Velvet writing Competition

Thank you to all who were a part of Velvet's inaugural writing competition.  We had a great event on Sunday 15th October to announce the winners.

When Velvet Byron Bay was first conceived, we wanted it to offer something special to the Byron community.

As well as investing in the very latest and greatest Modbar espresso machine, we wanted our food to be healthy, nourishing, locally sourced and sustainable.

But we also wanted Velvet to become a place that nourished local people and talent.  This is why we chose to sponsor the 2017 Byron Writer’s Festival, the Byron Film Festival, and launch this local writing competition. 

We were overwhelmed with entries - in all three age categories - and couldn’t be more delighted with the stories we received. 

A big thank you to our very talented local judges who generously gave their time to read and assess each of the entries - children’s author Tristan Bancks, author and journalist Sarah Armstrong, and travel writer/agent Matt Towner. Each of them was impressed with the quality and creativity of the local writing scene. 

All of us at Velvet hope you enjoy reading these stories about who the girl in the mural is and where she came from.  And we hope you will continue to support us in our efforts to support the local community.


wave line.png
 Reilly baum, Ruby jeffries, judge sarah armstrong, and Elspeth Lee

Reilly baum, Ruby jeffries, judge sarah armstrong, and Elspeth Lee


& the Winners Are...

Elspeth Lee
Prize: $1000

Reilly Baum
Prize: $500

Ruby Jeffries
Prize: $250


Sharon Fraser
Nada Kirkwood

Piper Leo

Lucy Trease

wave line.png

Our panel of Judges

Tristan Bancks is a children’s and teen author. His books include the My Life series, Mac Slater (Australia and US) and Two Wolves (On the Run in the US), a crime- mystery novel for middle-graders. Tristan is a writer-ambassador for world-changing literacy charity Room to Read. He is excited by the future of storytelling and inspiring others to create. You can connect with him at

Sarah Armstrong's writing career started off in journalism working for ABC Radio where she won a Walkley Award for a story on diggers returning to Gallipoli. She then became a researcher and field producer on ABC TV’s ‘Foreign Correspondent’. Her first novel, Salt Rain (2004) was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award, and her most recent novel, Promise (2016) tackled the difficult topic of child neglect.  Find Sarah at 

Matt Towner - intrepid traveller, story writer and collector. Matt most recently edited and compiled a selection of traveller tales in Abroad, Broke and Busted - filled with adventures, mishaps and some of travel’s pleasant surprises.  He is currently collecting stories for a volume on traveller’s tales in Asia. Matt is currently in Bali staring down a live volcano.


Our Mural Artist

Carla Zapel is the artist behind the mural - who completely immersed herself in the colours & imagery of Byron Bay for this beautiful commission. Carla is an accomplished artist and graphic designer who has worked closely with our team on all of Velvet’s imagery. Carla has also illustrated 2 childrens' books, Jasper and Abby and the Great Australia Day Kerfuffle, and That Car!

We’re not sure what Carla was thinking when she painted the girl in the mural, but we’re thrilled that it inspired so many beautiful stories from those who entered our writing competition.

mural working.jpg