by Carolyn Martinez, Director, Hawkeye Publishing
We received 203 entries in the Sydney Hammond Memorial Short Story Competition 2021.
Thank you to our generous industry judges:
- Lauren Daniels, Director of Brisbane Writers Workshop and co-author of the bestselling writing guide: Winning Short Story Competitions: The essential guide for the serious writer,
- Peta Carolan, creator of filmscript adaptations, and Bookstagrammer @unfoldededges with over 5,500 loyal followers, and
- Darci Robbins, a talented final year student in the Bachelor of Creative Industries majoring in creative writing and publishing at University of Sunshine Coast.
Judges expressed enthusiasm about the writerly ability on display.
“Early on as I read the entries, I noticed poignant social messaging throughout them,” judge Lauren Daniels said. “The experience of COVID and the innumerable ways it has affected our community has encouraged these writers to deliver. The results hold deep emotional undercurrents and thoughtful expressions of courage. The stories spanned themes of sacrifice, suicide prevention, pandemics past, LGBTIQ+ experiences, domestic and sexual violence, homelessness, human trafficking, and even embraced our front line medical workers. Every writer who entered is congratulated. It was a tough call paring down to our long and short lists from over 200 entries and I hope to see your work again in the future.”
The Sydney Hammond Memorial Short Story Competition has been an open category competition since its inception, and we have experienced an increasing number of junior entrants. All entrants are initially judged in the open category so that juniors writing at open category level are afforded the opportunity to compete in the senior bracket. However, so as not to disadvantage the youngest writers, we in addition, announce the winning junior entrants from those who do not longlist in the open category.
Overall Feedback to Entrants:
For those writers who haven’t made the longlist, do not be discouraged. I’m aware of the challenging task that judges had, in particular, of distilling the Top 70 down to the Top 40. Our competition is blind judged, so it was not until today in putting together this news article, that I attached entrants’ names to the finalists’ stories. Quite a few names in the entry register are known to me and we had notable and very talented writers, even published authors, whose submitted short stories do not appear on this longlist. This is most assuredly a testament to the incredible anthology we’ll all get to enjoy shortly. We here at Hawkeye hold close to our hearts the encouragement that such writers and authors submitted to our competition.
Over the years, myself and other judges consistently express that everyone who enters the Sydney Hammond Memorial Short Story Competition is a good to great writer and should be encouraged to continue their literary pursuits. Thank you to all who entered this year – it’s your skill and the choices you afford judges that ensure this a narrative-rich and evocative competition and we hope to see you again in the future. I look back over the years of our competition and see the general cultural vibe of those particular times brought alive within the pages of our anthologies.
When I speak to writers and readers at conferences I find myself often saying that judging competitions like this is an interesting study in what results in one short story achieving greater resonance with readers over other very well written shorts. 2021 delivered this in spades.
In no particular order, congratulations to these very deserving writers whose short stories have been judged the BEST 47 to go on the Sydney Hammond Memorial Short Story Competition Longlists for 2021:
OPEN CATEGORY LONGLIST (40) IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER:
- Wildlife by N. M. Taylor, Victoria, Australia
- Accept, Deal, Repeat by Helen Booth, Victoria, Australia
- When the Grass was White by M. S. Bhatia, South Australia
- The Giant Killer by Andrea Campbell, Victoria, Australia
- Dirty Bastard by Pamela Baker, Victoria, Australia
- Time Machine by Dienece Darling, Victoria, Australia
- Black and Blue by Riley Walter, South Australia
- Deadly Alliance by Jo Skinner, Queensland, Australia
- Cardamom Coffee by Andrey Panevin, Tasmania, Australia
- Cratered by T. L. Ransome, United States
- Five to Ten by Paul Blanksby, New South Wales, Australia
- A Room in Time by Lilian Grace, Queensland, Australia
- Becoming by Maddison Greer, Victoria, Australia
- Hedwig Eva by Kathryne Aye, United States
- Betrayal by Gillian Brown, France
- The Visitor by Georgina Horsburgh, New South Wales, Australia
- Transatlanicism by Elaine Mead, Tasmania, Australia
- Greenthing by Deborah Huff-Horwood, ACT, Australia
- Character Actor by Ben F. Blitzer, Western Australia
- Brown Beret Man by Lyndal Weightman, Daglish, Western Australia
- Gold Rush by Zachary Pryor, Victoria, Australia
- The Unfurling of Frances Simmons by Jackie Morris, Great Britain
- A Lesson in Life by Helen Manias, Queensland, Australia
- A Courageous Boy by Mira Nguyen, New South Wales, Australia (junior entrant)
- The Gully by Rebecca Douglas, South Australia
- Background Noise by Ross van Brink, Victoria, Australia
- 6th of September 2018 by Mulay Sangeeta, Great Britain
- Lest We Forget by Aimee Sargent, Western Australia
- Another World by Yannis Ho, New South Wales (junior entrant)
- Dumpster Zone by Jane Turner Goldsmith, South Australia
- The Treehouse by Sarah Marchant, Western Australia
- Brad and Janet by Karen Lethlean, New South Wales, Australia
- Faithy’s Shillelagh by Kathleen Hastings, Queensland, Australia
- Fitting In by Cynthia Bolton, Queensland, Australia
- Courageous Carl by Rosalie Enstrom, Queensland, Australia
- Courage by Rosalie Enstrom, Queensland, Australia
- 21 Days by Georgios Goris, Victoria, Australia
- Ailish and the Phoneline by Bridget Hertaeg, Victoria, Australia
- Cover Talk by Maggie Veness, Tasmania, Australia
- A Primordial Struggle by Daniel Yuen, New South Wales, Australia
JUNIOR CATEGORY LONGLIST (7) IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER (JUNIORS REMEMBER TO CHECK FIRST IF YOU’RE IN THE OPEN LONGLIST ABOVE):
- The Dragon Egg by Owen Huang, 11-years-old, New South Wales, Australia
- One Boy, One Planet by Sol Zivkovic-Kennedy, 11-years-old, South Australia
- Bravery is Not Blind by Artemis Langlois-Euripides, 14-years-old, Western Australia
- The Last Teacher in Fairfield by Charlotte He, 9-years-old, New South Wales, Australia
- Curing Kanser by Olivia Pryor, 12-years-old, New South Wales, Australia
- The Storm We All Go Through by Georgia Fenwick, New South Wales, Australia
- Mouse Holes by Devika Warrier, 10-years-old, New South Wales, Australia
The Open and Junior Category Shortlists will be published this Friday 15th October 2021. Good luck to you all.
All 47 winners listed above will appear in the 2021 Anthology; the cover design of which will be based on the overall winner’s story. Everyone published receives one free copy of the book thanks to the sponsorship of Hawkeye Publishing.
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