TRACIE Lark humbly admits she did not expect to see her name among the list of prolific authors for this year’s Scone Writers Festival.
The History and Indonesian teacher at Scone High School started writing as a young girl and all through her teenage years.
After moving to Bali in 2011 as a volunteer community educator, the region’s fertile environment inspired her to begin writing works of fiction.
Upon returning to Australia, she turned her attention to 100-word stories based on observations of people and things.
Tracie then decided to set up a blog called the ‘Literary Gangster’ in a bid to empower herself through writing by focusing on skill and experimenting with technique.
The hard work and dedication soon began to pay off.
In 2013, she saw her writing come to life on stage as a finalist in the Solo Monologue Competition.
The following year, she was published by Celapene Press with two short stories in their 2014 anthology: A Cottage On The Farm (about her grandmother’s house in Murrurundi) and Show Me The Light.
Tracie was then approached by ABC Earshot to produce one of her PocketDocs stories as a radio podcast.
Her short story-turned monologue was shortlisted in the HotHouse Theatre Solo competition and performed on stage.
Over the past 12 months, she has moved into several editing roles.
After becoming Fiction Editor for The Australian Times, Tracie also co-organised and co-edited the 2016 Anthology for the Melbourne Writers Social Group, which had a small book launch earlier this year.
Now she is currently editing the draft of a tween manuscript and hopes to have some publishing success in the near future.
Looking ahead to the upcoming festival, Tracie said it was an honour to be part of a panel with other authors that she adored and respected.
“I feel extremely privileged, and respected as a writer, to be scooped up with no hesitation by the community here in Scone,” she said.
“I did not expect to see my name up there listed next to such a fine collection of prolific authors.
“I’d always hoped it [would happen], but never thought it would come so soon.
“The thing I love most about writers festivals is the deep discussion that takes place, in such a safe space, especially of things that people are not willing to talk about.
“I yearn to be a part of this discussion, to be in this space, to be part of what can make change occur, and force us out of our comfort zones to face the truth and reality of who we are and of what's going on.”
The main program of the third annual writers festival will be held at Scone Arts & Crafts from November 5-6.
This year’s theme is ‘Making Connections’ and the program features big names like Hugh Mackay and Don Watson, whose sessions will be recorded and broadcast at a later date by ABC Radio National, firmly placing Scone on the world literary map.