Final results of the 2017 VU Short Story Prize

Overland, Victoria University and this year’s four judges – Frank Moorhouse, Enza Gandalfo, Ian See and Rachael McGuirk – are very pleased to announce the winners of the Victoria University Short Story Prize for New and Emerging Writers.


First place – Amanda Niehaus

‘Breeding season’

Amanda NiehausAfter a miscarriage, a young scientist deals with her grief through isolating fieldwork and a devastating experiment on pregnant marsupial mice.

Amanda Niehaus weaves her experiences as a scientist into her writing because she wants to unsettle readers’ assumptions about human bodies, behaviours, and societies. Her work has been published in Creative Nonfiction, AGNI, Literary Mama, and Noon Annual, and her novel-in-progress, The Breeding Season, is based on this story.


Runner-up – Allan Drew

‘Wharekaho Beach, 1944’

Allan DrewStan Keep, a Coromandel farm manager, rows his dinghy out to a US Destroyer anchored in Mercury Bay during World War II, where his encounter with the captain and crew reminds him why he is alive. 

Allan Drew recently completed his PhD in creative writing at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He writes mostly fiction, but also poems and nonfiction. His work has been published in journals and anthologies in NZ, the UK and the US. Allan teaches creative writing and science writing at Massey University.


Runner-up – Judyth Emanuel

‘Girlish roadkill’

Judyth Emanuel picGlimpses of Pixie, Dimple, Stan and the unknown man entangled within a story of desperation, betrayal, voyeurism, pranks, aging, banality, hypocrisy, desire, lewdness, crudeness, narcissism, manslaughter, sex, death and above all The Search For Love!

Judyth Emanuel has short stories published in Overland, Electric Literature, Literary Orphans, Verity Lane, Intrinsick, Fanzine, Quail Bell, STORGY, One Page and Joiner Bay Stories. She is also forthcoming in Jellyfish Review and Thrice Magazine, was a finalist in the Raven Short Story Contest, was a semi-finalist in Conium Review Flash Fiction and shortlisted for the Margaret River Short Story Prize.


All three stories, along with the judges’ notes, will feature in Overland 228, out in late September.

Thanks to our hard-working judges and all our entrants. The Overland Victoria University Short Story Prize will open again in 2018.

(Kindly note: all stages of this competition are judged blind.)

Editorial team

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