ON A MISSION: Claire Aman and Erin Brady want more people writing in the Valley.
ON A MISSION: Claire Aman and Erin Brady want more people writing in the Valley. Tim Jarrett

'Like an audiobook, but live'

PERHAPS in an effort to tap into cultural zeitgeist, Erin Brady has a simple description of The Long Way Home live reading events:

'Like an audio-book, but live.'

In just its second year, The Long Way home writing competition has dovetailed nicely into the inaugural 53 Islands Festival by incorporating the theme 'To the Island' and held its first live read last Sunday.

Set in the beautiful courtyard of the Grafton Regional Gallery, the stage was set for an afternoon of thought provoking, moving and at times, funny writing from short-listed writers from within the Clarence.

"This is our second year and our mission is to get people writing in the Clarence Valley," she said.

53 Islands founder Claire Aman said the range of approaches to the theme of 'To the Island' had been "fantastic" and people had been very imaginative in the way they had "come up with all sorts of things". "There has been a totally historical approach, there's been a futuristic story about the islands, there has been a sort of a cyber steam-punk story," she said.

Claire and Erin had also gone to the effort to engage local actors and performers to recite each of the 12 finalists' stories going as far as lining up The Daily Examiner editor Bill North to recite the story "Letters to the Editor" by E. L. Short.

The Long Way Home live readings are on for the next two Sundays in the courtyard of Grafton Regional Gallery at 1pm.