We spoke to Bonnie Ann Sanders who won the Monash Prize for the highest placed Monash student in 2016 with her story Drop Kick.
What were/are you studying when you entered the Monash Prize in 2015?
I study the Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws at Monash University – my arts major is in Criminology.
What made you want to enter?
Partly because I wanted to share something I had worked hard on, and also because I didn’t want to let fear of rejection prevent me from pursuing a goal I cared about.
Tell us a little bit about your entry.
I wanted Drop Kick to highlight the really heartbreaking and exclusionary nature of particular aspects of the Australian brand of masculinity. It depicts internalised homophobia and misogyny as well as the coping mechanisms and relationships developed by disadvantaged youth in regional Victoria.
What have you been up to since winning the Highest Place Monash University Student prize?
Aside from keeping busy with uni, in 2015 I was lucky enough to work with other young people as a writer on an experimental theatre performance with Courthouse Youth Arts. I’ve also had my work, both non-fiction and fiction, included in publications Fracture and PRJKTR Magazine.
How has it assisted you in your career as a writer?
The Monash Prize gave me a lot of confidence and encouraged me to keep working on stories I think are worth telling.
Have you got any advice for anyone wanting to enter this year?
I’m terrible at taking this advice myself, but try not to worry about other people’s approval and just write something you’re proud of (and you might get to dress up & drink wine, which is a pretty good reason to enter in my opinion).
Entries are now open to the 2016 Monash Prize!