AN unpublished manuscript by former Whakatane woman, Ellaine Millard, has just been announced as a finalist in the 2017 Ashton Wylie Literary Awards.
Ellaine’s manuscript, A New Mystic’s Teaching & Testimony on Holistic Faith: Integrated Healing of Body, Soul & Spirit through Information Theory is one of five finalists in the unpublished category of the awards, putting her in the running to win a $10,000 prize.
Ellaine and husband Ray, previously from the Hawkes Bay, had been living in Whakatane for the past three years before leaving recently for the South Island.
Describing herself as a professional writer, Ellaine says she’s “ecstatic” about being a finalist. “It doesn’t matter whether I win or not. I’m so excited to be going to the awards ceremony, and to just have the chance to meet other writers.”
Ellaine says she also has other unpublished manuscripts, and becoming a finalist in the Ashton Wylie awards will increase her chances of getting work published. The manuscript that has earned her a finalist spot is “basically, about healing,” she says.
Ellaine says she has been writing for years. “I’m always writing something, my own writing, or helping other writers”.
Ellaine and Ray also ran their own media company for 15 years, video and community film-making, with Ellaine also filling the role of scriptwriter.
In 2012, the company became a charitable trust. “We decided to focus solely on projects with a holistic healing focus,” Ellaine says, and “that’s what we’ve been doing”.
In “early retirement now,” Ellaine says they are currently enroute to Tuatapere in Southland, where they plan to live and work for the next few years, making a film on the region’s sustainable forestry industry.
Judges who selected the finalists for this year’s literary awards described Ellaine’s manuscript as “skilfully weaving together ideas and theories about mystical faith, information theory, quantum entanglement, field effects and Christianity”.
Winners of both the unpublished and published categories will be announced in Auckland at the Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust Awards Ceremony on August 18.
The awards, established in 1999 following a bequest from Auckland philanthropist, Ashton Wylie, aim to encourage writing in the “mind, body, spirit, genre”.