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mindshare Creative Writing 2022 Award Winner: Anita Zurbrugg

Formerly known as Anita, she now goes by the name ‘Mummy’, well that’s what the two little people and chap she shares a house with keep calling her. Most days she is not sure who Anita is, only that she loves to write, especially so for children.

She released her first children’s picture book in 2021 entitled My Brother is an Alien with Ocean Reeve Publishing written with the intention to warm hearts, entertain and generate some smiles.

Anita spent most of her working life in tertiary education before deciding to return to what she enjoys doing most.  Although somewhat similar to working with executives in the tertiary sector, she has found that interacting with children has involved fewer tantrums and wild imaginations.

Anita is the winner of the 2022 mindshare Unpublished Poetry award for ‘The Weight of the World’.

What does this win for your writing mean to you?

It was an absolute honour to receive recognition for this particular piece or writing which is so dear to my heart. It was sourced from deep within from a powerless child that grew up with no voice. I am extremely grateful for this win.

What inspired your winning work?

I was inspired to write this piece on behalf of the children who silently suffer the effects of living in a home with a mentally ill parent. Way back in the eighties during my childhood there was an enormous stigma attached to mental illness and it was often shunned. These children were unseen and unsupported. It is my hope to see a significant change for future generations where greater support is made available to children who carry the ‘Weight of the World’.

What drives you to write?

For me writing is meditative, creative and soul satisfying.
Releasing and promoting my first children’s picture book My Brother is an Alien has been an exciting new journey for me which has led me to engage with some wonderful people in our local schools, kindergartens and the community to talk about how the book was created from start to finish. It has been an exciting new chapter for me which I hope to continue.

How do you incorporate writing into the rest of your life?

Once you get the writing bug, it’s impossible to shake off! I can’t imagine ever not writing.
I’d like to continue to focus on children’s books and if time permits continue to work on a piece of adult fiction which incorporates real life bizarre events that would make any reader proclaim ‘no way that happened!’.

Which other writers have inspired or influenced your work?

A wide range of books have influenced my work, mostly inspirational biographies about individuals who have thrived against all odds. In the children’s books genre, I do especially adore the Bear picture books created by Nick Bland which I still read to my son.

Have you faced any barriers establishing yourself as a writer, and if yes, how have you overcome them?

If there is a writer who hasn’t met any barriers I’d sure like to meet them! The most difficult barrier for me was getting my work into libraries, however I persisted and I have managed to include my book in many libraries across Australia.

What are you hoping to achieve with your writing?

Growing up in a completely dysfunctional environment has inspired me to pursue writing stories for children that offer an empowering mode of thinking, particularly at this time where fear and negativity are especially prevalent. These stories show children how the thoughts we give our attention to have a powerful impact on our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. They are especially intended for those children who are struggling, sensitive or unsupported by their families/carers.

What advice would you give other writers who are just starting out?

Enjoy the process. Creativity is interpreted by diverse perspectives, whilst some will enjoy and relate, others will not, it doesn’t make your piece good or bad – just uniquely bloody brilliant!

You can discover more of Anita’s work on her Facebook page here.

Read our interview with another mindshare Creative Writing 2022 award winner, Melanie, here.