This year’s Sydney Hammond Memorial Short Story Competition was themed ‘If Only’. We were inundated with entries, and thank those writing groups, writing centres and writing magazines that spread the word. It’s thrilling to see the level of writing talent focussing their energy on short stories.
The majority of entrants came from Australia, but we also got some from as far afield as Canada, the United Kingdom and France. Congratulations to the following (in alphabetical order) who are the long-listed winners who will be published in this year’s winners’ anthology:
- A Miss is as Good as a Mile – Peter Buttery
- Another Day – Kathryn Thacker
- Bird Skull Lady – Diane Greenwood
- Child: Goddess: Sister – Claire Hampson
- Coffee Hearts and Clover Leaves – Christopher Bantick
- Courage – Edita Mujkic
- Fate’s Lament – Tristan Hull
- Firebirds – Nicole Rain Sellers
- Five Minutes – Jack Garrety
- Freedom & Hope – Jean Stewart
- Home – Freya Bourke
- Hope Springs – Hayley Myors
- I Was a Cat – Matthew George
- If Only – Rowena Harding-Smith
- If Only – Colleen Russell
- If Only – Diane Clarke
- Inside & Outside – Paul Traynor
- Is It A Wonderful Life – Eric Blair
- La Loca – Dawn Edmonds
- Lest We Forget – Bridget Hertag – Trumpet Player’s Mother
- Little Leaf – David Lin
- Mary the Flasher – Simone Busch
- Mint Tea. Morocco. Me. – Fran Willcox
- My Dad is my Hero – Michaela Hatfield
- Rainy Afternoons & Morning Ice-Cream – Kaitlyn Dilley
- Rocco & Bernadette – Ian Andrews
- Saved – Peter Long
- Seven to Six – James Voyce
- Silence – Ilija Sekulovski
- Stop.Go. – Alida Galati
- The Disc Slides In… Click – Deborah Huff-Horwood
- The End of an Era – Maddison Greer
- The Equation – Nicole Kelly
- The Examination – Agi Dobson
- The Harmonica – Pinchas Birnbaum
- The Sleepover – Taya Reid
- Timeless End – Brendan Murphy
- True Colours – Gillian Brown
- Water is my Favourite Drink – Fun Lam
- Winners – Helen Booth
- Witless Wings – Francesco Moramarco
To those disappointed entrants who didn’t make the long-list, judges have a message – don’t be disheartened. We received no ‘bad’ entries, and everyone who entered this year’s competition showed a level of writing talent and should continue to pursue their writing. Next week we will announce the Top 10 Short List. Then, along with the winner’s announcement in two weeks’ time, we’ll publish a feature article that will include comments from the judges on what made the above 41 stories stand out above the field.
You may notice that our list is 41 instead of 40. This year we had a primary school principal encourage his students to enter our competition so we decided to also publish the Winning Under 18 entry. Interestingly, that entrant, though only 10 years of age, actually made it into the Top 40 when judged in the open category. Judges were unaware of entrants’ names and ages when deciding the Open Category Long-List. Fortunately for one lucky entrant, that meant we had one more space to fill. We won’t give away who was originally voted number 41, but gee it was good to include them. It’s always heartbreaking to look at the 41st rated entrant and to know here at Hawkeye just how close they came to being published and being unable to tell them. This year, we don’t have to!
Congratulations to this year’s long-list. Your stories are delightful and your writing vivid. We can’t wait to share your stories with everyone in the upcoming anthology.
Finally a massive thank you to our wonderful judges L. E. Daniels, Daniel Brown, Michelle Murray-Cox, Lynette Hammond, and Carolyn Martinez.
Next year’s Sydney Hammond Memorial Short Story Competition is themed ‘Courage’. Entries will close in August 2021, and the website will be updated soon with the entry form and guidelines.
All entrants long-listed in the Sydney Hammond Memorial Short Story Competition receive a free copy of the anthology – this not insignificant expense is made possible because our wonderful judges volunteer their time.
Remember, if you’ve got a manuscript you’ve been sitting on, the current Hawkeye Publishing Manuscript Development Prize closes on 31st December 2020.