The 2023 Not Quite Write Prize for Flash Fiction challenged writers to create an original piece of fiction of no more than 600 words, which:
- included the word RITE.
- included the action “crossing a line.”
- broke the writing rule “avoid all adverbs.”
The competition drew 678 entries from 51 countries around the world. That’s 406,800 words for our judges, Ed and Amanda, to read. For reference, that’s about the same number of words as Don Quixote!
For more fascinating statistics about the competition, and to get behind-the-scenes details of the judging process, check out the ‘Not Quite Write Prize Longlist Announcement’ bonus episode of the podcast at the link below.
To hear the winning and shortlisted entries read aloud by Ed and Amanda, check out the ‘Not Quite Write Prize Winner and Shortlist Announcement’ bonus episode of the podcast at the link below.
THE INTERROGATION by Remy Joll
“Did you really do that?” she asks.
Neither denying it nor fessing up seems like a good option. “Possibly,” I say.
She frowns. “Did you know what you were doing?”
I honestly don’t know the answer. “Vaguely.”
“Did you think it through?”
There was no thinking on my part. There was the smell of cookies escaping the oven and the rain pounding so hard on the windows that it blocked off the rest of the world. And then there was us both laughing at the dough that had gotten in her hair, and me, trying to get it out, leaning in close and discovering that her hair had a smell of its own. “Regrettably, no,” I say.
She raises her chin, signaling that the toughest questions are yet to come. “Are you aware that there’s a line?”
I suppose I’ve been dimly aware of the line, but it’s only now that it’s shown itself. It has, in fact, taken control of the universe. “Keenly aware,” I say.
I don’t know how she knew it was a kiss. My lips barely touched her hair. My face must have lingered. She pulled away with an alarming look, then turned and commanded me to follow. I complied and marched to the sitting room, where she directed me to the sofa. She pulled her chair up close, as if I were a flight risk.
She continues. “Do you know where the line is? Can you see it clearly?”
Her eyes are intense. I drop my gaze to her legs, just inches from mine. She wears a skirt that reaches just above her knees. It’s blue, the skirt, and a thin strip of orange runs along the hem, showing off both the blue and the tone of her skin. “Stunningly clearly,” I say.
She absently runs her fingers back and forth along the bottom of her skirt, pulling it taut across her knees. “And you know it’s a line that perhaps, in theory, is crossable, but that once traversed, might be impossible to cross back over?”
I haven’t given this a moment of thought until now, of course, but I’m catching up quickly. “Miserably aware, yes.”
What does she usually wear? Jeans and t-shirts? Overalls? I have no idea. But I know exactly how the blue skirt clings to her hips, and how it falls against her calves when she’s standing, and how, when she sits, it slides up and the hem traces a bright orange line across her knees.
She says, “You’ve always been a true friend, right?”
This is not the sort of thing we usually ask each other, but I give it a go. I think through our history and the answer comes easily. “Unfailingly,” I say.
She takes a deep breath. “To me,” she says, “among all the wonderful things in the world, some of which I have and some of which I only dream, a true friend is among the dearest, and this dear thing is to be put at risk only for something more beautiful still.” She pauses, then says, “Do you see it like that?”
I want to say, “assuredly, yes,” but I think she’s had enough of my trite responses. I pull my eyes away from her legs and look at her eyes. I just nod.
Her face has softened. She seems to be out of questions, other than the big silent one—the one posed by the tears filling her eyes. This question turns out to be the easiest. I put my hands on her knees and lean across the orange line. Way across.
Our winner has crafted a multidimensional scene that invokes all the senses: the taste and smell of freshly baked cookies, the sound of rain on a window, the feeling of hair on the lips, and the tantalising sight of a thin orange hem on a blue skirt, which serves as a literal counterpart to the figurative ‘line’ that is the centrepiece of this story.
But it’s really the story itself, with its powerful emotional core, that makes this a winner. It captures a real human moment, by bringing the characters to life and building tension towards a conclusion you genuinely care about. You can’t help but get caught up in it.
Well done, and congratulations!
This story was a standout for me from my very first read, and I didn’t stop thinking about it throughout the judging process. The author addressed both the “crossing the line” prompt and the “avoid all adverbs” anti-prompt with flair. The choice to embed multiple adverbs in dialogue was a clever one, and it really fed the charm of the piece.
Still, what ultimately sold me was the story itself. I found myself becoming very invested in these characters and the outcome of this conversation. I was flooded with relief when our protagonist finally made their move. I must confess, I do love a happy ending (happy beginning?)
This story showcases the author’s technical ability through an artful handling of the prompts. It offers a prime example of all the elements of plot, character and theme working together in harmony.
Huge congratulations to our winner!
I CARRIED YOU by Gwendaline Higgins, Australia
You don’t know what it means, but I carried you.
In the hopeful days and nights, the looking-forward weeks, the in-between time that stretched to over yonder, and stretched and stretched, until you.
I carried you, those sleepless nights, with the perfect weld of your too-new body outside against mine, through the fog-stunned times—the wistful times of sing-song whispers and that new knot longingly under my ribs, filling to breathlessness the place where I made you.
Oh, how I carried you.
I carried you, the heedless days. Out of trees and friends’ houses, up and out from tangles of bushes, bedclothes and fears, hauling the precarious roar and crash of your emotions, your sleepy abandon over expanses of country, bustling streets and dim-lit evenings. If you knew, the way the weight of you turned heavier in my arms, firmer on my hip and livelier on my shoulders, impatient on my lap.
I witnessed you. I caught the moments, the seconds that fleetingly mattered and that you could not see, catching them like the things that slid oblivious from your hands. I held the memories that would not hold and I carried them too, I carried the mounting cargo of the memories of you as you walked and ran and wondered.
As you walked and ran and wondered ahead.
You carried me.
You carried me to the resting place, went along with the absurd rites.
You keep on carrying me, a sometimes-there weight in the stride of your legs, in your eyes that see the world and imagine much more, in your heart that I made. Until the looking-forward weeks have ended like a cliff, and you tumble into what it meant.
You know it now, don’t you?
In the all-encompassing weld of the too-new body against yours, in the sudden narrowing of the world, in the heftier shadow of me in your world that goes on—the wondrous wisdom of how much you were loved.
I have been waiting for you to know it.
How longingly and forever-and-ever-after, how beyond-the-words it is that you were loved.
Oh, how, how I loved you.
They carry you to the resting place. They carry you carrying me, through those oh-so-absurd rites. How weightless I am these days.
How tempting is the earth—the wondrous, wistful abandon of it. The earth upon which I, once, carried you. How tempting is the crossing of the line.
On the other side, will it be forgotten, how much I loved you?
This story really captures the anxiety and awe of parental love, the knowledge that it will never quite be reciprocated, and the enduring hope that your child may one day come to understand you through their own children.
It tells the story of our lives from a perspective I hadn’t encountered before, and with language that is beautiful and evocative. It was an early frontrunner for me. I found it incredibly moving.
This author bravely ignored our advice to avoid poetry, delivering what might be described as a prose poem. This piece is full of beautiful metaphors that perfectly capture the beauty and pain of parenthood. I lost my dad while pregnant with my second child, so the emotional resonance for me was particularly strong.
I think a more subtle handling of the “crossing the line” and “rite” prompts would have elevated this piece, however I’m delighted to be proven wrong about the place of poetry in flash fiction competitions!
BACHMEIER BRIDGE, SUMMER ’08 by Em Arata-Berkel, USA
Jumping off Bachmeier Bridge began with my grandparents, back when failing farms meant there was little else to do but take risks. Dad called it a family rite of passage, so the day after we rolled into his ancestral village, he took my brother Michael and me for a hike along county roads. By the time we reached the old suspension bridge, all three of us were sweatslick. That was supposed to motivate us, but standing up there in last year’s swimsuit, my toes gripped the edge. My knees knocked.
Instead of the creek below, I studied broccoli treetops and counted my breaths the way Mom taught me. Dad said I’d be fine so long as I aimed right. I was supposed to fling myself toward the rocky bluff. Supposedly, the water next to it was deepest. The golden shallow end where the local girls applied sunscreen to each other’s shoulders, that was dangerous. I could kill myself on that underwater shelf. Michael told me it’d crack my head like an egg. Dad said not to look at it, because looking at it could make me aim wrong.
The local girls were watching. They pointed toward the bluff, where Dad treaded water after his swan dive. They were all blonde and freckled. They looked like they could’ve been my cousins or maybe big sisters. I wanted to ask if they’d jump with all of us holding hands, but Dad hollered for me to hurry.
“Don’t think about it,” he said, and I screamed when Michael shoved me.
He hooked me with the same arm then laughed as he jerked me back over the edge. My butt hit the bridge’s wood. Girlish giggling bubbled up from below. My eyes stung.
“Remember what Dad said,” Michael chided. He offered his hand.
I blinked fast and muttered something about dust before taking it.
We’d ventured into the Ozarks to take a break from tears. Dad had pitched the road trip as spending summer vacation with family, but Michael told me we were just schmoozing for a place to stay. Everything we owned sat in the van parked outside Great Aunt Kathy’s hunting lodge. That evening, we were supposed to meet her for dinner, bring our own Bachmeier Bridge stories, and let her weave them into the family mythology.
Michael pulled me to my feet, and while I crept toward the bridge’s edge, he hung off the suspension wires. Leaning out over the water, he had his eyes on the bikini-clad sunbathers.
“I’m going to show Kat how it’s done.”
Dad gave the okay, and Michael took a running start.
After he flung himself to gravity’s whim, I couldn’t see his face, but when I think back on it, I imagine he understood the stupid thing he’d done. I imagine his smile dropped and his features cycled through all the same feelings Dad’s did when we got the call about Mom. At the end of it, I imagine there wasn’t a single crease left on my brother’s face.
That’s how it was for Dad, and like Dad, my brother didn’t scream.
Michael landed feet first with a wet crack. He hit the shelf, just a foot shy of safe, and once he’d collapsed, his legs floated at ragdoll angles. He bled beautifully. A muddy red boundary smeared between glinting shallows and the pond scum-colored water we were aiming for.
Sometimes I wonder if that made my jump easier, but like Dad said, I didn’t actually think much about it. I saw my brother the way Mom appeared in nightmares, and I jumped after him.
I loved the way this hinted at a much larger story but left the details to the reader’s imagination. Failing farms, cracked eggs, stinging eyes: these are the details that build tension. The evocative language produces a disturbing undertone and a palpable sense of dread.
We never find out exactly what happened to the mother, but we do see how profoundly her death haunts her family. The ending is tragic, and I was left wondering whether this was simply a case of accidental misjudgement, or whether there was a hint of some darker intentionality in Michael’s jump. I love the ambiguity.
I wasn’t sure how I felt about this story on my first read; one thing I did know was that it had me hooked. This author offers us a masterclass in the artful development of backstory and tension.
It was perhaps the author’s decision to leave much of the story lurking beneath the surface that kept me from connecting more deeply with the characters. Nevertheless, the story itself is a memorable one and continues to deliver with each read.
MODERN HUMAN by Charles Byrne, USA
Listen, bro, I told you, I’m on all them apps – Hinge, Tinder, Bumbly, Bagel Dates. Shit, I even gots my OKCupid from the day! So many chatbots on that one I finna get me some honestly goodness genuine robot dates soon, lmfao. Like they do in Japan. For real, I saw them shits on BBC, they gots androidships there.
My point is what’s a Harvard-educated lady in Manhattan with the cupid mouth of Clara Bow doing swiping right on me in the first place? It’s GOTTA be some kind of fracking joke, amirite?
And you know I loves me some Harvard, prestige-wise. She don’t even have to graduate, she could pull a Zuckerburger, I don’t give three shits.
We could do up our little Paterson, NJ, house like two Blue Mountain knick-knacker motherfuckers. Shit, she could bring the bacon home from Manahatta and fry it up in a pan and I’d be the artist.
I know what you saying right now: you’d still be on them apps! Fuck yeah, bro! Cause she’d leave my ass in a heartbite! Even after I handymanned the house, painted the deck, installed those little metal hooks in her closet, and walked around all shirtless swoll like Terry Motherfucking Crew with all them little veins everywhere, with a toolbelt on. You know why? Because she sees me as a friend, bro!
I know this because text tells me so. Right now – this ain’t some snapdat shit, text is forever, bro. And I’m tryna cipher that shit like it’s the lawyer’s paradox? ‘Sees me’? ‘As’? What does that literally mean? And what friend vibration did I emanate? Like instead of chumzoning me, she coulda said I dry her up like the Atacama, shit would at least be honest? Or she didn’t feel the ‘sparkler’. Or she is just downright lacking in the feeling of respect department for me as a human being. Or I deserve metwoing. Like that shit would be messed up, but I’d understand it, you feel me?
My masculinity was compromised like a motherfucker, broheem. And by unseen forces.
We had went on three dates. I’m not an animal, you know that, my roll’s slow, so I dry-pecked her cheek like a pigeon on the first date. Then on the second date right as her bus was pulling up I took her arm all gentle-like and asked her milady… and we had the sweetest, warmest kiss, broheem. It was like eating warm flapjacks straight off the griddle at Nana’s, you know the feeling?
But then that third date. I heaved some vulnerable shit, like how I cried at that Sade concert, or how I like giving oral coitionals better than receiving it. Goddamn Hennessey. Funny, she liked saying vulnerable shit when it was her turn, all giggly, but when it was my turn, her face did this thing, it was like her eyes zoomed in a microsecond while the rest of her face zoomed back a microsecond.
Bro, it was like those job interviews where you are supposed to say how bad you are at shit, but it better not be something actually bad, or some song and jiggy we heard before, you piece of actual shit?
You see what happened next. A facefull of hair, then a mouth like a drawed-up drawbridge. Then the text a full day after my text.
Bro, tell me. Tell me how to be a modern huMan. Shit ain’t working out for me. I’m an anachronism. Or catachronism.
You heard me!
I don’t want an incelship.
Don’t let them incel me, broheem!
This kind of writing is deceptively difficult to pull off. Here, the author has created an entirely recognisable and compelling character from voice alone. And despite the surface-level lingo, our Modern Human is a surprisingly complex dude. He watches silent movies and the BBC. He affects an exterior of aloofness, but it’s the juxtaposition between his masculinity and his sensitivity, romantic tendencies and consuming desire for domestic life that gives his character dimension, and indeed reflects something of what it is to be a man in the modern world.
Epic display of voice, amirite?
This is one of those stories that shone so bright in one area (in this case voice), that I was able to overlook any potential shortcomings in other areas (like plot). While I would have loved more of a plot to latch onto, I still found myself completely invested in this unique huMan’s plight.
I felt the author did an excellent job of capturing a young male perspective of the post MeToo zeitgeist. It’s clear the character’s bravado masks deep fear and disappointment and I couldn’t help but be swept up in his heaved-up “vulnerable shit”.
TRULY, MADLY, DEEPLY by Kathy Prokhovnik, Australia
If there is a fly in this rose-scented salve of a relationship, it is Harry. A small dog that, even after six months of acquaintance, bares his teeth at me when I pat him. I suppose he has some doggy seventh sense, or he just doesn’t like sycophants. In my flat, but not at Samuel’s place, Harry likes to sleep on the sofa and shit on the floor when left behind. Samuel says, ‘Who’s a naughty Harry boy then,’ and rubs his woolly head.
It’s a special sofa. I changed a lot of things in the flat when Philip died. I moved my bed into the small bedroom with a tree outside the window. I had the threadbare carpet replaced. I bought a new, very expensive sofa in a deep burnt orange, a lovely colour that Philip would have hated. When I bought it, it was an act of rigid, pointless rebellion, staring down Philip’s ghost and raging against his carelessness in getting sick, and dying. Now it’s the sofa where Samuel first put his hand on my knee, and moved it up my leg, and my back melted into the cushions.
The day that Samuel and I go shopping together we leave Harry in the flat with a special pig’s ear treat that is meant to keep him happy. We catch the bus to the shops and I find myself in the men’s section on the eighth floor. It’s some years since I’ve been in this foreign land. A sales assistant breezes across, pointing out corduroy trousers and merino wool scarves. Samuel laughs and says he’s a moleskins and blue shirt person himself, takes one of the scarves and drapes it around my neck. ‘Ahh,’ he says. ‘That is, wow.’ He kisses my forehead.
I sit on a padded seat looking out a seventh-floor window, waiting for Samuel to emerge from the change room. Adele’s earnest tones loop around us, pouring out of the ceiling or the walls, slightly too loud, slightly too distorted to move you. Poor Adele.
Who is this calm person, patient and smiling, looking out a window, enjoying casual chat, feeling for Adele? Where has that tight-lipped, fidgetty woman gone? Her splintered heart has been smoothed.
It occurs to me that this is some sort of rite of passage. I text my friend Caro, ‘In Relationship Challenge #52: buying clothes together.’
Laden with ribbon-handled shopping bags we catch the bus back to my flat, struck dumb by shopping torpor, heading for Relationship Challenge #53.
I elbow the door open and step in Harry’s shit. Also, look, there is a tear in the sofa, ragged little teeth marks around its edges. Shreds of deep burnt orange dangle from Harry’s unrepentant mouth.
Is there any easy, undetectable way to dispose of Harry? He has crossed an indisputable line now.
I’m trapped, not wanting to move my shoe and make another blob of shit. Samuel, stuck in the doorway, unable to see my dilemma, pushes me forward a little. My foot slides on the boards, I lose balance and fall. Even as I fall I wonder whether Samuel will go to his dog, or to me.
He drops his bags and picks me up, holds me tight and croons ‘You’re ok. You’re ok’ then releases one hand to stroke my head. I lean into him and close my eyes. I hear Harry’s nails tap tap over and a wet little tongue licks my hand.
To my mind, that’s Relationship Challenges #53-110 hurdled in one.
This author has mastered the art of ‘showing, not telling.’ Rather than relying on description and exposition, Kathy brings her characters and their desires to life by manifesting them in the real world. For example, the ‘Relationship Challenges’ (which reveal so much about character) are not presented merely as a thought in the protagonist’s head, but as a text message sent to a friend.
Each detail – the dog, the shopping trip, the song that is playing in the background – is selected with intention and purpose and weaved together in a way that develops both character and plot, whilst keeping the story dynamic and grounded in the present. We learn all we need to know about Samuel from the way he describes himself, and how he treats his dog. Even something as mundane as a sofa becomes the keystone of the story: at first an act of rebellion, then a romantic venue, and finally a catalyst for jealousy and reconciliation.
This story offers us another great example of how writing and plot can work together to deliver a compelling piece of flash fiction.
In my view, this particular story’s strength lies in the careful selection of small details, such as the distorted Adele music, and the burnt orange sofa.
Although this piece went with the more direct approach to the “crossing the line” and “rite” prompts, it nevertheless delivered a strong hook, an impactful and engaging plot, and a very satisfying conclusion. It was a delight to read.
UNTITLED #2 by Greg Schmidt, Australia
Amanda sat anxiously on the toilet surveying the cubicle walls. A large piece of graffiti, jaggedly scratched in the back of the door stared down at her, demanding to be read.
PERFORM THE RITE
DROP YE BREEKS
AND TAKE A SHITE
Charming, she thought. She tore a square of toilet paper from the roll and folded it idly in her hands as she attended to her business.
Not one to venture into public toilets, particularly for the longer form of the task, Amanda was keen to be away from this place. She preferred the sanctity of her own facilities.
Her friends teased her when she spoke of her reluctance to use public toilets.
“The world won’t turn to shit,” they mocked. “What’s the worst that could happen?”
Exposure to the bountiful bacteria-rich surfaces for starters, primarily the ungodly one upon which she now perched.
Today though, the need outweighed all else so here she sat, atop a stinking shopping mall public toilet, urging herself to finish quickly.
When the transaction was complete, she stood, pulled up her breeks — to use the local parlance — and flushed.
The pipes clanked and churned loudly. Above, the fluorescent lights faintly flickered.
Amanda opened the cubicle door ready to wash her hands and wash this experience from her mind, only to be greeted by a man leaning against the sink. If his appearance in the ladies toilets wasn’t shocking enough, he was dressed in a kilt, luxuriant in red and green tartan.
“Did ye perform the rite, lassy?” he said fervently in a thick Scottish accent.
“What?” stammered Amanda, keeping her distance. “Who are you? This is the ladies room.”
“This place be cursed, should the rite be complete.”
“Rite? What are you talking about? Get out of here or I’ll call security.”
Amanda moved towards the door but the man quickly blocked her way. The words of her friends echoed in her mind. Frontrunner now for the worst thing that could happen in a public toilet was being assaulted by some Scottish weirdo.
“Look mister,” she said, finding venom in her voice, “I don’t know who you think you—”
“Jus’ answer me lass,” he said, ignoring her. “Did yer skin touch that unholy seal and did ye leave something behind?”
“I beg your pardon!”
“Did ye put yer bum on that seat and…” he said, motioning towards the cubicle.
“Well, yes, that’s generally how these things work,” she said absentmindedly, shocked at being asked such a question.
“But it’s no business of yours,” she continued, regathering her composure.
“Ah lass,” he said forlornly. “In completing the rite ye broke the seal and crossed a line betwixt worlds.”
“What!” scoffed Amanda.
“The world ye ken is gone.”
“Right,” she said, having had enough of this. “Quite the pleasure listening to your ramblings, now out of my way.”
“Ye dinna wanna go oot there, lass.”
Amanda pushed past the man, purposefully striding through the door, back out into the mall. The scene before her so overwhelmed her senses that it took a moment to register.
Every surface, every object within sight, was smeared in a sludgy, brown, moist muck. The floor, like a syrupy bog, sucked at her feet and she sank as she tried to steady her balance. Above hung dark slimy stalactites from which dripped small brown blobs, landing on the floor with squelchy splashes.
A putrid smell penetrated her nose, invading her insides, as she breathed in.
“It’s all…” gasped Amanda, struggling to find words, to find air. “Aye lass,” said the man emerging behind her, “’tis all shite.”
Comedy can be risky, because you’re never sure if your personal tastes will translate to a wider audience. But this one is hilarious!
I loved the author’s dedication to the sheer absurdity of the premise. The idea of a public toilet that is inhabited by a supernatural Scotsman certainly cannot be accused of being cliché. And the final, memorable line really sticks the landing.
This story delivered both shits AND giggles. I’m not exaggerating when I say that laughing at this story caused me physical pain, and I’m here for it!
I can’t be sure if the author intentionally set out to name their character after me (with my surname featured prominently too), but it certainly helped me to connect to the story, and no doubt made it all the funnier.
Comedy is bloody hard to do well, particularly in a competition against more “elegant” pieces, but this author did it very well. Thanks for the laughs!
The following list represents the top 9% of entries, in no particular order.
- PITCH (IMP)ERFECT by John Ho, Malaysia
- SHARE THE LOVE by Tash Bonynge, Australia
- THE ICON by Matthew Malcolm, Australia
- PEOPLE RAIN AND STREET JAZZ by Glenn Holmes, UK
- FAREWELL TO THEE, PRECIOUS BALLS by Galen Gower, USA
- MINNIE, THE EXTREMELY STRONG RUNNER by Kay Rae Chomic, USA
- HOW TO ESTABLISH CORDIAL RELATIONS WITH YOUR CEPHALOPOD NEIGHBOUR by Mairead Robinson, UK
- BABYSITTING FOR YOUR OLDER SISTER RIGHT AFTER YOUR BOYFRIEND BREAKS UP WITH YOU by Sheila M., Kenya
- FAST TIMES IN FAST CARS by Deanna Duxbury, Canada
- THE STRATHKELLAR LIGHTS by Susan Mclaughlin, Australia
- LONGING FOR HOME by Jo Skinner, Australia
- CAKE DUDE… by Liv Hibbitt, Australia
- PUNK ROCK MIRAGE by Punk Rock Nanny, Canada
- REST by Tatum, USA
- WILD HUNT HOMECOMING by E. M. Nikolaev, USA
- JUST DESSERTS by Chris Cottom, UK
- SATURDAY UMBRELLA by George Mackenzie, UK
- PURSUED, TRIVIALLY by Ruth Lord, Australia
- BRITENEE’S BAD DAY by Greg Eccleston, Australia
- UNFORTUNATELY, FORTUNATELY by Sally Simon, USA
- TRAIN STATION by Miah Sandvik, USA
- A DANDELION PUFF by Sara Chansarkar
- DOUG VS THE IMMORTAL SNAIL by Freya King, Australia
- THE WAY OF DINOSAURS by Em Allen, USA
- SLOWLY by Iris Joo, Australia
- ALWAYS, OFTEN, SOMETIMES, RARELY, NEVER by Olive Alvis, France
- HAT FACTORY BLUES by Dominic Kenny, Australia
- A PARTICULAR AFTERNOON by R. C. Barajas, USA
- HANGMAN by Edgar Lavoie, Canada
- THE CODA by Elizabeth Schild, Australia
- GUESS WHO? by Lisa Harper Campbell, Australia
- STRIKE ACTION by Michael Burrows, Australia
- SOUTHERN BAPTISM by Kathryn Healy, USA
- WHAT FRANNY DID by Isabelle Berns
- LOVE IS BLIND by Christy Roth, Australia
- WOMAN, NON-ENGLISH SPEAKING BACKGROUND by Iris Joo, Australia
- SENSORY by Drew Reynolds, USA
- LET’S SING GHAZALS AT NIGHT by Abhishek Sengupta, India
- THEY SAID THAT WE by Shuen Chan, Australia
- FIFTY FIFTY by Frances Greenleaf, UK
- LIMERENCE by JM Hooijer, Australia
- PARADISE LOST by Jayne Rice, UK
- WINNING SCIENTIFICALLY by Pam Makin, Australia
- WORTH THE SOUL by Kjanela Fawcett, USA
- UNDER THE HAMMER by Bob Topping, Australia
- TRICKSTER by Taylor O’Connell, Australia
- TRAFFICKING WISH-CRAFT by M. Lea Gray, Canada
- THE PRIVILEGE by Chandler Ahart, USA
- THE ROBOT by Emma Harrowing, UK
- FRED AND I by Alex Frank, Australia
- SHALLOW BREATHING by Christina Wilson, Australia
- THE LAST BITE by Gabi Taylor
- PERFECTLY. WELL, ADEQUATELY. by Terence Gallagher, USA
- BEER INN by Annie Louisa, Australia
Congratulations to our longlisted authors and many thanks to ALL entrants for sharing your creative talents with us.
We hope you stay tuned to the podcast and write on!