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.

Jenny Lynch


Playing With Fire
An icy breeze blowing ashore from the wind-kissed ocean sends chills down my spine as I huddle closer to the...

Josh Radwell


Not Your Invisible Boy
And for the first time I am seen, after years of quiet and lonely nights spent under the covers with...

Joyce Iles


It’s No Picnic
The family drove along the remote outback track, marvelling at the passing scenery. They were looking forward to a break...

Tim Stalker


Decimation
Before any light penetrates my blinds, I am assaulted by the screeching of a familiar flock of cockatoos decimating my...

Angela Italiano


Apples
Small fingers graze the pink lady’s as a few begin to fall. Please forgive our eagerness, our mess. These brief...

Aiden White-Kiely


Humans Are Trees
No really; think about it. Our oxogen is strung through leaves, presented to us as if we were gods. The...

Lisa Anne Rodrigues


‘The madwoman’s coat’
She doesn’t look mad, but that’s what it says on the plaque in size 10 Arial font. Her face is...

Glenyse Robins-Ward


Sky
Far in the distance it looks so blue and clear, as it became closer as we walked along the beach...

Michelle Campbell


Helpless
Even with my eyes closed the harsh lights scratch at my retinas. I gaze across at her inert body that...

Esther Krogdahl


Unwanted Memories
Hroc! The sound draws me to the open back door. The heavenly scent of my wife's prized roses greets me...

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