Jennifer Bryce

(14 August 1944 – 27 April 2023)

Jennifer felt herself to be an apprentice writer and had reached a stage in her life where she had the courage to commit herself to writing and to devote time to the craft. She was involved in music throughout her life, mainly as an oboist, and said that the discipline of practising music helped her to be a disciplined writer.

In 2019 Jennifer published Lily Campbell’s Secret, a novel based in Woodend (where she used to live), a town about 50 km north west of Melbourne. The story is set around the time of WWI. She had recently completed the manuscript of her second novel, with the working title Edith Ascending. This was successfully pitched to a publisher last year and was under consideration. Jennifer was working on a collection of short stories centred around playing the oboe and to help her complete this, had, through Kill Your Darlings, won a mentorship with writer Ceridwen Dovey. Jennifer was working with Ceridwen from February 2023 until her death in April.

Jennifer had a blog on her website Little Smackerel. The blog contains reviews of books, plays, concerts and films she had read or attended, and some of her short fiction, and travel writing.

Some of Jennifer’s recent accomplishments were: seven stories published in the Elwood Writers anthology, Every Second Tuesday; a story published in American Writers Review and another in the anthology The Sky Falls Down, edited by Terry Whitebeach and Gina Mercer; an honourable mention in the 2020 Port Stephens Short Story Competition; a first place in the 2019 Continuum Short Story Competition;  short-listing for the 2018 Alan Marshall competition and an honourable mention in the 2012 Henry Handel Richardson Competition. Her stories have been read on Cover to Cover on Vision Australia Radio. She also had nonfiction work published and she had a PhD in Education.

Jennifer was a founding member of Elwood Writers, formed in 2007. She always said she treasured the advice and support from her Elwood Writers colleagues.