Miniature* Very Short Story Competition 2023 was held as part of the Sydney WorldPride festival. The theme for the competition was “Amplified”. With over 100 entries, and a high standard of writing, judging was tough, but ultimately, we found a winning story that was both touching and beautiful, no small feat in just 50 words. We also awarded five Highly Commended prizes (presented here in no particular order).
Please see the photos and biographies of our winners this year.
First Prize Winner …Roxane Llanque
Roxane is a young writer and filmmaker of Bolivian heritage. She holds a BA in North and Latin American Studies from Free University Berlin and studied musicology at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Currently, she is part of the Filmarche Collective in Berlin. She has worked in translation, journalism, and film, publishing on environmental and LBGT related issues. Her short film Aberration has been featured and won awards at the Madrid Human Rights Film Festival, the Toronto Alternative Film Festival, and the Los Angeles Awareness Festival
Read her story The Tell Tale Present:
When my roommate came home – gorgeous with joy, her medical exam conquered – I had my present ready: her first stethoscope. She laughed, immediately trying it on me. And when my amplified and treacherous heartbeat reached her ears, she smiled wondrously. “Deirdre… do you…?” I answered with a kiss.
Highly Commended…Scott-Patrick Mitchell
Scott-Patrick Mitchell is a WA based non-binary poet who writes about addiction, recovery and queer identity in the archives. Follow them @spmpoet on Instagram.
Read their award winning story Wings:
Mardi Gras. Oxford Street. Crowd so loud, like a thunderstorm made from flesh. Jake grins. He’s wearing white hotpants and angel wings, scars out for the world to see. In front of the bookstore, his parents, their pride amplified by a sign. WE LOVE OUR TRANS SON. Jake’s wings flutter.
Highly Commended… Joseph Andary
Joseph is based in Melbourne but is regularly seen getting on a plane. This is his first writing competition entry and was inspired by the challenge to try something new. He’s passionate about sustainability and music and is currently learning Arabic.
Read his great story Disregarded Love:
I clutched his hand in the hospital bed. The quiet beeps amplified in my mind, counting down the time remaining. His family let me say goodbye, but they still want to pretend. Even now, in this heightened reality, I don’t exist to them. I’m not ready for goodbye.
Highly Commended…Tanner Strickland
Tanner is an avid reader, scuba diver, and now venturing into writing, and he has been lucky enough to call Sydney home since 2019.
Read his prize winning story Voice:
Tennessee Senate Bill 3: It’s an offense to put on my wig, do my makeup, and step on stage. I fly from Nashville to LA to Sydney. I ask the city of rainbows, “Do I still have a voice?” Sydney roars in reply, “We will make them hear you.”
Highly Commended… Richard Calver
Richard Calver is a retired lawyer who spends his time playing tennis, bushwalking, writing about wine for the Canberra City News and undertaking other writing project
Read his wonderful story Trains:
I love the rhythm of trains. Just in time, just in time, just in time, the wheels say. I received a call on the train. My wife told me she was leaving me for her best friend Joan. I looked at Fred opposite. Just in time, I thought.
Highly Commended … Jonathan Llewellyn
Jono works in the performing arts in regional NSW. He lives on a farm with his husband, highland cows, chickens and puppy.
Read his excellent story Check One Two:
“Check, one, two, three”
Nothing. Doug scanned the sound-desk.
Still nothing. Doug scrambled, Jay stared, repeating the spiel.
“One, two, three. Will you marry me?”
The system sprung to life and the words of Jay’s undisclosed crush amplified around the stadium.
“Ummm…”. Doug paused smiling at Jay.