From lycanthropy to mystery WOLVES was a serial award that pushed writers on sometimes opposite yet complimentary directions.
We’re always on the lookout for that lone wolf who stands out from the competition, but it was clear from the outset that this shortlist was going to be a close knit pack. Even so, we lost a few authors along the way. For our final shortlist, Daryn Govender dropped out, leaving us to forget wonder about the conclusion to his closely wrought mystery ‘The Forest’.
Everyone else delivered though. Let’s recap on the final part of the WOLVES Serial Award:
I shrink into my mother’s arms as his wide smile reveals a set of gleaming white teeth.
Mum’s voice is barely audible as she pulls me close. “You can’t—”
“I was eight years old.” Uncle Mick says, interrupting my mother’s feeble protest.
Hunted: Part 4 by Jeanette Stampone brings a sharp conclusion to this family drama about change and acceptance.
Taking cues from our serial award rhyming scheme, Cam Dang delivered her own rhythm scale. Part 4 is aptly titled Freed:
I yank him towards me and bury his head into my neck. I tell him that hurting ourselves is never a solution, that what happened was out of his control, and that nothing in this world matters to me more than him.
Interestingly, both Jeanette and Cam’s stories involved a significant uncle.
Tobias Madden took us out of the home and I to high school with Mean Girls meets Teen Wolf in ‘Wolf Pack’. Part 4 was titled Takedown:
There, in the graveyard of St Michael’s Chapel, in the pale glow of the waning moon, Lulu had made her confession.
While Ian Harrison continues to refine his 2016 neo-noir voice with A Change of Heart: Part 4:
Newspapers reported it like I’d rampaged through the Manly Ferry, stabbing everyone on board. But I’d planned it. A calculated risk that would backfire and blow up in my face… which it did.
Now I’m free to roam again, carve out a fresh tract of territory, a lone wolf.
Madeline Pettet concluded her Amazing Grace quartet with Combined:
The night air was still, refusing to bring distant scents to Sadie’s nose. She was crouched in the long grass behind Madam Pierce’s home with Jack and his pack. The home was dark besides a single light in the old woman’s bedroom.
And C.R. Gardner set her amp to 11 with a powerful finale, The Long Winter Pt 4:
She ran, throwing herself down upon the ice, sliding between Shayla’s front legs. Using the claws of her right hand as an anchor, Myst changed her momentum and direction, flipping onto her back, hooking claws into Shayla’s hind leg, slicing through tendons and muscle, swinging out from beneath the giant wolf, propelling herself up into the air, tumbling like a gymnast and landing upon Shayla’s lower back.
It was a closely contended award this week, with less than three points separating the entire pack, it came down to fractions. Jeannette Stampone grabbed a respectable second place, just narrowly missing out on first which went to the elusive yet excellent Madeline Pettet.
Congratulations Madeline, and a big thank you to all of our judges. It’s been an excellent competition!
Thanks everyone for playing and we’ll see you next week!