‘World-Changing Words’

Wollongong Writers Festival Short Story Prize 2017


**Short Story Prize is now closed for 2017**


Shortlist Announced

Wollongong Writers Festival is pleased to announce the shortlisted stories for the 2017 Short Story Prize. Congratulations to Melanie Hall with ‘The Bird in the Door’; Suz Churchman with ‘The Ripples of Lies’; John Scholz with ‘Stretching Time’; Kathy Sharpe with ‘No Dams’; Tess Barber with ‘Twenty Fifty-Three’ and Georgia Manuela Delgado with ‘My Familia and Other Pigs’. The judges, Nathan Luff and Chris Raja, have their work cut out for them.

The winner and runner up will be announced at the Wollongong Writers Festival launch on Friday 24 November 2017. ‘Like’ our Facebook page to be kept up to date for key Short Story Prize dates in 2018.

Many thanks to all those who entered, Wollongong Writers Festival appreciates your support and wishes you all the best with your writing.


Shortlisted Entrants

Kathy Sharpe

No Dams

I live in Nowra and am a graduate of the University of Wollongong’s Master of Arts in Creative Writing. I have worked in regional newspapers for 23 years and love to write about contemporary Australian life, often set within the enclosed world of small, rural towns. I have twice been awarded a Varuna residency and have also been selected for the Hachette QWC Writers’ Centre Manuscript Development Program.


Tess Barber

Twenty Fifty-Three

Tess Barber is a Sydney-based writer studying a PhD in Creative Arts at the University of Wollongong. Her research studies notions of nature and environment in science and speculative fictions (SF), with a focus on Australian SF. The research includes a SF novel: Maybe revolution is too strong a word but…


Georgia Manuela Delgado

My Familia and Other Pigs

Georgia Manuela Delgado is a writer currently based in Sydney with a Portuguese mother. She recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Sydney.



First Prize $1000 Highly Commended $200


Word limit: 2500 words

Closing date: 15 September 2017


The Wollongong Writers Festival Short Story Prize will be awarded for a story up to 2500 words on the theme ‘World-Changing Words’. The winning entry will receive $1000 and publication in Mascara Literary Review.

The theme can be interpreted as broadly and playfully as you like. Feel free to experiment with form and content, but please keep submissions within the word count. Entry fee is $15. The winner of the Wollongong Writers Festival Short Story Prize will receive $1000, and the winning entry will be published in Mascara Literary Review. The Wollongong Writers Festival Short Story Prize will close for entries at midnight (AEST) on 15 September 2017.

This competition is open to everyone except Wollongong Writers Festival staff, board members, and advisers. Festival volunteers may enter. It is an international competition, so writers located outside Australia can enter. Please ensure that you read the Terms and Conditions of the Wollongong Writers Festival Short Story Prize (see below) before entering.


About our Judges


Christopher Raja is the author of the novel The Burning Elephant (Giramondo, 2015). The Burning Elephant was launched in China at the 9th annual international conference of the Asia Pacific Writers and Translators, Guangzhou. Christopher Raja migrated from Kolkata to Melbourne in 1986. He has been the recipient of a New Work grant from the Literature Board of the Australia Council, and has been twice shortlisted for the Northern Territory Writers Centre’s Chief Minister’s Book of the Year award. In 2016, Chris appeared at the Ubud writer’s festival in Bali. He has lived and worked in Alice Springs since 2004.


Nathan Luff juggles his time between writing, teaching, and knitting stuffed animals. He is the author of two novels for children (Chicken Stu and Bad Grammar) and as a playwright has produced a number of plays including Smashed, which was nominated for an AWGIE award (Australian Writers’ Guild) in the Community & Youth Theatre category. The German translation of Chicken Stu won the Lese Peter award for outstanding children’s literature in 2012. Nathan’s latest play, Thai-riffic!, an adaptation of Oliver Phommavanh’s bestselling novel, opened in Sydney in June 2017. Nathan has also been the recipient of a Frustrated Writers’ Mentorship prize from the Children’s Book Council of Australia, and 2nd prize in the Grenfell Henry Lawson Short Story writing competition. Nathan holds a Bachelor of Arts (Theatre/Media) and a Graduate Diploma in Screenwriting from AFTRS.


For more information please contact


2016 Wollongong Writers Festival Short Story Prize

Read the winning and highly commended stories from the 2016 Wollongong Writers Festival Short Story Prize in Issue 19 of Mascara Literary Review.


Wollongong Writers Festival Short Story Prize

Terms and Conditions


Please read the following Terms and Conditions carefully. If you’re still unsure, please email


Conditions of Entry

Stories must be no more than 2,500 words, not including the title.

Submissions must be the original work of the applicant.

Works currently under consideration by another competition or publication or work that has previously won an award or been published, either online or in print (including personal websites and social media), is not eligible for this competition.

All entries must be in English.  Works translated by the author into English will be accepted.

Submissions will only be accepted via the email

The entry fee is $15 AUD per submission. Every submission must be accompanied by payment. There is no limit to the amount of entries.

All entries will be judged anonymously. As such, the author’s name and identifying details must NOT appear on the submission.

Submissions should be double spaced, in a standard 12 point font such as Times New Roman.

Wollongong Writers Festival staff, board members, and advisers are not eligible to enter. Festival volunteers may enter.

The winner and highly commended entry will be published online in Mascara Literary. Intellectual Property remains with the writer, but we ask that the winning and highly commended works not be published elsewhere until after December 2017. Any subsequent publications should acknowledge the Prize and Mascara Literary Review.

The judges’ decisions are final. No correspondence will be entered into and it is not possible to make changes to entries once they have been submitted.

Wollongong Writers Festival reserves the right not to make the award in the event that a suitable winner is not found.

The closing date is 15 September 2017. Entries will be accepted up until midnight, Australian Eastern Standard Time. Late entries will not be accepted.


All entrants will receive a confirmation email when their entry is received. Please note that as part of the submission process you will be subscribed to our newsletter.


To stay up to date with competition announcements, ‘Like’ us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

Mascara Literary Review Logo