Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Books Read and Stories Published in 2019


Song of Solomon Toni Morrison                                                      
Some Kind of Fairy Tale Graham Joyce                                                                       

Boy Swallows Universe Trent Dalton                                                                         

We’ll Stand in That Place and Other Stories Ed. Michelle Cahill (anthology).        

Path of the Dragon George RR Martin (novella)                                   

Year’s Best Fantasy 2 (2002) Ed. David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer                          

Best Served Cold Joe Abercrombie                                                                      

Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus Mary Shelley                                                

The Finder Ursula K. Le Guin (novella)                                                                         

Restoration Rose Tremain

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Minicomic Collection (expository and graphic novel)                                                                                         

Undermajordomo Minor Patrick deWitt                                                    

The Sky Falls Down: An Anthology of Loss Ed. Terry Whitebeach & Gina Mercer.       

Year’s Best Fantasy (2001) Ed. David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer              

Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine Issue 44 Ed. Felicity Dowker & Simon Petrie

Word Play Gyles Brandweyth (expository) 

Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury                                                                                      

The Orchardist’s Daughter Karen Viggers                                                            

Whiskey and Water Elizabeth Bear                                                          

Debt of Bones Terry Goodkind (novella)          

Harmless Julienne Van Loon (novella)                                                       

The Battles of Tolkien David Day (expository)                                                               

The Maze Runner James Dashner (YA)                                                                  

A Princess of Landover Terry Brooks                                                   

The Misadventures of John Nicholson (novella) Robert Louis Stevenson

Eternals Neil Gaiman (graphic novel)                   

The DC Universe by Neil Gaiman Neil Gaiman (graphic novel)               

A Maggot John Fowles                                                                                               

The Alchemist Paulo Coelho                                                                                       

Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine Issue 41 ed. Ian Nichols    

The Enchantress of Florence Salman Rushdie                                          

Temeraire Naomi Novik                                                                                                 

New Beginnings (anthology/Reader)                                                           

 Novel Standouts

I've kept the brief commentary to three, but there was plenty to revel in this year. Abercrombie always delivers and Best Served Cold is no exception; I'm glad I finally read Frankenstein; and both Restoration by Tremain and Undermajordormo Minor by De Witt also impressed. 

Song of Solomon

Easily the best of my 2019 reads. 

"If you surrendered to the air, you could ride it.' Vale Toni Morrison. Your legacy soars. 

To summarise the plot would be unfair. The unique experience is best left for you to dive into on your own. In terms of language and style, Morrison incorporates a blend of rhythmic poetic prose with black urban dialogue from two separate parts of the states, along with a cultural infusion of Black songs and folktales.

Toni Morrison weaves magical realism with fable and history in such a natural manner, that even the nature of the plot, which moves to absurdist, appears organic and authentic.

Morrison makes me want to never put pen on paper again. She's that good, and for me, Song of Solomon is Morrison at her finest.  

Some Kind of Fairy Tale

Tara went missing the woods some 20 years ago, now at the supposed age of 36, Tara arrives at her parents door on Christmas Day. Problem is she hasn't changed at all. 

Joyce touches our sentiment here in this exploration of time and life-changing events. It also bravely interrogates relationships with not only the family, but an old, and somewhat lost, past lover. The work shares similarities with other novels of his I've readThis is up there in terms of quality with his The Year of the Ladybird . 

Joyce is unabashedly sentimental, and although at times this touches on the saccharine, Joyce manages it all successfully - when many other writers wouldn't. The plot is thought provoking, and the controlled prose is strong throughout. The ingredients are all there in the right doses in a compelling tale.

Boy Swallows Universe

Eli Bell's seemingly stable childhood world in urban Brisbane is torn asunder as he realises that he and his non-verbal brother, Gus, are no longer safe. His mother, who he adores, is involved with a drug-trafficking stepfather (who he also idolises) and their troubles have entered the domestic front in a super hostile manner. Eli and Gus have to leave.

It's a gritty take on 80s Australia with Vietnamese gangs, abusive partners, a drunken father,  reformed and unreformed crims, and violent dug cartels. It also incorporates magical realism with a unique red phone and Gus weaves a little magic too.

But Eli's hyperbole, humour and dramatic outlook make it all worth the while. For me this deserved the Miles Franklin; it's one of the best Aussie rides I've been on. And it is a wild adventurous ride. Dalton pulls out all the writerly tricks out of the hat: connection and disconnection, stark contrast and juxtaposition, and figurative lines abound on every page. It's hyperobolic and hyperactive, and doesn't hold back. So much of Australian literature is controlled and spare these days, making Dalton's unleashed voice a refreshing change. 

The  adventurous, unashamedly bloated prose, is reminiscent of the work of a journalist on steroids. And guess what? It works. This novel is fun, touching, brave and imaginative.  

I personally felt the glass jars and much of the latter part related to the jars too far fetched, not in terms of gratuity, but in terms of believability and taking the melodrama to an unneeded extent. The scenes aren't really required. Although I did think the later magical realist elements worked a treat. 

But it's all part of a wonderful ride. A future Australian classic, if it isn't one already. 

Novella Standouts

 Path of the Dragon

The novella where Daenerys Targaryen and Jorah Mormont share a romantic moment! This tale portrays Daenarys as the liberator we all loved before the final episode of the television series spoilt her for many of us. 

The Finder

The tale of how a school of magic is founded by a brave man. A lot of elements are at play in this novella, there's danger, including a tracker with bloodhound qualities, and also serious abuses of power. On occasion, I find Leguin's Earthsea works more suited for younger ages, but The Finder holds adult audiences too. A fine novella and well-wrought story. 

Anthology Highlight

Year’s Best Fantasy 2 (2002) Ed. David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer

Cut and pasted via Goodreads: An impressive and consistently strong anthology. Out of the twenty two stories, there were only four that I didn't enjoy. Some personal favourites (and I could mention 18 stories here) include Ursula K. Le Guin's novella The Finder; 'What The Tyger Told Her' by Kage Baker; 'The Man Who Stole the Moon' by Tanith Lee; 'Nucleon' by David D. Levine; and 'Hell is the Absence of God' by Ted Chiang. 

The absolute standout is 'Firebird' by R. Garcia y Robertson. Although a fantasy is a more traditional vein, the story delights and all the elements come together is a clever fashion. It had me glued throughout.

 2019 Publications

'The Do' in We’ll Stand in That Place and Other Stories Ed. Michelle Cahill.

Very proud to have a story here, the variety of genre and styles was a pleasure to see. Some stories are rich, others economical, some realist, some speculative, and all deserve a second reading. A fantastic display of the magic and breadth of the short form.

'Submerging' The Sky Falls Down: An Anthology of Loss Ed. Terry Whitebeach & Gina Mercer (previously published in Overland 204 & The Best Australian Stories 2014.)

This explores an inescapable part of the human experience. It includes meaningful works in the form of essays, prose, memoir, and poetry.


'Submerging' will find its 4th home in 2020 in the anthology Changing Tides (more to come).

Hope 2020 is a happy, healthy and meaningful year for all!

Saturday, January 4, 2020

25 Fabulous Short Stories from my 2019 Reading

I read 101 short stories in 2019. As usual, this yearly list of outstanding stories could have been lengthier, but any longer might get tedious. I'm also careful  mention too many from anthologies I have works in (there could have been far more). So the below list is my favourite 25  stories from this year's reading. As usual, it's a blend of old and new. 

‘Bog Girl: A Romance’ Karen Russell (from Orange World and Other Stories originally in The New Yorker)                                                                                                                                    

‘The Bad Graft’ Karen Russell (from Orange World and Other Stories originally in The New Yorker)                                                                                                                                        

‘Firebird’ R. Garcia y Robertson (Year’s Best Fantasy 2 (2002) Ed. David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer)                                                                                                                   
‘Chanterelle’ Brian Stableford (Year’s Best Fantasy (2001) Ed. David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer, first published in Black Heart, Ivory Bones Ed Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling) 

‘Making a Noise in This World’ Charles De Lint [Year’s Best Fantasy (2001) Ed. David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer, first published in Warrior Fantastic Ed. Mark Greenberg]     

‘State of the Heart’ Carol Patterson (The Sky Falls Down: An Anthology of Loss Ed. Terry Whitebeach & Gina Mercer)
‘Calving’ Georgina Luck (The Sky Falls Down: An Anthology of Loss Ed. Terry Whitebeach & Gina Mercer)                                                                                                                                    

'My Brother Quentin’ Janeen Samuel (Andromeda Spaceways 44)                                      
‘What the Tyger Told Her’ Kage Baker (Year’s Best Fantasy 2 (2002) Ed. David G. Hartwell
& Kathryn Cramer)                                                                                                                       

‘Cinta Ku’ Miranda Riwoe (We’ll Stand in That Place and Other Stories Ed. Michelle Cahill)  
‘Mycorrhizal Networks’ Lynette Washington (We’ll Stand in That Place and Other Stories Ed. Michelle Cahill)                                                                                                                   

‘Greedy Choke Puppy’ Nalo Hopkinson [Year’s Best Fantasy (2001) Ed. David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer, first published in Dark Matter]                                                                          

‘Staying On’ Ann Bolch (The Sky Falls Down: An Anthology of Loss Ed. Terry Whitebeach & Gina Mercer)                                                                                                                         

‘A Room Inside a High-Care Nursing Home’ Liam Brooks (The Sky Falls Down: An Anthology of Loss Ed. Terry Whitebeach & Gina Mercer)                                                                   

‘Lacrimosa’ Emily J. Sun (The Sky Falls Down: An Anthology of Loss Ed. Terry Whitebeach & Gina Mercer)                                                                                                                                   

‘The Man Who Stole the Moon’ Tanith Lee ((Year’s Best Fantasy 2 (2002) Ed. David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer)                                                                                                       

‘The Prospectors’ Karen Russell (from Orange World and Other Stories originally in The New Yorker)                                                                                                                                                   

‘Nucleon’ David D. Levine (Year’s Best Fantasy 2 (2002) Ed. David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer)                                                                                                                        

‘The Golem’ Naomi Kritzer [Year’s Best Fantasy (2001) Ed. David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer]                                                                                                                         

‘Hell is the Absence of God’ Ted Chiang (Year’s Best Fantasy 2 (2002) Ed. David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer, first published in Starlight 3)                                                                             
‘The Black Heart’ Patrick O’Leary (Year’s Best Fantasy 2 (2002) Ed. David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer)                                                                                                                         

‘A Twist of Smoke’ Emily Brewin (We’ll Stand in That Place and Other Stories Ed. Michelle Cahill)                                                                                                                                     

‘The Tornado Auction' Karen Russell (from Orange World and Other Stories originally in Zoetrope)

‘The Children’ Andrew Sutherland (We’ll Stand in That Place and Other Stories Ed. Michelle Cahill) 

‘Somebody’s Baby’ Jenni Mazaraki (We’ll Stand in That Place and Other Stories Ed. Michelle Cahill)                                                                                                                                            

Friday, July 19, 2019

We'll Stand in That Place and Other Stories Book Launch

We'll Stand in That Place and Other Stories Ed. Michelle Cahill, which includes my latest story "The Do" will be launched at the gorgeous Readings Book Store in the Victorian State Library in Melbourne. Wish I could be there, but it's the usual tyranny of distance issue.

Thur 1 Aug 2019 at 6:30 pm. 
Readings State Library –State Library Victoria, 285-321 Russell St, Melbourne 3000, Victoria

Hope it's a wonderful celebration of the genre and a fabulous night for all who attend.

Current Read: A Maggot by John Fowles

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Book Launches for The Sky Falls Down: An Anthology of Loss

 The Sky Falls Down: An Anthology of Loss Ed. Gina Mercer & Terry Whitebeach will have its first launch at Fullers Bookshop on the 26th June at 5:30pm in the editors' home state of Tasmania.

And then if you're in Melbourne, Carrie Tiffany will be launching the anthology at Readings in Hawthorn on the 13th July, 2pm.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

The Sky Falls Down: An Anthology of Loss Ed. Terry Whitebeach & Gina Mercer

I have a story in The Sky Falls Down, a compendium of fiction, memoir and poetry revolving around the theme of loss.

There's a crowdfund from the Australian Cultural Fund to raise a little more money for the writers. My own story is a reprint, so I've donated to the fund, but there are many pieces in the anthology that are seeing print for the first time. No pressure, just spreading the word. The link's below:

Current Reads:

Recently finished We'll Stand in That Place and Other Stories ed. Michelle Cahill. I'll disclose I've a story in it, but regardless, I loved the anthology.

I'm fascinated by the variety of style and voices that the short form can exhibit, and We'll Stand in That Place and Other Stories is a fantastic exemplar of that power. All stories within are layered and, in my opinion, deserve a second reading. I discovered something to enjoy and admire in each and every narrative.

And I'm currently reading the historical fiction Restoration by Rose Tremain.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Cover Reveal: We’ll Stand in That Place and Other Stories Ed. Michelle Cahill

Latest Story News

My latest story 'The Do' will feature along side what's a fab lineup of Australian writers in We’ll Stand in That Place and Other Stories Ed. Michelle Cahill. MRP has revealed the gorgeous cover designed by Susan Miller. 

Previously Shared Homes (trivia): I always love seeing if I've shared previous homes with writers. This time around Claire Corbett tops the list as it's the third publication we've been in together; and it's the second with Mark Smith. Sincere apologies if I've missed out on any of the other writers. 

Editor and Author Bios (from Margaret River Press Website):

Michelle Cahill‘s short stories, Letter to Pessoa won the UTS Glenda Adams Award, the NSW Premier’s Literary Award for New Writing and was shortlisted in the Steele Rudd Queensland Literary Awards. She won the Hilary Mantel International Short Story Prize and was shortlisted in the ABR Elizabeth Jolley Prize. She was a Fellow at Kingston Writing School, a Visiting Scholar in Creative Writing at UNC, Charlotte and a Fellow at Hawthornden Castle. She is an award-winning poet and critic. Her essays have appeared in the Sydney Review of Books, Southerly, Westerly and The Weekend Australian.
Emily Brewin is a Melbourne-based author and educator. Her first novel, Hello, Goodbye, was released in 2017 with Allen & Unwin. Her second, Small Blessings, came out in February 2019 with the same publisher. She has been awarded an Australian Society of Authors mentorship for her fiction writing, and undertook a Bundanon Trust artist residency and a Moreland writers’ residency in 2018 to develop her third novel, The Piano. Emily’s short stories have been short listed for a number of awards, including the 2019 Margaret River Short Story Competition. She has written for Feminartsy, Meanjin, Kill Your Darlings and Mamamia.
Claire Corbett has had stories, essays and journalism published in journals including Picador New WritingSMHThe MonthlyGriffith ReviewOverlandSoutherlyAntipodes, Science Fiction Film and Television and Best Australian Stories 2014 and 2015. Her first novel, When We Have Wings (Allen &Unwin), was shortlisted for the 2012 Barbara Jefferis Award and shortlisted for the 2012 Ned Kelly Award for Best First Fiction and published overseas. Watch Over Me, her second novel, was published by A&U in 2017. She is writing her third novel. She teaches Creative Writing at UTS, is on the Board of Varuna, the National Writers’ House, and is the new fiction editor of Overland Journal.
Darryl R. Dymock enjoys writing short fiction, is a winner of the Roly Sussex Short Story award, and has been published elsewhere including in Griffith Review and most recently in the anthology, Within/Without These Walls. He is also the author of five narrative non-fiction books, including Hustling Hinkler and The Chalkies. In his other life he is an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at Griffith University, Brisbane. Darryl lives in Brisbane with his wife and his laptop, and says that in any writing the challenge is always the beginning, the middle and the end.
K. W. George is a writer from Brisbane. She has been published in a number of journals including MeanjinGoing Down Swinging, and The Big Issue. This is her fourth appearance in a Margaret River Press Anthology, which she believes is a record of some kind—but who’s counting?
Justine Hyde is a library director, writer and critic who lives in Melbourne. Her fiction, essays and reviews are published in The AgeThe
AustralianThe Saturday PaperKill Your DarlingsThe Lifted BrowMeanjin and Seizure.
Jenni Mazaraki is a writer and visual artist based in Melbourne, Australia. She is currently working on her first novel, an extract of which was shortlisted for the 2017 Deborah Cass Prize. Her poetry has been highly commended in The Bridport Prize 2018 and her short stories have been shortlisted for prizes including the Write Around the Murray award 2017. Her poetry is included in the anthology #MeToo: Stories from the Australian movement published by Picador in May 2019.
Rachel McEleney‘s short fiction and nonfiction has appeared in SeizureGhostly StringyBark AnthologyAeternum: The Journal of Contemporary Gothic StudiesandAn Alphabetical Amulet Anthology. Her poetry has appeared on the UWA Poets’ Corner in Perth. Rachel lived in several countries before settling in the southwest of Western Australia. The southwest landscape has inspired her writing and she likes to spend a lot of time in the bush, particularly in spring so she can search for orchids. She is a PhD candidate at Edith Cowan University’s South West Campus.
Audrey Molloy was born in Dublin and grew up in rural Ireland. She now lives in Sydney, where she works as an optometrist and writer. Her poetry has been widely published, most recently in Meanjin, Cordite, Overland, Australian Poetry Anthology, Rabbit, Southerly, The Moth, The Irish Times and Magma. Her short fiction has been shortlisted for The Southern Cross Short Story Competition and has been published in The Blue Nib. Audrey’s work has been nominated for the Forward Prize and she is one of Eyewear Publishing’s Best New British and Irish Poets 2018.
Catherine Noske is a lecturer in Creative Writing and editor of Westerly at the University of Western Australia. Her research focuses on contemporary Australian place-making. She has been awarded the A.D. Hope Prize, twice received the Elyne Mitchell Prize for Rural Women Writers, and was shortlisted for the Dorothy Hewett Award (2015). Her first novel is forthcoming with Picador.
Since 2011, Perth writer, Anthony Panegyres, has had works featured in The Best Australian Stories 2014The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy & Horror 2011, The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy & Horror 2015Overland 204 (a story short listed for the Aurealis Award), Overland 214, Meanjin Vol.3 2013, The Guardian, Dreaming of Djinn and several other homes,  including the award winning anthologies Bloodlines and At the Edge. He is currently a doctoral candidate at UWA.
Emily Paull is a writer, blogger, editor and former bookseller from Western Australia. Her work has appeared in Westerly as well as two previous Margaret River anthologies. Her debut collection of short stories will be published by Margaret River Press later in 2019. You can find out more about Emily at
Kathy Prokhovnik is currently working on her second novel and a narrative non-fiction history of Sydney. She blogs in two threads: ‘Sydney snaps’ and ‘At the farm’. Awards for her short stories include: highly commended in the 2018 and 2017 KSP Short Fiction Awards; runner-up in 2016. Winner of the 2016 Joyce Parkes Women Writers Prize and the 1988 Olga Masters Short Story Competition, University of Queensland Press Award. She has had short stories published in the Seizure ‘Flashers’ series, in Certifiable Truths (Allen & Unwin, 1998), MeanjinWesterly and Hecate.
K.A. Rees writes poetry and short fiction. Her poems and short stories have been included by Red Room CompanyRochford Street ReviewYalobusha ReviewReview of Australian FictionAustralian Poetry and Cordite Poetry Review, among others. In 2012, Kate was the CafĂ© Poet in Residence at the State Library of NSW. She was shortlisted for the 2016 Judith Wright Poetry Prize. She is the recipient of the 2017 Barry Hannah Prize in Fiction and runner-up in the 2018 Peter Cowan Short Story Award. She is a 2019 Varuna fellowship holder for her manuscript of short fiction. Kate lives with her family in Sydney.
Mirandi Riwoe’s novella The Fish Girl won Seizure’s Viva la Novella V and was shortlisted for The Stella Prize. She is the author of two crime novels and is prose editor for Peril Magazine. Her work has appeared in Best Australian Stories, Meanjin, Review of Australian Fiction, Shibboleth and Other Stories and Best Summer Stories. Mirandi has a PhD in Creative Writing and Literary Studies (QUT).
Kit Scriven has been published in Island and short story anthologies. He won the Olga Master Short Story Award in 2016 and 2017, and the SALA Short Story Prize in 2016. He has been highly commended or shortlisted in several other short story competitions.
Mark Smith lives on Victoria’s Surf Coast. His debut novel, The Road To Winter, was published in 2016. The sequel, Wilder Country, won the 2018
Australian Indie Book Award for YA. Mark is also an award winning writer of short fiction, with credits including the 2015 Josephine Ulrick
Literature Prize and the 2013 Alan Marshall Short Story Prize. His work has appeared in Best Australian Stories, Review of Australian Fiction,
The Big IssueThe Victorian Writer and The Australian.
Andrew Sutherland is a Queer writer and theatre practitioner working between Western Australia and Singapore. Theatre works include Poorly Drawn SharkUnveiling: Gay Sex for EndtimesBaby GirlChrysanthemum Gate, and Ragnarok. He was awarded Overland‘s Fair Australia Poetry Prize 2017 and selected as a poet for Westerly’s Writers’ Development Program 2018. His poetry and prose can be found in various publications including Visible InkSuburban ReviewMuse/ABosie, and From Whispers to Roars.
Jem Tyley-Miller is a crime writer from Bacchus Marsh who sees life through a magical realist lens. A 2018 Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellow, Jem works casually directing extras to fund her very serious writing habit and co-organises the Peter Carey Short Story Award in her spare time. You can read more of her writing in Spike, the Meanjin blog.
Lynette Washington is a writer, editor, publisher and teacher of creative and professional writing. Her stories have been published widely and performed at events such as Spineless Wonders Presents and Quart Short Literary Readings. In 2014 she edited the story collection, Breaking Beauty. In 2017 she co-edited the story collection, Crush. Her debut, Plane Tree Drive, was Highly Commended in the 2018 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award and shortlisted for the MUBA.

Currently Reading: Year's Best Fantasy Ed. David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer This dates back to 2001. David G. Hartwell unfortunately passed away in Jan 2016, so I regret not reading the anthology earlier. I have read the Michael Swanwick and George RR Martin's stories before (strong works as expected); and I can't wait to read Nalo Hopkinson's story as I regard her short work as sublime. Sadly, the fantasy and speculative fiction short story form doesn't always receive the critical acclaim it deserves. The best work in the genre is truly impressive, and if more people read the genre they would discover that it's predominantly not 'high fantasy' (it's not all medieval dwarves, elves, goblins, warriors and wizards - although they have a place too), but rather the genre consists of a vast range of settings, characters, ideas and styles, and the narratives are intelligent, well-crafted, and character-driven. 

And I'm also reading Song of Solomon by the legendary Toni Morrison. Morrison is one of those writers who makes me embarrassed to put pen to paper. 

Reprints: And 'Submerging' (Overland Literary Journal 214 & The Best Australian Stories 2014) will now find its 3rd and 4th homes in June. One is an Australian compendium exploring the theme of loss: The Sky Falls: An Anthology of Lossand the other is an American climate change anthology called Changing Tides. The latter is unpaid. I'm all for paying the writer, but all proceeds from Changing Tides go toward environmental conservation, which I'm passionate about.  In this case it's the Coral Restoration Foundation; a nonprofit organisation in Key Largo, Florida, which focuses on restoring coral reefs, creating offshore nurseries, and educational outreach (it's the world's largest non-profit marine-conservation organisation). Sounds like a very worthwhile cause to me. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Publishing News 2019: New Story

New Story: "The Do"

Nice news to hear that all 19 short listed stories from the Margaret River Short Story Competition will be published again in an anthology out later this year. For more info see this linked post from Margaret River Press.

Congrats to all involved. I'm really looking forward to reading all the stories, but especially Mark Smith's as I loved his work, "Sugar Bag Dreamin' Country" in Best Australian Stories 2014  

I have pasted an excerpt from MRP post below along with a little from the editor, poet Michelle Cahill (from MRP).

Editor Michelle Cahill had this to say about this year’s shortlist:
‘Reading through the longlist for this year’s Margaret River Press Short Story Competition, I was struck by the many stories inflected by contemporary concerns: climate change, the need for queer spaces and voices, cultural inclusiveness. And yet, equally, the stories that impressed me most succeed in realising complex emotions that we sometimes fail to honour in our daily lives and in our close relationships. It has been a privilege to judge this prize; my warm congratulations to the shortlisted writers and the winners.’
Congratulations to Kit Scriven, who took out first place with his short story ‘We’ll Stand in That Place’, and to Catherine Noske, whose short story ‘Thylacine’ won second place. Rachel McEleney’s short story ‘The Day the Rain Stopped Dancing’ is the winner of the Southwest Prize.
Of the nineteen stories chosen, there are six writers from Victoria, five from Western Australia, four from New South Wales, three from Queensland and one from South Australia.
Emily Bewin  – A Twist Of Smoke
Claire Corbett – Aftertaste
Darryl R. Dymock – A Tough Little Bird
K.W. George – Three Dog Night
Justine Hyde – Emotional Support
Jenni Mazaraki – Somebody’s Baby
Rachel McEleney – The Day the Rain Stopped Dancing *Southwest Prize*
Audrey Molloy – Thirty Sacks
Catherine Noske – Thylacine *Second Prize*
Anthony Panegyres (Phillips) – The Do
Emily Paull – A Moveable Farce
Kathy Prokhovnik – Still life
K.A. Rees – Butterscotch
Mirandi Riwoe – Cinta Ku
Kit Scriven – We’ll stand in that place *First Prize*
Mark Smith – A Concreter’s Heart
Andrew Sutherland – The Children
Jem Tyley-Miller – The Monster in the Lake
Lynette Washington – Mycorrhizal Networks