Judges’ report

Judges: Emily Bitto, Michelle Law and Melissa Manning

We were impressed by the breadth of voices and stories submitted; the body of entries took us around the world before landing us in our own backyard. In runner-up ‘Silver gates’, the authenticity of voice and the portrayal of the simple, domestic aspects of grief was striking. ‘Silver linings’, the other runner-up, gorgeously depicted the quiet tragedy of a disintegrating family against the backdrop of a wild Australia, revealing the power of childhood memory and family disappointments.

In ‘Sweeping’, the winning story, we were drawn into and then deftly ejected from a fully formed world. An evocative, lyrical story, ‘Sweeping’ is a beautifully written commentary on the gravity of loss and notions of masculinity. Again and again, it’s the final line that’s a kick in the guts.



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