06 May 2012

Free to Enter: Australian Vietnamese Women’s Association Creative Arts Competition (poetry/ fiction/ non-fiction)

Post date: 06 May 2012
Deadline: 17 August 2012

The Australian Vietnamese Women’s Association is organising a writing and creative arts competition in collaboration with Victoria University and Offset on the theme : The Trung Queens and women in the 21st century. Prizes are $3,000, $1,000, and many other prizes. A book including the best compositions will be launched, on March 4th 2013, to celebrate both the United Nations International Women’s Day and the 30th anniversary of the Australian Vietnamese Women’s Association..


2000 years ago, Giao Chi, the area that represents northern modern Vietnam was under Han Chinese rule, directly administered by the cruel and oppressive governor, To Dinh. Living in that area at the time were Trung Trac and Trung Nhi, the daughters of a local nobleman. They had a great hatred for the way To Dinh exploited and oppressed their people. To add to this, To Dinh had Trung Trac’s husband put to death for trying to start a rebellion.

During this period in Vietnam’s history, women were held in great esteem, and it wasn’t unusual for them to become judges, community leaders, warriors and traders. It was a combination of the high status enjoyed by women at that time, along with their strength, bravery and resilience that enabled the Trung sisters to raise an army of 80,000 and force To Dinh and his regime out of their country. After over a century of Chinese rule, the people of Ciao Chi finally reclaimed their land. Soon after, they crowned Trung Trac Queen, the first monarch to rule Vietnam.

We want you to comment upon, critique, re-present and turn on their heads the notions of gender, youth, power, politics and human rights in the 21st Century. You have two muses upon which to base your piece: The Trung Sisters of 1st Century Vietnam. You may present your work in either English or Vietnamese.


Use the lives and triumphs of the Trung Sisters who lived in 1st Century Vietnam as an inspiration for women in the 21st Century

Issues of gender, power, politics and human rights have plagued women and their ability to lead and be heard over the centuries. There have been quite a few examples of mature queens or female prime ministers taking power following the footsteps of either their successful fathers or husbands, but has there been a young woman leading a successful rebellion where a husband had failed such as in the case of Trung Trac?

Show how it would be possible for two women like the Trung Sisters to achieve their objectives in the 21st Century.


You can represent your piece on the Trung Sisters in the 21st Century context in either English or Vietnamese in the following forms:

  • Poetry (3 examples to be provided if short, up to 100 lines for long poems)
  • Short Story (up to 2000 words)
  • Play

  • Essay (analytical or reflective – up to 3000 words – must be well referenced using either Harvard or Oxford referencing methods)

  • Painting, sculpture, photography etc – provide a high resolution photograph of piece (approximately


-Demonstrated knowledge of the Trung Sisters, as well as the context of the times in which they lived

- Demonstrated knowledge of women’s issues both in the time of the Trung Sisters and now

- Original content and interpretation

- Creative thinking
  • Connection between the past and the present
  • Discover some lessons from the Trung Sisters which can be applied to modern leaders
  • Most creative way of representing your argument/story, the barriers and difficulties and how they might have been addressed

Winners will be announced at the Offset Creative Arts Festival, Saturday 20th of October 2012. A book comprising the best entries will be compiled, published and launched in March 2013 at the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Australian Vietnamese Women’s Association.



For inquiries/ submissions: 2012writingcompetition@avwa.org.au

Website: http://avwa.org.au
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