I Shine, Not Burn

Document Type

Original Creative Work


Margaret River Press


School of Arts, Regional and Professional Studies / ECU South West Research Centre




Mckenzie, V. (2013). I Shine, Not Burn. In R. Rossiter (Ed.), Knitting & other stories, (pp. 92-102). Witchcliffe, Western Australia: Margaret River Press.


Background: The work is a close telling of family history concerning my grandmothers' death and in this respect carries on my PhD project which was in part fictionalised family history. This creates an authentic narrative voice and performs careful work along the fine line between life writing and creative writing. Themes include grief, memory, and the extent to which knowledge of the past may be destructive to following generations.

Contribution: The collection in which the story appears was extensively reviewed with 2 reviews addressing my work. Karenlee Thompson quotes from my work and notes the introverted tone achieved through examining life and death and memories. Amanda Curtin chaired the Short Story Panel at Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival and discussed the storys' innovative blurring of fiction and memoir. Rossiter spoke at A Glass of Wine & a Good Book, 6 October 2013, noting that it’s something more than first person point of view which persuades the reader to believe the storys' authenticity.

Significance: The work won the South West Writer Prize for the Margaret River Short Story Competition of which Knitting collects 24 winning, highly commended and selected entries. The national competition attracted 260 entries. My other entry won the Highly Commended place and led to a media story in South Western Times, 21 February 2013. Other media coverage includes Busselton Dunsborough Times and Augusta Margaret River Times, 6 September 2013, and Augusta Margaret River Times, 4 October 2013, upon my appearance at related event A Glass of Wine & a Good Book streamed and archived by ProximityWA. The prize led to invitations to contribute to Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival and Avon Valley Writers Festival. The work related activities are of considerable regional significance.

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