This year the theme is - Deep

FIRST:  A Jellyfish Daydream by Adrik Kemp. Adrik received $1000 cash, plus A Mardi Gras Experience, plus one year membership of the NSW Writers Centre

SECOND:  The pontoon in the middle of the lake by Susi Fox.  Susi received $200 cash plus, plus $100 voucher from Bookshop Darlinghurst, plus 3 coaching sessions from Artful Coaching, plus one year membership of the NSW Writers Centre

THIRD:  Movement by Caroline Taylor.  Caroline received $100 cash, plus $150 gift voucher from PopShop on Crown St, plus $30 Movie Voucher, plus one year membership of the NSW Writers Centre

And Highly Commended (in no particular order) who each received $100, donated by community members.

Cafe on the Road to St Peters by Nicky Bryson
Yeah sorry by Graham Wickham
Eleutheria by Tom Albert
The Big Day by Christian Baines

Read more about each of our writers 2015 Outstanding finalist BIOS PICS

The 2015 Judge’s Report

114 stories, our highest number yet, and quite possibly the highest standard as yet. Judges had an extremely difficult task to select just 6 prize winners, and in fact have juggled the prizes to give an extra Highly Commended. The top 7 stories could all have been winners and there were many others so very close to the final list. We could publish a book instantly with a selection of stories from this year’s competition. The theme of DEEP was interpreted in many original and creative ways. Not a surprise that quite a few used a watery theme….plunging, floating, or sinking deeply into it.

The talent of our writers has impressed and touched us yet again. So many personal stories of LGBTIQ lives and experiences that had us either laughing or crying in recognition. Stories of childhood, teen years, growing up and coming out that are so unique to our lives. And where else could one read such great stories about the transgender experience, about polyamory, or lesbian sci fi? The inclusivity and intersectionality of our community also means that writers are choosing most skilfully to use voices other than their own. Oh my, this gave us some surprises when names were announced!

We felt that the winning stories were all highly original, had a sense of humour or drama, and kept us in suspense for what was about to happen. The writing flowed easily, always moving the story along to a fabulous conclusion within the 750 words. And yes they all had the wow factor that stopped us in our tracks.

We have just one suggestion. Proof reading is a vital part of writing. Spell check is not enough. We found many stories that needed more rigorous proofing as your computer had thrown up incorrect words that were of course not picked up by spell check or by you. We suggest that when you think you are finished that you read your story over several times more, slowly and aloud, to pick up these mistakes. Ask a friend to do the same for you. You may also pick up mistakes in punctuation, mixing up tenses, and bits and pieces that don’t make sense.

And we always like to remind you that our judges read the stories with no identification until after the decisions have been made.

We were enormously pleased and excited by the writing. We feel that by participating in the competition our writers are reaching a skill and assurance that is growing every year. Congratulations to the winning writers and to everyone who submitted a story. You are all fabulous.

Gail and Robert

Sept 2015

Photo by Viv McGregor