2017 Southern Cross Short Story Competition Results

2017 BALLARAT SHORT STORY COMPETITION.

Ballarat Writers Inc. would like to thank everyone who submitted to the 2017 Southern Cross Short Story competition. Two entries were read aloud at our final members’ night for the year, and they were both stunning yet incredibly different.

All cheques and certificates for the winners and honourable mentions are now in the mail.

 

Maurilia Meehan’s Judge’s Report.

Thank you to each participant in the 2007 Ballarat Short Story competition.

It is an achievement in itself to finish your story and to send it out to make its own way in the world. You are already one in a thousand, as so many lack the basic writerly discipline of finishing a task. So, congratulations to all 119 entrants for taking your commitment to writing this far.

Our dedicated team of pre-readers whittled the field down to 13 stories, each of which display promise. Kangaroos hopped about more than once. Settings ranged from Africa to Ararat.

Themes frequently concerned childhood memories and grief for lost loved ones. Many were related in the first person. Although these stories were sensitive and touching, they were also static and lacked momentum.  Many stories presented a potentially creating an interesting character, setting or mood of foreboding that needed to be further developed.

However, few delivered what most readers demand in a story.

And that is Reversal.

Reversal of reader’s expectations at the end of the story. The sting-in-the-tail. The twist in the plot and/or character that we thought we were familiar with. In short, the element of well-crafted surprise.

Which brings me to a consideration of the outstanding entries.

WINNER

The Man with the Dolphin Teeth.       By Suzannah Churchman – Perth WA

The writer of this story is, I suspect, the love-child of Angela Carter and Stephen King.

A story full memorable detail and vivid imagery, it is set in a waxworks in a bygone Melbourne. This story is elevated from being simply a genre horror tale about ‘monstrous’ characters because of the writer’s control of pace and compassionate humanism.

It is filmic in its cumulative effect, as we watch a stranger enter a closed world, on a quest for truth. And, importantly, it is structured around not one, but TWO, Reversals. I do hope it is published.

SECOND

Safari.              By Kathy George – Indooroopilly QLD

Locked into an external environment which she perceives as a death trap, the central character overcomes her parallel emotional fears of falling in love. Classic structure where a change in the protagonist’s emotional life is the Reversal we are waiting for.

THIRD

Follow Suit.                By Maryanne Ross – Ballarat VIC

This story is structured around a quest for truth, this time set among the op-shops and rooming houses of St Kilda. Refreshingly, it features the milieu of an ageing, feisty woman. A gold jacket she buys in an op-shop leads her into a world of ageing ex-TV stars and the unravelling of a mystery.

 

THREE HONORABLE MENTIONS, in no particular order.

Shazza’s Sheep.                      By Tee Linden – Sutherland NSW

Interesting psychological study of an artist whose painting of her beloved sheep comes to life and wreaks revenge.

 

The Devil’s Food.                   By Susan Bennett – Warragul VIC

An eagle, a Scottish laird, food and mushrooms, moodily evoked, lead to a satisfyingly murderous Reversal.

 

The Trials Of Saint Lurlene.   By Heather McKenzie -Capalaba QLD

A domestic setting. An internal monologue, delivered by a wife about her husband. Lurlene mixes so many clichés that the author makes her unwittingly comic. Excellent control of voice, each of her twisted cliches providing the reader with a mini-Reversal.

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Southern Cross Short Story Competition Update

As our awards presentation draws closer, Ballarat Writers is proud to present the shortlist for the 2017 Southern Cross Short Story Competition.

The shortlisted stories, and their authors, listed in alphabetical order according to the story’s title are:

Big Red                                              Fiona Lewin                         Carss Park NSW
Bounds                                              Tee Linden                            Sutherland NSW
Burned                                              Jane Smith                            Toowoomba Qld
Every Shiny Thing On Fire     Keren Heenan                    Montmorency Vic
Follow Suit                                      Maryanne Ross                  Redan Vic
Hole In The Wall                          Ron Schroer                        Canberra ACT
Pain                                                      Andrew Scobie                  Auburn NSW
Safari                                                  KW George                           Indooroopilly Qld
Shazza’s Sheep                              Tee Linden                            Sutherland NSW
The Beacon                                    Helen Carmody                  Stawell Vic
The Devil’s Food                         Susan Bennett                     Warragul Vic
The Man with The Dolphin Teeth          Suzannah Churchman      Perth WA
The Trials Of St Lurlene          Heather MacKenzie          Capalaba Qld

Please check out website after the 29th of November when the winners will be announced, or feel free to turn up to our final member night for the year to see the announcement live!

Ballarat Writers Festival Feedback

As you all know (hopefully!), our festival is on the 21st and 22nd of October — if you’ve had a chance to come along, we’d love to hear what you thought of your time with us.

You can complete our festival survey at this link.

If you could fill out our survey, we promise we’ll use your feedback to make our festival even bigger and better for the future.

Thank you for coming, and thank you for helping us out.

October Words Out Loud

Words Out Loud draws the curtain on its run at Ballarat’s wonderful Babushka bar in October, but we’re seeing the awesome venue out in style.

Special guests Steve Smart and Jessica Wilkinson will get the party started, and there will be five-minute slots available on the night for others to share poetry, prose and yarns.

With Babushka having been sold, this is likely the last chance to attend a Words Out Loud at the bar.

This free night of spoken word is on Thursday October 19, 7–9pm, and writers, readers, poets — all word lovin’ folks with a hankering to share the love are invited to join in the fun and farewell this special venue.

The theme for the night is “the last shout”, and, as always, performers are encouraged to take the theme and run with it — or ignore it altogether.

Find out more at the Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/wordsoutloud/

September Words Out Loud

Words Out Loud gets its equinox on with a theme of ‘light and dark’ at Babushka lounge in Ballarat on Thursday, September 21, 7–9pm, for its next session of spoken word!

Writers, readers, poets — all word lovin’ folks with a hankering to share the love are invited along, with five-minute open mic spots on offer.

With Babushka having been sold, time is running out to enjoy this fabulous venue, so if you’ve been wondering what Words Out Loud is all about, now’s your time to do it! Air your writing, share someone else’s, just enjoy and encourage the work of your fellow scribes.

As always, performers are encouraged to take the theme and run with it for their five-minute slots — or ignore it altogether!

Entry is free, though a gold coin donation would be appreciated for this non-profit, community event.
Keep up to date at the Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/wordsoutloud/

Words Out Loud August — In the Winter Dark

Words Out Loud strikes a light ‘in the winter dark’ at Babushka lounge in Ballarat on Thursday, August 17, 7–9pm, for its next session of spoken word!

Writers, readers, poets — all word lovin’ folks with a hankering to share the love are invited along, with five-minute open mic spots on offer. You won’t find a friendlier venue.

As always, performers are encouraged to take the theme and run with it for their five-minute slots — or ignore it altogether!

Entry is free, though a gold coin donation would be appreciated for this non-profit, community event.
Keep up to date at the Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/wordsoutloud/

Southern Cross Short Story Competition 2017

It’s that time of year again!

Southern Cross Short Story Competition 2017

Ballarat Writers Inc invites writers to enter the 2017 Southern Cross Literary Competition.

The competition asks for short stories to 3000 words, with an open theme.

First prize is 1,000 AUD, second prize $400, third prize $100.

The judge in 2017 is Maurilia Meehan. Maurilia is an award-winning Australian author. Her novels include Madame Bovary’s Haberdashery, The Bad Seed, Adultery, The Sea People and Fury.

The winning stories will be announced and read at an award presentation in Ballarat in November 2017.

Entries are open now and close October 16, 2017 at 11:59pm.

 

For competition terms, entry forms and further information, please head to this link.

Maurilia Meehan Short Story Workshop

Are you prepared to begin a great story, or take your story to the next level?

Ballarat Writers, in conjunction with Writers Victoria and the Grace Marion Wilson Trust, are please to announce our short story workshop with award-winning story teller, Maurilia Meehan. The workshop will be held on Saturday July 8th from 1–4 pm at MADE (the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka) in Ballarat.

We’ve just noticed that the portal for the Maurilia Meehan Short Story Workshop doesn’t seem to be working, but there are still some spots available! If you want to attend, please contact Irene at chairperson@ballaratwriters.com or on 53320092 before 11.00am on Saturday. Don’t miss out!

 

 

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Words Out Loud — Storm the Barricades

rat reads18 july 2017Words Out Loud lights a revolutionary spark in the winter dark when it ‘storms the barricades’ at Babushka lounge in Ballarat on Thursday, July 20, 7–9pm, for its next session of spoken word — it’s not quite the Bastille, but we always have some ooh la la!

Writers, readers, poets — all word lovin’ folks with a hankering to share the love are invited along, with five-minute open mic spots on offer. Babushka has excellent sound and backing tracks and graphics can be accommodated. You won’t find a friendlier venue.

As always, performers are encouraged to take the theme and run with it for their 5-minute slots — or ignore it altogether!

Entry is free, though a gold coin donation would be appreciated for this non-profit, community event.
Keep up to date at the Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/wordsoutloud/

Words Out Loud – We Are Not Amused

 

Words Out Loud takes liberties with history when it returns to Babushka lounge in Ballarat on Thursday, June 15, 7-9pm, for its next session of spoken word – with a right royal twist.

Writers, readers, poets — all word lovin’ folks with a hankering to share the love are invited along, with five-minute open mic spots on offer. Babushka has excellent sound and backing tracks can be accommodated. You won’t find a friendlier venue.

The event has a nominal theme of ‘we are not amused‘, but as always, performers are encouraged to take the theme and run with it for their 5-minute slots — or ignore it altogether!

Entry is free, though a gold coin donation would be appreciated for this non-profit, community event.

Keep up to date at the Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/wordsoutloud/.