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Short stories, big prizes

Greg Foyster won the 2023 Peter Carey Short Story Awards with his story ‘Iso’. Photo – Moorabool Libraries

By Lachlan Ellis

Some of Moorabool’s aspiring writers, both young and old, have been awarded for their craft this month, as part of an annual competition.

On Saturday 3 June, the 2023 Moorabool Young Writers Awards and the 2023 Peter Carey Short Story Awards Ceremony were held at Lerderderg Library in Bacchus Marsh.

The event bought together writers of all ages from our local community and from across Australia to celebrate creativity and imagination in the short story form.

A record-breaking 438 short stories were submitted to the 2023 Peter Carey Short Story Awards, which was reduced to a longlist of 15 stories by the three-member longlisting panel.

Head judge, Bacchus Marsh’s Anne Casey-Hardy, had the difficult task of reducing the longlist even further to the seven most extraordinary stories, and picking out a winner from that shortlist.

The outright winner was Greg Foyster with his piece ‘Iso’, while Jumaana Abdu was named runner-up with ‘A Woman of Nineveh’, and Nathaniel Winfield won the Best Local Entry with ‘Doe Eyes’.

Mr Foyster won $2,000, while Ms Abdu won $1,000, with both writers’ work to be featured in literary magazine Meanjin as well. Mr Winfield’s story won him a $500 prize.

In the Moorabool Young Writers Awards competition, 688 students submitted their stories, with 27 of those young writers taking out prizes across four categories.

Local authors Jem Tyley-Miller and Wayne Marshall organise the awards, and Ms Tyley-Miller congratulated all the winners.

“It was wonderful to celebrate another successful year of both the Carey and the Moorabool Young Writers’ Awards. What makes the event so special is that we have writers from five to ninety years old celebrating with friends and family on the day, and we certainly wouldn’t discriminate against you if you were older. All stories are judged blind, meaning no names are attached, so the quality of the work speaks for itself,” she told the Moorabool News.

“It is always such a wonderful pleasure to share the winning stories with Peter Carey himself each year and to watch what started out as relatively small competitions go from strength to strength, particularly on the national stage.”

Young Writers Awards winners:
• Early Years Primary
Lola Hendrix, Harper Harris, Jake (Bungaree PS), Freddie O’Donnell, Meeka Booth

• Middle Primary Category
Evie Rose Jarrad (winner), Scarlett Taylor Anderson (R/up), Grace Bonnici (3rd)
(Honourable Mentions) – Chloe Beardsley, Chloe (Bungaree PS)
(Encouragement Awards) – Areen Kaur, Kendall Matautia, Jessica (Bungaree PS)

• Upper Primary Category
Elizabeth Marshall (winner), Ivy Elizabeth Tyley-Miller (R/up), Harrison Malcolm Dean (3rd)
(Honourable Mentions) – Amelie John, Makanaka Mukundi
(Encouragement Awards) – Elise Victoria Holland, Lexie (Darley PS), Blake Griffiths, Mason Kick, Liam Garth, Jye Altay

• Youth Category
Isaac Tyley-Miller (winner), Katelynne Nicholson (R/up), Freya Fox (3rd)