Creative Writing Award for PhD student Amaryllis Gacioppo

AmyrillisAmaryllis Gacioppo, a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at Monash Arts, was recently awarded the Lord Mayor’s Creative Writing Award for the Short Story category. 

“It feels really nice to have that acknowledge from pillars in the writing industry in Melbourne,” Amaryllis said about her win. “It was really lovely to be among other emerging writers whose work I admire.”

The judges, who included editors and staff from Overland Literary Journal, Writers Victoria and the Australian Book Review, states that it was Amaryllis’ “great use of language” and the “visceral detail” in her short story, Dreams, that won her the prize. 

Amaryllis, who is completing her PhD as part of a joint program with the University of Bologna, is working on a series of essays that explore he experimental non-fiction genre as part of her studies.

“Before starting PhD I mainly wrote short fiction,” she stated. 

Her PhD work will focus on a series of ‘psycho-geographical’ lyric essays, and a theoretical dissertation. The essays will involve travelling to locations that are significant to Amaryllis’ maternal heritage, including locations in Italy and Libya. 

In each location, she will map out and detail her experiences and relate them to family history, photographs, significant geographical locations and memories. “Through my essays I’m trying to create a literary cartography of emotion,” she explained.

“Monash is an incredibly supportive environment – I’ve had a lot of support from supervisors and other academics. I find my work and ideas are fostered,” she added

Amaryllis also completed an internship as part of her Honours studies at Monash with the Emerging Writers’ Festival, an experience that she says developed her confidence in her writing as a skill. 

You can read her winning story Dreams on the Melbourne Libraries website. 

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