14th March, 2017


We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2017 Margaret River Short Story Competition.

Laura Elvery has taken out the 1st prize with her story, Joiner Bay. Laura is a writer from Brisbane. Her work has been published in The Big Issue Fiction Edition, Kill Your Darlings, Award-Winning Australian Writing and Griffith Review. In 2016, Laura was shortlisted in the Queensland Literary Awards for an unpublished manuscript by an emerging writer. In selecting Laura’s story as the winning entry, Editor and final judge of the collection Ellen van Neerven said, ‘Joiner Bay is a tender story about running and suicide narrated by a school boy in a coastal community. The themes are explored with the sophistication needed and warm characterisation.’

Second prize was awarded to Melbourne based writer Else Fitzgerald for her story Sheen, ‘a sparkly science fiction story that asks questions about the crossroads of humanity and progress. Ellen van Neerven comments The story is imaginative and well-contained and laced with landscape.’ (Ellen van Neerven) Else’s work has appeared in various places including Visible Ink, Australian Book Review, The Suburban Review, Offset and Award Winning Australian Writing.

The South West winner is Leslie Thiele for her story Harbour Lights. Ellen comments, ‘ this is a story about a young woman who finds the strength to push against the past. The emotion is felt, and the story, including the dialogue, feels realistic.’ Leslie loves reading books and writing stories. Sometimes she gets mixed up and scribbles ideas in the margins. Her short fiction has been commended and shortlisted in various competitions, sometimes they have even won! Leslie studies writing at Bunbury’s ECU campus and has learnt more there about a writers craft than she ever managed by herself.

Congratulations to the winners. The collection will be available in June.

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