Di Montague a winner in the Hunter Writers Centre Grieve competition

Thrilled: Di Montague is over the moon to have won an award in the Hunter Writers Centre Grieve writing competition. Photo: Anne Keen
Thrilled: Di Montague is over the moon to have won an award in the Hunter Writers Centre Grieve writing competition. Photo: Anne Keen

Micro fiction is all about telling a story in 300 words or less, something Di Montague has really gotten the hang of.

She first came across it at the Hunter's Writers Festival and thought she'd give it a go. And it seems to suit her perfectly, as she had recently been named one of the winners in the Hunter Writers Centre Grieve writing competition.

The competition opens on Valentine's Day each year and is open to first-time and published writers to submit poems, short stories or personal essay tackling the theme of 'grieve'.

The judges shortlist the submissions to around 120 to be included in an anthology launched in August, which is Grief Awareness Month, with winners named across 25 categories.

Di won the National Centre for Childhood Grief Award for the story called, Letter to my Mum, which tackles the loss of a parent at a young age.

She had entered four stories to the competition and was over the moon when she found out she'd won.

"I was in tears," Di said. "It was such a boost. It validates you as a writer."

Di has been a part of the Gloucester writing group, the River Writers for several years. Thegroup meets once a week.

There's a diverse cross-section of styles among the writers in the group, including poetry, memoirs and prose. Di started out writing short stories but it didn't seem to suit her personality.

"They'd get boring in the middle," she said of her stories. "I'd get bored," she laughed.

And seeing how poetry isn't really her thing, she got hooked on micro fiction.

"I absolutely love it. It's so me," Di smiled.

She written around 60 pieces so far and is nowhere near finished, with a goal of someday getting her body of work published.

"I'm very honest in my writing; saying things people won't want to say or maybe they haven't thought of," she explained. "I'd like to deliver a message that could possibly help people. Something that could touch people."