SENSE OF PLACE: Kristin Hannaford is writing a sequence of  short stories  set in the Livingstone Shire.
SENSE OF PLACE: Kristin Hannaford is writing a sequence of short stories set in the Livingstone Shire. Vanessa Jarrett

Coastal communities to become the forefront of short stories

TAKING in the coastal communities, scenery and history around her, Yeppoon woman Kristin Hannaford is producing a series of five short stories set in the Livingstone region.

Kristin was awarded a grant from Livingstone Shire Council under the 2018/19 Regional Arts Development Fund for her project.

With a background in the poetry side of things, Kristin has previously published four collections of poetry and has received some awards for short stories.

This new collection would be a bigger step into the short story side, delving further than she ever has before.

Kristin moved to Yeppoon 22 years ago and likes to consider herself somewhat of a local now.

Coming from the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, she has been inspired "by the difference in the landscape” across the Capricorn Coast region.

"I decided I wanted to put some energy into some writing and short stories and I thought what better place than to situate them here,” she said.

"It's (Livingstone region) got a really rich history and the landscape shapes a lot of the stories in a way.

"With the narrative I am interested in the ways in which people are connected to the land and their experiences with the land.”

Kristin believes writers have a really important role in representing a sense of place.

"Just like visual artists can depict the same, writing particularly with journals and online access, our stories can go a really long way, so I think it's a nice thing to capture a place,” she said.

"I think too much of the time the narrative is dominated by people in cities and if it's not that it's the Australian outback and it's just those two.

"I always enjoy reading stories from writers who are set in a place. Tim Winton, you can instantly identify with and recognise places in Australia.

"There are people who have written about the region in the past and I just want to have a crack at it.”

Still at the planning stage of her project, she hopes to set her stories in a number of the smaller regional towns in the Livingstone Shire.

She is particularly interested in The Caves area and has already dug up some history.

"In World War II there were commandos out there, presently there is a community of bent-wing and ghost bats so there is an environmental story as well,” Kristin said.

"It could be a historical story of the discovery of the caves environment itself or a contemporary story about an opera singer in the caves.

"So there is lot of different stories that are set around place, I like both of those genres so we will see what happens.”

She hopes to feature something on Keppel Sand, Byfield and maybe look into Yeppoon and its history of the old village arts festival.

"We're just not Yeppoon so I just wanted to think about that more broadly,” Kristin said.

A high school teacher by trade, Kristin holds writing workshops as well and hopes this experience will add to her skill set.

"It will be something I can add to and teach to people as well.”


Kristin will be speaking at workshops at the Capricorn Writers Festival to be held in Yeppoon from May 31 to June 2.