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.

Donna Mazza

Last week’s hormone infusion took two hours, so I had a half-day off sick. I keep tally on my phone:...

Carolyn Nelson

Unguarded confession
Hand fluttering nervously at her throat, Jean regretted confiding in Sam, Admitting her crush on his workmate, George Had her...

Rachelle Erzay

Greenthumb? Understatement. Grandmother would pull peaches out of pits, bloom tulips in the summer. The day she disappeared inside her...

Kerry Greer

The Bell in the Sand
Acquaintances who knew us – knew you travelled frequently – ask me how long until you’re back. My tongue swells,...

Steve Heron

Sunlight strikes the tails of Black Cockatoos screeching overhead, revealing brilliant scarlet flashes against the darkening sky, like embers rising...

Fionna Cosgrove

Inhalation of Dreams
I breathe in deeply, savoring the familiar scent of decay, burnt parchment and dragon-scales. The light is dim as I...

Tamara Jones

Someone should seriously write a book about it.
“How was work?” “Once again, library school didn’t prepare me for true customer service.” “Want to talk about it?” “Yes!...

Leslie Davies

In the Mists of Memory
We were all born about the same time in the local cottage hospital, all attended the same school together and...

Elizabeth Lydon

Amanda was head chef for the most exclusive restaurant in town. Her restaurant Parallax was the darling of food critics...

Anita Magee

Slipping into the fog of obscurity, overwhelmed by the pace of technology. Simpler times replaced by complexity, social-media the platform...

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