VU Short Story Prize for New and Emerging Writers

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2017 Judges: author Frank Moorhouse, UQP editor Ian See and Overland’s Rachael McGuirk.

The prize

This annual competition encourages excellent and original short fiction by new writers of up to 3000 words in length. At a grand first prize of $6000, it is a coveted annual fiction award for new writers in Australia. There are also two runner-up prizes of $1000. All three winners will be published in the spring issue of Overland.

For the purposes of this competition, ‘new or emerging’ describes a writer who has published no more than one book with commercial distribution. (That is, writers who have no books, or who have published one book are eligible; writers with two books or more are ineligible. If you are the author of several chapbooks or books with small print runs, you can contact us to confirm eligibility: overland@vu.edu.au.)


Competition closes 11.59 pm, Wednesday 14 June 2017. Please read the entry guidelines to confirm eligibility.

You may also be interested to read the 2016 judges’ report and the winning stories. Or the 2015 judges’ report and the winning stories.

The judges

During his writing career Frank Moorhouse has won major national prizes for the short story, the novel, and his essay writing, including a Walkley for ‘The Writer in a Time of Terror’. He is best known for his Edith trilogy, Grand Days, Dark Palace, and Cold Light, novels which have as their background the rise of international diplomacy and follow the career of an Australian woman in the League of Nations in the 1920s and 1930s through to the International Atomic Energy Agency in the 1970s. His book Australia under Surveillance examines the impact on freedom of expression and civil liberties arising from the changes to national security legislation in recent years.

Ian See is an editor at the University of Queensland Press. He has worked in trade publishing since 2009, having previously been an editor at Scribe Publications. He is a graduate of RMIT’s Professional Writing and Editing program and a former intern at MeanjinOverland and Sleepers Publishing.

Rachael McGuirk is Overland’s publicity officer. She spent a year working in media in Papua New Guinea, and did the same at the 2013 and 2014 Ubud Writers & Readers Festival. She is also a writer of fiction and nonfiction, and has read her work at a variety of literary events.


Enter the Overland Victoria University Prize for New and Emerging Writers as a:

new subscriber – $56

(Includes $12 entry fee and $44 subscription)
Writers can subscribe to Overland for one year (four issues) at a discounted rate, and enter the competition at the special subscriber rate. Take out a new subscription and enter the Overland VU Short Story Prize.


current subscriber – $12

Current Overland subscribers enter the competition at the special subscriber rate of $12. Current subscribers enter the competition here.


non-subscriber – $20

Entry to the competition for non-subscribers is $20. Non-subscribers enter the competition here.


Victoria University student or staff member – free

For students of Victoria University (in Melbourne, Australia), entry to the competition is free. Victoria University students and staff members can enter the competition here.