Final results of the 2018 VU Short Story Prize

From a pool of 863 entries, a longlist of 30 impressive stories, and a very strong shortlist of thirteen, this year’s judges – Michelle Cahill, Sarah Schmidt, Tom Clark and Jennifer Mills – have decided on the final results of the 2018 VU Short Story Prize.

The judges, Overland and Victoria University are thrilled to now announce the writers who have placed in this year’s competition.

First place ($6000) – Katerina Gibson

‘How to disappear into yourself (in 8 steps)’

Katerina Gibson PhotoA step-by-step guide on how finding your sense of self can be all-consuming.

Katerina Gibson is studying her honours in creative writing at the University of Melbourne. She is from Brisbane, but lives in Footscray. @katerinagibson


Runner-up ($1000) – AS

‘Nothing in the night’

A man nears the end of his life.

AS lives in Sydney. Her stories and essays have appeared in print and online in publications such as Overland, Meanjin, Antipodes and Award-Winning Australian Stories. A is represented by the Jane Novak Literary Agency.



Runner-up ($1000) – Erik Garkain

‘Dear Ophelia’

GarkainIt’s hard performing Ophelia’s autopsy with her secrets splayed open for the forensic world to see; it’s even harder when you share those same secrets.

Erik Garkain is a queer transgender writer, forensic mortuary technician, 4×4 explorer, and body modification aficionado from South Australia. He has just finished his Advanced Diploma of Professional Writing and is dedicated to weaving stories around marginalised individuals and social outcasts. He’s promised to write happy endings sometimes.



The judges write that:

‘Nothing in the night’ is a very strong stylistic execution of a story idea, while ‘Dear Ophelia’ lands a truly breathtaking idea. The winner, ‘How to disappear into yourself (in 8 steps)’, does both – and the hundreds of other good stories we received attest to what an effort that is.

All three stories, along with the complete judges’ notes, will feature in Overland 232, out in late September.

Thanks to our tireless judges – and to all those writers who worked hard to submit to the 2018 competition.

Note that the Overland Victoria University Short Story Prize will open again in 2019.

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

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