September 2020

Congratulations To Our 2020 Winner and Finalists!

The time has come to finally announce the Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award winner – Michalia Arathimos for her short story collection, Apologia

Our prize judge Justin Wolfers described Arathimos’ collection as ‘an accomplished work of nuanced storytelling which varied and always searching and striking narratives. Really beautiful.’

Author Christos Tsiolkas declares Apologia, ‘a treasure’ and says Arathimos has ‘a born writer’s talent for creating captivating stories and lives.’

Two finalist were also announced: Katerina Cosgrove and her novella Zorba The Buddha described by Lee Kofman as ‘urgent and riveting’ and Brooke Dunnell for her short story collection Female(s and) Dogs which Wayne Marshall says ‘light a firecracker beneath the sleepy veneer of suburbia’.

Arathimos receives $3000 in prize money, and Cosgrove and Dunnell both receive $1000 each.


And our 2021 judge is…

The 2021 judge is author Roanna Gonsalves whose book, The Permanent Resident (UWAP) won the NSW Premier’s Literary Award Multicultural Prize 2018. Roanna is a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Endeavour Award and was a literary consultant on the Citizen Writers project which promotes cultural diversity.

‘I’m very excited to be judging the 2021 Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award,’ says Roanna Gonsalves. ‘And I look forward to reading new and diverse voices through this national award’.

Launched in 2017, the Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award is an annual competition that showcases new works of short fiction up to 30,000 words in length from Australian writers.

You can purchase the previous winning and shortlisted eBooks on our website.


Meet the Finalists

Apologia by Michalia Arathimos

Michalia is a Greek writer who has published work in The Lifted Brow, Westerly, Overland, Landfall and elsewhere. Michalia is Overland’s fiction reviewer. Her novel Aukati was published by Makaro Press. Michalia is the Writer in Residence at Randell Cottage and will hold the Grimshaw Sargeson Fellowship in 2012.

Purchase here.


Female(s and) Dogs by Brooke Dunnell

Brook is a Perth writer whose short fiction has been published in Best Australian Stories, Meanjin, Westerly, and other journals and anthologies. Her work has been recognised in a range of competitions including the Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize 2017 and the Bridport Short Story Prize 2019.

Purchase here.


Zorba the Buddha by Katerina Cosgrove

Katerina is the author of two novels, The Glass Heart (Harper Collins) and Bone Ask Sky (Hardie Grant), as well as prize-winning short stories. Bone Ash Sky was a finalist for the Writing Australia Unpublished Manuscript Award. Her works have been translated into multiple languages and made into a podcast. Katrina has been the recipient of Australia Council grants and residencies in Australia and overseas. She has Co-Judging the Mark and Evette Moran Nib Award for Literature from 2014 and the Australia remade poetry competition in 2019.

Purchase here.


Slinkies Book Trailer

With our Slinkies finalist being announced in August we are excited to share with you our new Slinkies book trailer! Find out what inspired some of our authors' writing and get a little sneak peak of the worlds you'll be diving into.

To watch the full book trailer, click here.

Purchase the Slinkies Shorts 2020 here.


Calling All LGBTQI+ Writers!

Do you have an amazing story idea floating around in your head? Is there something you want the world to read? Are you always looking for the opportunity to sit down and write it out, but lacking in motivation?

If you answered yes to any of the above, then think about submitting to Spineless Wonders for this call out!

Spineless Wonders is looking for LGBTQI+ writers who have a story to tell. We’re after stories that mean something to you. That means no theme is too dissonant, and no genres is too outrageous.

Write about a moment you’ll never forget, or something that you can’t wait to experience. Write about the things you love and the things that don’t make sense. Write about freedom and misery, or victories and injustices. Whatever being LGBTQI+ means to you, we want to hear it.

●      Deadline: 1 November 2020

●      Length: 2,000 words or less

●      All styles and genres are accepted including graphic artworks


Submit here.


Win a Copy of the 2020 Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award Winner Apologia

To win a copy of 2020 Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award winner Apologia, tell us in 25 words or less – How does writing make you feel powerful?

Email your answer to

Full terms and conditions


'Quote' Unquote

Alex and I loved the summers. The days seemed endless and our fathers stayed home. Though not related, we were a family. Our fathers were boyhood friends.

They’d lived off the lunar coast, just as their fathers had done, and we would do. They’d taught us to fish, to read the seas and the stars. We were fourth generation fishermen, or soon would be. The lunar coast was in our blood.


From 'The Lunar Coast' in All Hands by Megan McGrath, 2019 CBdlA

You can purchase All Hands here.


Get To Know the Authors Behind This Year's CDblA

Reading an author’s work of art is always inspiring, but have you ever wanted to know what inspired them? Or what it took to create an award-winning piece? Look no further! We sat down (COVID-safe style) with our three 2020 Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award winners to ask them about their masterpieces. Here’s what they had to say:

Brooke Dunnell – Female(s and) Dogs

Brooke Dunnell discusses the importance of female representation in her short story collection and the diversity of her ‘good’ and ‘bad’ characters.

'As a writer and reader I’m always interested in characters who are complex in their traits and motivations. While these stories were all themed around the treatment and experiences of women and girls, I didn’t want the female characters in the stories to be universally ‘good’ or always victims of their circumstances.'


For the full interview, Click here.

Katerina Cosgrove - Zorba the Buddha

Katerina Cosgrove talks about the writing challenges of fictionalising real people and events of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his followers.

'I think that immersing myself in their personal stories, struggles and triumphs and letting their disparate world views seep into mine was an important part of the writing process.'


For the full interview, click here.

Michalia Arathimos - Apologia

Michalia Arathimos speaks about writing historical tragedies with a twist of humour on it, while balancing the tone of the two without over dominating each other. 

'The truth is that trauma exists, displacement exists, and famine and war and migration exist, but also things in general are sometimes pretty funny.

Just because someone has a history of intergenerational trauma, doesn’t mean they are not inadvertently hilarious. And just because we might have experienced tough times in our lives, doesn’t mean we are not self-aggrandising twits.'


For the full interview, click here.


Dates for Your Diary

Catch Little Fictions on Air (LFOA) every fortnight where all good podcasts are found. LFOA also airs live every Monday fortnight on 2RPH radio at 3pm.

7 Oct 8pm - Audio Bookclub on Facebook: Moreton Bay Figs by Slinkies author Harry Goddard narrated by Mark Dessiax. Join the watchparty for an author Q&A.

 29-31 Oct -  Microflix Festival online. Check it out here.

1 Nov - LGBTQI+ callout deadline. Find out more here.


This month’s Sluglines was prepared by Sabrina Healy.