After a series of serials we’re heading into 2017 with a few more one shot awards.
Focusing on brevity, these contests give authors the opportunity to enter regular contests without the full on commitment of a serial award. We’ve already seen new and casual authors jumping back into the shortlist with gusto, and this week was no different.
Lavinia Simson is one author we’re keeping an eye on. Joining us only recently, her stories have been compellingly realistic in their approach, with an attention to detail and characterisation that draws the reader in right from the get go. This week’s effort is titled Not Afraid:
A smile washes over my face.
“About everything…you, me, us.”
I smile and he releases my wrists.
Mhairi Campbell also returned to the short list this week with the insular antagonism of It Ends Here:
It was a voice that was hard and soft at the same time. The voice of my son, my innocent, easy going son who stole the vodka out of the cupboard on weekends.
Jeanette Stampone switched scoring for storytelling with the refreshingly witty meta-story about life as an author in End of Story:
Snot dribbles out of my nose and I wipe it away with my sleeve, before taking a slurp of coffee.
It’s a blessing really. Might have some more time to do other stuff now. I wouldn’t mind photography or cross-stitching maybe. The kids might not get so many burnt dinners. Yep, it’s all good.
It’s been awhile between drinks for Jessie Maureen. You’ll have to look back to the Crater Mountain Award in December last year for her previous story. Dirt Turtle is a down to earth fable with an understated and relatable message:
The radio sparks loud static, Mel is ready for me again. The truck rumbles to life as I kicked the ignition over. Pushing it into gear we began to roll down the hill. Dirt Turtle I’d heard someone say once.
Sophie L Macdonald is a regular feature on the shortlist. Her effort this week is Shapes in the Grass:
The emptiness creeps from the boarded up windows. Maybe one day it will sell, and a family with children will move in. They’ll grind bike tracks into your grass, and crush rose petals into mud pies.
A Lowery marks their introduction into NiTH with 3am:
…that empty time between the full darkness of the night and the blossoming hope that comes with the rising dawn. There is no hiding from the truth at 3am.
While Ash Warren continues with his excellent run of form with the heart wrenching The Way to Say Goodbye:
And then the cell door would bang shut again. And this ache, this enervating deadness, this false life, this half-lived thing which had actually never left would greet me once again. It had just been waiting too.
Thank to all our judges this week, especially those that stepped in at the last minute.
Sophie L Macdonald and Jeanette Stampone took our second and third respectively, both are experienced writers and it showed. Our winner however, will be celebrating their first win after joining us less than a month ago.
Thanks again to everyone who participated and stay tuned for more stories next Tuesday AEST.