Monday, May 28, 2018

Shortlisted stories from the HNSA 2017 Short Story Competition

In addition to the first and second prize winners, there were four shortlisted entries in the HNSA 2017 Short Story Competition. Here (in no particular order), we feature two of them:

"Again" by Belinda Lyons-Lee

Belinda Lyons-Lee is an emerging MG, YA and adult author of fiction inspired by nineteenth century history. She is also partial to adding magic, steam and time travel if the occasion calls for it. Belinda started volunteer work with marginalised young people on the streets when she was seventeen. Since then she’s become an English teacher who enjoys matching children with the right book and then talking about it endlessly when they've finished. She’s been doing this in various secondary schools for over fifteen years. She has a Masters of Writing and Literature (majoring in Children's Literature) from Deakin University and is dabbling in an online course on Bibliotherapy. 

While Belinda has written a number of manuscripts, she has had various short stories published over the years in a variety of forms. Her article titled, ‘What is success as a writer?’ was published in the 2017 August/September edition of The Victorian Writer magazine. She has recently been offered a place in the ACT Manuscript Development Program, Hardcopy, taking place in Canberra during 2018. Travels and connections in the UK and Australia continue to be formative in Belinda’s writing and the history, landscape, architecture and ancient stories of these countries provide ample inspiration. Here is how her shortlisted story, 'Again', begins...

She stood in the octagonal room where she could see, as if in the middle of a spider's web, through the doorways and windows of each of the six rooms to the outside beyond. First at one window, then the next, there he was again, pressing his cupped hand above his eyes to peer in. She stood with each hand on the youngest two children's chests, their backs against her thighs and pressed down hard, willing them to be still. Desperate for them to be quiet. Read more...


"The Letter" by Chris Childs

Chris has a passion for recreating nineteenth century Australian stories that have long disappeared from our memories. Her writing is influenced by academic studies in psychology and history and fuelled by a fascination with mystery and crime. She likes to blend fact and fiction to bring her characters and events to life. Chris has had a number of short stories published in on-line journals and anthologies. She won first prize in the 2015 Henry Lawson Literature Awards and 2017 Words of Wyndham local short story winner. Chris is also an enthusiastic reviewer of Australian historical fiction for Historical Novels Review. Here is how her shortlisted story, "The Letter", begins...

I try not to retch at the sickening stench of boiled cabbage. The queue is moving slowly but no one complains. Nightmares of starvation, and worse, still visit us in our sleeping hours, even though many years have passed since then. Food at Broadmeadows migrant camp is bland and stodgy; generally a combination of overcooked mutton, lumpy mashed potatoes and my old enemy boiled cabbage, but it is enough to keep us alive. Read more...


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