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.

Pia Sweeting


Dreamtime
White to yellow to orange to red, the flames shot into the night. The quietude broken by the crackle, snap,...

Emma Bladen


The Little Lantern
Alia steps into the pantry to fetch oil for the window lamp. There! She turns and … cries out as...

Valerie Everett


Turning point
A key turns. A door slams behind him. And a young man of 21 is released. Desperate to be gone....

Miriam Fisher


The Cat Who Learned to Fly
Leonine eyes glitter a kaleidoscope of jaundiced yellows and browns in the moonlight. They rock back on their muscular haunches...

Lal Perera


From The Train
Back from the beach, a mother and daughter hose sand from their legs. Their wet footprints anointing each step’s edge,...

Michele Purcell


Rogue
Even first thing that morning those snails were on the move. They crept along silently, exploring the glass sides of...

Scott-Patrick Mitchell


Zombie!
- It smells like a thousand butts, Marco murmurs, retching.  - That’s just the seaweed, Cooper replies.  The kelp rots...

Zarah Burgess


No More Paper Planes
Stepping into the bookshop was like stepping into another world; an older world. Really, the bookshop stood as more of...

Fiona Fenten


First impressions
Our wedding was over. The church loomed behind us, offering no escape from what was coming next. COVID restrictions meant...

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