Final Results of the 2019 VU Short Story Prize

The Overland Victoria University Short Story Prize received an impressive selection of short stories this year that, in the words of judge Pip Adams, would make an amazing snapshot of the short story in 2019.

Each year, we look for writing that is challenging, culturally significant and moving. The prize aims to reveal excellent and original fiction by new and emerging writers and has a coveted grand first prize of $6000.  Two outstanding writers will also receive $1000 each, and all three stories will be published in the spring issue of Overland, along with the full judges’ notes.

Our thanks to everyone who submitted this year, especially our shortlisted writers – your stories really impressed our judges.

We must also thank our wonderful judges – Enza Gandolfo, Pip Adams, Michelle Aung Thin and Steven Amsterdam – who have worked hard to select three exceptional pieces from hundreds of diverse entries.

The judges, Overland and Victoria University are thrilled to announce the recipients of the prize for 2019!

First Place ($6000) – Joyce Chew 

Water bodies’

Joyce Chew‘Water bodies’ reflects on the relationship between collective and personal trauma as well as the past and the present, drawing connections between a young woman’s psychological decline in modern-day Sydney and her family history following the fall of Singapore in 1942.

Joyce Chew is a writer and illustrator based in Sydney. She was shortlisted for the Emerging Writer’s Festival’s Monash Prize and graduated from UNSW with a Bachelor of Commerce/Arts with first-class honours in English literature. She enjoys reading and researching about subaltern voices and World Literature.

Runner-up ($1000) – Jack Vening 

Don’t tell me’

Jack VeningA group of former cons join an ill-fated program that tries to scare teenagers with woeful tales of road safety.

Jack Vening is a writer and editor from Canberra whose stories have appeared in The Lifted Brow and many places elsewhere. He is on the editorial team at Crikey and his fiction newsletter, Small Town Grievances, goes out to a few hundred strangers every few weeks.

Runner-up ($1000) – Laura Elvery

‘Fruit flies’ 


Bridie tries to make amends for past wrongs even as she commits more mistakes.

Laura Elvery is the author of Trick of the Light (UQP, 2018) and a recent Queensland Writers Fellowship winner. Laura’s short fiction has been published in Griffith Review, Meanjin, Kill Your Darlings and Overland. Her next collection of stories will be out in 2020.




Image: Eriksson Luo / Unsplash

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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