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We are pleased to reveal the beautiful covers of the 2021 Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award winners, designed by Bettina Kaiser.

Writer and Digital Humanities specialist, David Wright won first prize for A Condensed History of the Australian Camel.

Our prize judge Roanna Gonsalves described Wright’s entry as an ‘exceptional work,’ which is ‘in part an ode to camels and in part a ludic interrogation of the archive’. In her judge’s report she said it is ‘a work of extraordinary imagination, a masterful display of the possibilities of language, that speaks to our contemporary human concerns in a unique and delightful way’.

The two runners up were also announced: Dominique Hecq for her collection Smacked which Gonsalves described as ‘a moving collection of stories about addiction told with heart-stopping narrative control and emotional resonance’ and Rashida Murphy for The Bonesetter’s Fee And Other Stories which she described as ‘a luminous, skillfully-crafted collection about little lives narrated in a distinctively compelling voice’.

Highly Recommended in this year’s award were collections by Emma Ashmere, Odette Des Forges and Su-May (Amy) Tan.

You can pre-order these titles now, to be released on Saturday, 1 January – just in time to be your first reads of the year.
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Join us for Spineless Wonders' free online book party of Lake Malibu and other stories by Amy (Su-May) Tan.

Experience a taste of Malaysia from your own home and join us on 8th December from 8 – 9 pm for the celebration of Lake Malibu and other stories by Amy (Su-May) Tan.

There will be discussions, readings, trivia and (of course) a Malibu rum cocktail-making class. This will be a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the collection – described by author Laurie Steed as a ‘haunting meditation on the people and places we call home’ – and its talented author, Amy Tan.

As a first-generation migrant to Australia, Amy’s interconnected stories are inspired by the houses, people and flavours of her home – Malaysia. Common themes of escapism, migration and a ‘search for greener pastures’ tie the collection together.

Plus, we're doing a giveaway!

You can score a free copy of Lake Malibu. All you have to do is tell us your favourite Malaysian dish! Email your answer to bronwyn@shortaustralianstories.com.au by January 1.
A huge congratulations to Katerina Cosgrove for her novella Zorba the Buddha winning the fiction category of the Woollahra Digital Literary Award! You can own this fascinating read as part of our limited edition Spineless Wonders Smalls.

Judge's comments: ‘Zorba the Buddha’ by Katerina Cosgrove is an imagined history of the spectacular destruction of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh’s spiritual movement—known popularly as the “Orange People”—as he and his followers flee controversy and mayhem at their failed ashram in Oregon in the United States and attempt, unsuccessfully, to set up a new utopian community on Crete, while in hiding from the CIA and FBI. Just as Cosgrove explores the interaction between the Rajneeshis and an unyielding state apparatus, she also delves into the intimately-realised and fictionalised relationships of the guru and his acolytes. Never succumbing to simple explanations or judgements, this extraordinary novella animates and illuminates an era of spiritual searching that inspired hope and venality in equal measure.

Last chance: order Spineless Wonders Smalls for your summer reading

Short Stories 10 year anniversary edition
The limited edition Spineless Wonders Smalls collection celebrates 10 years of Spineless Wonders publishing. These pocket-sized reads will make an attractive addition to any bookshelf, and they're perfect for on-the-go reading!

From Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award winners spanning poetry, short fiction and microfiction to a short story collection of Australian queer fiction, there's something in the set for every type of lit lover.

‘All Hands sits in the tradition of Tim Winton’s Western Australian stories of masculinity and the ocean, except here it is Queensland, and written by a woman.’ Moya Costello
‘Apologia is a treasure.’ Christos Tsiolkas
‘Maree Dawes (author of brb: be right back) is a new and refreshing voice in Australian poetry.' Barbara Temperton
'(Queer as Fiction is) a powerful, important and inspiring collection.’ Monique Schafter, ABC Queer
Smiths' Annual (3)
We are pleased to announce the shortlisted submissions in the 2022 joanne burns Microlit Award. Congratulations to the authors. The finalists and shortlisted submissions will be published in the microlit anthology, Travel, due for release in March, 2022.

Keep your eyes peeled – winners will be announced in early 2022!
Slinkies Deadline 2022
Do you battle with Millennial Fatigue? Symptoms include a generalised sense of impending doom about our planet whilst at the same time tuning it out entirely to focus on what really matters… why does this person’s Instagram feed horrify me to my very core, yet I keep going back to see what the hell they’ve done now? It’s okay, you might just be Under 30!

And congratulations, that qualifies you to use your creative energy to enter our writing competition.

Slinkies is looking for your writing:
  • under 10,000 words
  • of absolutely any genre or style
to publish and promote in our annual anthology of carefully hand-selected submissions.

Dates for your diary:

  • 8 December - Lake Malibu and other stories online event
  • 1 January - Release day for the winners of the Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award
  • 1 February - Slinkies deadline
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