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.

Isabella Poljakovic


Slipping Through My Fingers
I look down at my rough, calloused hands and see how fast I’m slipping through my fingers. Once these hands...

Rory Lefroy


Rocky Relationship
Said our goodbyes through salt water. Couldn’t say where tears stopped and ocean started. You were called to cross that...

Owen Gust


The Ocean Breathes
They’d drowned early this morning. Caught in a mirage of themselves, I’d guess. A cacophony of water, breaking onto rocks...

Shaun Reynolds


Death Rides the Train
He strolled casually along the platform, another wage slave catching the five o’clock commuter home. Laptop bag over the shoulder...

Deb Fitzpatrick


There will soon be none left
What do burning numbats smell like? Sixty of them, to be precise, roasted in an inferno in the southern Western...

Shaun Reynolds


Death Rides the Train
He strolled casually along the platform, another wage slave catching the five o’clock commuter home. Laptop bag over the shoulder...

Stu Knox


Murder Suicide
She arrives in funeral black. Cocktail dress, lace evening gloves, Gucci clutch and pumps. His place. Suitably swanky if he...

Rhian Healy


Bait
Between the crashing of the waves the world breathes in. My fishing line is invisible in the hard scrabble waves....

Rhonda Zappelli


Roll up!
Turn on the lights! Fling open the doors! Roll out the carpet! Step right up. Step right in. There’s something...

Avery Maye (I use a pen name)


Encapsulation
The trips to find food have extended farther than ever before. The shimmering patterns on the ocean’s floor are pleasant...

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