East Gippsland Shire Council
2015 Hal Porter Short Story Competition

Winner of 22nd national East Gippsland Shire Council Hal Porter Short Story Competition 2015 announced

The winner of the $1000 prize for the 22nd national East Gippsland Shire Council Hal Porter Short Story competition is Melbourne writer Amanda Wilson for her short story titled Mr and Mrs Hopper, Room Eighteen.

Amanda Wilson is a daytime librarian and an evening wordsmith. She likes reading old erotic fiction and wandering her Spotswood neighbourhood at dawn, when the industrial rail yards look like sleepy river towns. She has a Literature degree, studies Professional Writing and blogs her essays and prose pieces at sailorlily.blogspot.com. This is her first writing award.

The judges chose the winning story for the professionalism of its prose.

They were captivated by lines such as “They both have marriages that trot along as neat and sedate as a row of nuns to matins.” And “To be loved by her sharpens every colour he sees, every texture and taste.” And also “Tom’s wife is not cruel. She is good at the job of being a wife and doesn’t lean on the sandwiches to cut their neat triangles.” After lively discussion the three judges declared this story the winner.

The anonymous entries were read by one judge and shortlisted to 12 stories.

Next the other two judges shortlisted to their top three. Discussion then took place.

    The shortlist from 207 entries:
  • Mr and Mrs Hopper, Room Eighteen by Amanda Wilson (VIC)
  • Ankhesenamun by Corinne MacKenzie (VIC)
  • A man digs a grave by Jacqueline Winn (NSW)
  • Harbinger by Stevi-Lee Alver (NSW)

These writers receive book prizes donated by the University of Queensland Press. The judges congratulate and encourage the winner and shortlisted writers.

"The winning story is the tale of an extra marital affair, brought to a new plane by the lyricism of its language and the credibility of the couple’s dilemma," said Mr Millard.

When contacted, Ms Wilson said she was studying a writing course and the story had been workshopped in a class. Mr Millard said a writing course can give students valuable instructions in how to turn an idea into a good story. "There are so many great stories out there," he said, "and it is never easy for the judges to decide on a winner. The good thing is that the three judges were able to find common ground within the diverse stories and select the winner."

Judge Sue Fordham said, “This year’s shortlist was the best collection of short stories in my time as a judge,” while Jill Ellis commented on the winning story, “I like the way this sweet/sour tale unfolds at a distance and yet up close in the narrator’s view.”

"The East Gippsland Shire Council Hal Porter Short Story Competition, about to enter its twenty-third year, would not be a success without the continued sponsorship of the following businesses: Four’n Twenty, Porters Electrical and East Gippsland Newspapers,” Mr Millard said.

"Supporters such as the East Gippsland Art Gallery that auspiced the competition and the University of Queensland Press must also be thanked."

 

      


2009-14 Hal Porter Short Story Competitions


East Gippsland Shire Council
2014 Hal Porter Short Story Competition

And the winner is…

Kerrin O’Sullivan

for her story Post-Partum. Kerrin is a Melbourne-based writer with a love of words and faraway places. She finds inspiration in, and is more than slightly in awe of, the intricacies of language – its nuance and mystery. Her published writings include short fiction and creative non-fiction and have appeared in various journals and anthologies including Southerly, Kill Your Darlings, the Victorian Writer, Write Now and Aesthetica (U.K). Her freelance travel features have appeared in The Weekend Australian, The Age and M Travel.

 

Short listed stories...

The anonymous entries were read by one judge and shortlisted to 10 stories. Next the other two judges shortlisted to their top three. Discussion then took place. The shortlist in random order from 163 entries:

  • Post-Partum by Kerrin O’Sullivan (Vic)
  • Things that grow by Melanie Cheng (Vic)
  • Clock-Wise by Maree Gallop (NSW)

These writers receive book prizes donated by the University of Queensland Press. The judges congratulate and encourage the winner and shortlisted writers.

Peter Millard – Competition organiser

 

'The Hal' enters its 21st year

This year The Hal (as it has come to be known) enters its twenty-first year.

September 29, 2014 also marks the thirtieth anniversary of Hal Porter's death. To celebrate his literary life, the East Gippsland Art Gallery has launched the East Gippsland Shire Council Hal Porter Short Story Competition.

This year the national prize is $1000. In addition there will be book prizes for short listed stories.

Hal Porter was born in Melbourne in 1911, attending school in Kensington and Bairnsdale where he grew up. He worked as a reporter at The Bairnsdale Advertiser before moving to Melbourne where he worked as a school-teacher for 17 years, as well as in South Australia and Tasmania. Later on he took up the position of librarian back in Bairnsdale. During his life he also studied art and worked as a theatre producer. He died after being hit by a car in Ballarat in 1984.

Hal Porter came to full time writing when he was 50, and the majority of his writing was done in the latter part of his life. His talent was first appreciated with the publication of The Watcher on the Cast Iron Balcony, part of his autobiographical trilogy. He wrote various collections of short stories as well as a number that were published in magazines, mostly in Sydney and Melbourne.

Contemporary writers, resident in Australia, are invited to enter a short story in the competition, written in any style, to be eligible for the national prize.

The competition has been sponsored by the East Gippsland Shire Council (major sponsor) as well as Pattie’s Foods; Collins Booksellers (Bairnsdale); East Gippsland Newspapers and Porters Electrical. It is also supported by the East Gippsland Art Gallery and the University of Queensland Press.


The Hill of Content Bookshop

2013 Hal Porter Short Story Competition

Claire Aman from NSW for her story "Love me tender".

Claire says she has always been a daydreamer and always liked reading. She hasn’t studied creative writing. She wrote a novel once. It wasn’t published but it taught her how to write. She loves writing short stories. She likes sifting through the lazy subconscious, pushing preoccupations around and coming up with things she didn’t know she knew. Claire has had stories published in Best Australian Stories, New Australian Stories, Escape, Heat, Island, Southerly, Griffith Review and Australian Book Review. She lives in Grafton, NSW, an inspiring town. Her writing life has been nurtured by Varuna – The Writers’ House, and through an Australian Society of Authors mentorship.



Short listed stories...

The anonymous entries were read by one judge and shortlisted to 12 stories. Next the other two judges shortlisted to their top four. Discussion then took place. The shortlist in random order from 213 entries:

  • Dynamic tension by Michael Sala, NSW
  • Harmonic byTom Williams, NSW
  • Somebody that I used to know by Margaret Betts, Vic

These winners receive book prizes donated by the University of Queensland Press. The judges congratulate and encourage all entrants, especially the winner and shortlisted writers.

The Hal Porter Short Story Competition is sponsored by:

  • The Hill of Content Bookshop – Major Sponsor
  • Collins Booksellers (Bairnsdale)
  • Porters Electrical
  • East Gippsland Newspapers
  • Patties Foods

 

and supported by:

  • East Gippsland Art Gallery
  • University of Queensland Press

 

Peter Millard
Competition organiser

 


The Hill of Content Bookshop

19th Annual Hal Porter Short Story Competition 2012

And the winner of the $1000 first prize is…

Marian Matta of Victoria for her story CLIMB.

For decades Marian Matta wrote whatever was called for, from medical articles to film scripts, but she turned her attention to short stories in 2006 after being inspired by Annie Proulx's Brokeback Mountain and discovering the realm of fan fiction. A grand-mother, history tragic, Internet junkie and circus student, she lives in the hills outside Melbourne, and is pleased to call Heath Ledger her muse.



Short listed stories...

The anonymous entries were read by one judge and shortlisted to 12 stories. Next the other two judges shortlisted to their top four. Discussion then took place. The shortlist in random order from 203 entries:

  • 4AM by Nikki Mottram (Qld)
  • Familiar Strangers by Nicholas Brooks (NSW)
  • The Third Rule of Travel by Kerrin O’Sullivan (Vic)

These winners receive book prizes donated by the University of Queensland Press. The judges con-gratulate and encourage all entrants, especially the winner and shortlisted writers.

The Hal Porter Short Story Competition is sponsored by:

  • The Hill of Content Bookshop – Major Sponsor
  • Collins Booksellers (Bairnsdale)
  • Porters Electrical
  • East Gippsland Newspapers

 

and supported by:

  • East Gippsland Art Gallery
  • University of Queensland Press

 

Peter Millard
Competition organiser



The Hill of Content Bookshop

18th Annual Hal Porter Short Story Competition 2011

And the winner of the $1000 first prize is…

Ryan O’Neill from NSW for his story A Short Story?. Ryan O’Neill’s fiction has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. His work has won the 2007 Hal Porter and 2007 Roland Robinson awards and been shortlisted for the Queensland Premier’s Steele Rudd Award and the Age Short-Story Prize. His short story collection, The Weight of a Human Heart is forthcoming from Black Inc in May 2012. He teaches at the University of Newcastle.



Short listed stories...

The anonymous entries were read by one judge and shortlisted to 10 stories. Next the other two judges shortlisted to their top three. Discussion then took place. The shortlist in random order from 235 entries:

  • Night-watch by Kerrin H O’Sullivan (Vic)
  • The edge: Notes for a Wiki narrative by Anastasia Xenophon (Qld)

These winners receive book prizes donated by the University of Queensland Press. The judges congratulate and encourage all entrants, especially the winner and shortlisted writers.

The Hal Porter Short Story Competition is sponsored by:

  • The Hill of Content Bookshop – Major Sponsor
  • Collins Booksellers (Bairnsdale)
  • Community College East Gippsland
  • East Gippsland Institute of TAFE
  • Porters Electrical
  • East Gippsland Newspapers

 

and supported by:

  • East Gippsland Art Gallery
  • University of Queensland Press

 


The Hill of Content Bookshop

17th Annual Hal Porter Short Story Competition 2010

And the winner of the $1000 first prize is…

Keren Heenan of Melbourne for her story Beyond the Bay. Keren is a teacher of the Arts living in Melbourne. She has been awarded the Southern Cross Literary Competition 2009, and the Ellen Gudrun Kasten (short story) Award ’07. She has been published in Overland, Island, Wet Ink and in other Australian magazines and anthologies. She is currently working on a novel.



Short listed stories...

The anonymous entries were read by one judge and shortlisted to 11 stories. Next the other two judges shortlisted to their top four. Discussion then took place. The shortlist in random order from 267 entries:

  • Slipstream by Sinead Roarty (NSW)
  • Holding on by Francoise Thornton-Smith (Vic)
  • Of coffee, vegetables and hair colour by Susan McCreery (NSW)

 

These winners receive book prizes donated by the University of Queensland Press. The judges congratulate and encourage all entrants, especially the winner and shortlisted writers.


16th Annual
2009 Hal Porter Short Story Competition

And the winner of the $1,000 first prize is:

Kathy George of Queensland for her story Cut Up.

Kathy is a mature-age student studying Creative Writing at Queensland University of Technology and her winning story was originally written for a uni assignment. She lives in Brisbane with her husband and three teenagers.