Competition entries

Gillian O’Shaughnessy awarded first place in the Love to Read Local Flash Fiction Competition

After a rigorous blind judging process, Writing WA, Night Parrot Press, and Raine Square are thrilled to announce the winners and finalists of the Love to Read Local Flash Fiction Competition.

Gillian O’Shaughnessy has been awarded first place for her story The view from apartment 95 on the Wednesday Afternoon, inspired by the cover of Where the Line Breaks by Michael Burrows.

Ros Thomas has been awarded second place for her story Certified Male, and Alison Davis has been awarded third place for her story Frozen.

A huge congratulations to all our finalists and shortlisted entries. The judges were blown away by the quality and creativity of this year’s submissions.

All ten shortlisted entries will be published on the Raine Square Short Edition Short Story Dispenser from next week. The shortlist includes stories by Paul J. Laverty, Shannon Brie, Elaine Hanlon, Mikhael Koshi, Alison Davis, Rosalind Thomas, Shannon Meyerkort, Gillian O’Shaughnessy, Andrew Kelly, and Rebecca M. Newman.

You can read all 140 entries for free here on the Love to Read Local Week website.

Judges commentary

First place: The view from apartment 95 on the Wednesday afternoon by Gillian O’Shaughnessy

The view from apartment 95 on the Wednesday afternoon skilfully draws on the ominous tone of the book cover for Michael Burrows’ Where the Line Breaks to create an equally haunting, but original story. The mood of this flash story matches the cover image so superbly, you would think the cover had been specifically designed for it. We were captivated by the imagery, language, and succinct phrasing. And we love the tension that arises from the contrast of a seemingly ordinary, innocuous title and the horror of the unspoken event. A sign of quality flash, this piece had us returning to it, over and over, theorising to fill in the chilling gaps.

Second place: Certified Male by Rosalind Thomas

We chose Certified Male for its originality, ingenuity, and for its great title. This piece gives us a touch of the surreal; the idea of a half-man, half-bike seems perfectly plausible because of the expertly executed humour. With its strong setting and character, we feel as though we know Spider and the townsfolk and by the end we want to join in tucking in our right trouser leg into our socks. Seemingly simple, while honouring the overlooked, this is an engaging and skilfully executed flash story that, at exactly one-hundred words, has not a word out of place.

Third place: Frozen by Alison Davis

The tone is spot on for this quirky story of love for a pet that has gone a bit too far. There’s a touch of the absurd, a surreal quality, but we accept with humour that the husband acts with practicality when he discovers his wife has joined the pet cat, her preferred companion, in an eternal deep freeze. But there’s also a charm and warmth to this piece that lifts it beyond a funny story to something that is gentle and vulnerable, and that keeps it lingering.

Gillian O'Shaughnessy

The view from apartment 95 on the Wednesday afternoon
The birds are the first sign, though she doesn’t know it yet. She sees them rise like a toss of...

Rosalind Thomas

Certified Male
Spider Seaton had spent his life astride his pushbike - postman and mail criss-crossing the streets that fanned out from...

Alison Davis

When Hannah’s cat died, she stored his body in the chest freezer. Just until she could make funeral arrangements. Wedged...

Rebecca M Newman

Kids Sarah doesn’t even know mutter, Poet, sneering, as they pass her on the stairs. She’s stopped pointing out she...

Elaine Hanlon

Smart Oven for Lonely People
Daisy is freaking out. Still no perfect her. Dozens of failures pile up in the corner. The Smart Oven had...

Paul J. Laverty

True West
Seargent Brewster surveyed the carnage. The tow truck had jackknifed, taking out two utes, a Harley, then knocking over the...

Shannon Brie

Last Night
It is my second bookstore today. My gaze lingers over the new releases, but I force myself to keep moving....

Mikhael Koshi

A Family Man
His children play outside; their soft, fragile voices elicit a smile across his lips. As a parent, there is no...

Andrew Kelly

Mix Tape Memories
“You belooong…” The voice quickly turned to garbled nonsense as the car’s tape deck chewed through the magnetic strip. His...

Shannon Meyerkort

Telling the Bees
The bees attended my father’s funeral, settling on the low branches of a Moreton Bay Fig. Their hum was a...

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