Here are our 2020 Winners.  Read the Judges Report 2020.  The winning stories will shortly be  available as an ebook on Amazon for Kindle  – Reconnection

Jewel Swe.  First Place for “Bittersweet Honey”

Jewel receives $1000

Jewel is a second-year university student studying Creative Writing at Curtin University. She spends most of her time inside her own head, thinking up stories without actually writing them down. She alternates between writing gloomy queer fiction and gloomy family fiction, but at times dabbles in genre fiction.


Max Hayward.  Second place for “The Return”

Max receives $250 plus a double pass to a Mardi Gras Queer Thinking session

Max Hayward is a Melburnian film lover, podcast fanatic, freelance writer, and events coordinator (things are pretty slow at the moment). He writes about movies for Lindsay Magazine and his essay about The Sims and loneliness appeared in Bent Street‘s recent issue. You can find more of his writing at: illdoittoday.squarespace.com


Adrik Kemp.  Third place for “Neon Lovers”

Adrik receives $150

Adrik Kemp’s short stories have been published all over the world, in places such as Aurealis MagazineOUTStanding & Transmundane Press. He has two erotic vampire novellas with Pride Publishing, but don’t hold that against him.

Adrik Kemp is a bent Australian writer with a vested interest in LGBTIQ+ culture. He is proud to be an active part of the community. He also writes genre short stories, usually with an LGBTIQ+ perspective. He identifies as gay but doesn’t mind being called queer, and happily lives in Sydney with his husband, Carl De Villa.


Elisa Hall.  Highly Commended for  “Alternate Universe”

Elisa receives $100

I’ve been writing short stories for a few years now. I trained as a painter, and there are similarities. I see it as making pictures with words instead of paint. There is the story, or the image, and then there is the technique, or how it is crafted. With both I’m really wanting to evoke an emotional response and find a way to express things in a specific way.

I live in the country and teach painting to adults. I get great pleasure and contentment from being in nature every day. I share my life with my 11-year-old son, a cat and 2 whippets.


Erin Riley.  Highly Commended for “Josie and the three cheese lasagna”

Erin receives $100

Erin Riley is a 36 y/o non-binary social worker who lives in Sydney. They have worked in aged care for most of the last decade but now work as a palliative care social worker in the (in)justice system at Long Bay Prison. Erin enjoys reading, making breakfast, routines that rarely change, riding their spin bike in the garage and endless cups of tea. Erin’s read 27 books in 2020 and has appreciated the time away from full time work to continue working on becoming a better writer.


Sam Andrews.  Highly Commended for “Walking Together”

Sam receives $100

Sam is a naturalised Sydneysider who spends his spare time berating himself for not writing; 2020 has been a bumper year for some writing and much berating. He lives with his partner, Sandy, and their totally normal number of stuffed toy animals.



Stephanie Falk.  The Madeline Shaw Youth Prize for “Rockpool”

Stephanie receives $200

Stephanie is a Visual Arts High School Teacher living in Sydney with her beloved dog and 3 cats.
She is an advocate for LGBT+ awareness and acceptance in Education and aims to be involved in community-based LGBT+ projects in the near future. She has recently been inspired by the world of queer literature, leading to a renewed interest in creative writing.


Jenny Nguyen.  Youth Runner Up for “Home”

Jenny receives $100

Jenny Nguyen works in the social services sector. She believes in the power of storytelling in community development. Jenny hopes her writing continues to be something in which people can see a part of themselves.