Former Orange resident Jaclyn Riley-Smith has been awarded first prize in the Banjo Paterson Writing Awards short story category for her story Literally the worst.
Mrs Riley-Smith said it was "such fantastic news in a not so fantastic time."
"After looking online for writing competitions, I saw the Banjo Paterson Writings Awards was open and I wrote the story four days before deadline," she said.
"I wanted to write about the world changing in a few weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic.
"As I live in Margate in Tasmania now, I thought I was able to submit the work online but I had to rush down to the post office to send it but I'm so glad I made it on time.
Mrs Riley-Smith also added she will be using her short story winnings to find editor for her new novel.
"I have been working on my novel for the last six months and the $2,000 cash prize will go towards getting it edited," she said.
"The story is about five friends who take on an overnight hike across the Three Capes Track in Tasmania."
Mrs Riley-Smith added it was a big surprise to be the winner in the short story category.
"It's a huge thrill and honour to win this prize and I thank the Banjo Paterson Writing Awards for the opportunity," she said.
"I'm really glad the judge was entertained by the piece and writing the story was a welcoming distraction."
Orange City Library reading and writing coordinator and short story judge Jasmine Vidler said the winning story was a thoroughly entertaining piece of writing.
"Literally the worst is an amusing insight into a controlling working mother pre-occupied with her own self-importance but intending to address her faults on an enforced retreat from her high-pressure travel job and family," she said.
"There is a lot going on in this story - conflict, drama, mental illness, humour and one woman's potential to self discovery all set against the current pandemic."
The other 2020 Banjo Paterson Writing Awards Winners include Joanne Mills from Darlington, WA for her work Aurora Australis in the contemporary category and in the ABC Central West Radio Children's Awards winners in first place The Crow by Maxyn Dorz from Korora, NSW, second place Decimation by Sebastian Merrall from Orange and third place Alone Together by Jessica Grabhamfrom Marrickville, NSW.
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