her plays have been produced in Australia and the UK, and her poetry has been performed internationally. She lives on the NSW South Coast with her husband and daughter, and in her spare time tries to be as much like Xena, Warrior Princess, as possible. You can find links to some of her work at http://www.lauragoodin.com