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Margaret River Press Short Story Competition Winner Announcement

Published 22nd February, 2016 in News

We are excited to announce that the winner of the 2016 Margaret River Press Short Story Competition is NSW-based writer Jo Riccioni. Her story ‘Shibboleth’ is a delicate and deliberate evocation of love, identity, and segregation set against the backdrop of Doris Salcedo’s polarising art exhibition.  Jo is the author of numerous features and short stories and has been published in The Age, The Best Australian Stories 2010 and The Best Australian Stories 2011, The Review of Australian Fiction, WetInk, Westerly, and the Momaya Review. Her first novel ‘The Italians at Cleat’s Corner Store’ was published by Scribe in 2014.

The runner-up prize has been awarded to Magdalena McGuire for her story, ‘It Used To Be A Boyd’. Magdalena is a writer and researcher based in Melbourne, whose story ‘Mojitos in Tehran’ was published in the 2015 Margaret River Press Short Story collection.

The South West Prize sponsored by Edith Cowan University (Bunbury ) has been awarded to Phil Sparrow for his story ‘Theo’. Phil is an Aid and Development Consultant who has worked extensively in Afghanistan with refugees, disaster victims, drug addicts, victims of trafficking and other disadvantaged people. His book ‘From Under a Leaky Roof: Afghan refugees in Australia’ was published by Fremantle Press in 2005. Phil will be speaking at the Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival in June.

This year, we received a total of 193 entries, which were then whittled down into a longlist by Laurie Steed, Donna Mazza and Richard Rossiter. Laurie Steed was the final judge of the shortlist and the editor of the collection of 24 short stories.

Laurie says of the judging process, ‘Selecting the stories for inclusion in this year’s Margaret River Press short story collection was challenging but deeply enjoyable. There were many great stories, and so it was tough to select the final shortlist from what was one of the best assortments of stories I’ve come across. Those stories selected almost uniformly took risks, presenting new scenarios, vulnerable protagonists, and a willingness to think outside of the box.’

Congratulation to the winners and thank you to everyone who entered this year’s competition. It was especially pleasing to see a strong WA representation and a range of established and emerging short story writers on the shortlist.

Shibboleth & other stories will be released in August 2016.

2016 Margaret River Short Story Competition – Shortlist

24 stories (8 Western Australia, 4 South West)

All the Devil’s Weed Plants (Mikaela Castledine) (WA)

White Sparrow (Melanie Cheng) (VIC)

Le Farfalle (Cassie Hamer) (NSW)

The Boat (SW) (Leslie Thiele) (WA)

It Used To Be A Boyd (Magdalena McGuire) (VIC)

Thirsty (Wes Lee) (New Zealand)

Flight (Penny Gibson) (VIC)

Teacher (Kathy George) (QLD)

Fork in the Path (Julie Bowen Kearney) (QLD)

The Treasure Box (Helen Renwick) (WA)

Night Shift (Susan McCreery) (NSW)

Before They Had Teeth (Sue Robertson) (VIC)

Silence’s Sound (Kate Glenister) (VIC)

Composition (SW) (Rachelle Rechichi) (WA)

Photographs of the Missing (Michelle Wright) (VIC)

Theo (SW) (Phil Sparrow) (WA)

Slacklining (Catherine Moffat) (NSW)

Acrobat (Laura Elvery) (QLD)

The Sea Also Waits (Emily Paull) (WA)

Brown Snake (Catherine Noske) (WA)

Shibboleth  (Jo Riccioni) (NSW)

The Dry Down (Chloe Wilson) (VIC)

Let’s Pretend (Mirandi Riwoe) (QLD)

The Memory Mirror (Georgina Luck) (VIC)

Open Category

Winner: Shibboleth (Jo Riccioni) (NSW)

Runner Up: It Used To Be A Boyd (Magdalena McGuire) (VIC)

South West Category 

Winner: Theo (Phil Sparrow) (WA)


Fork in the Path (Julie Bowen Kearney) (QLD)

Slacklining (Catherine Moffat) (NSW)

Brown Snake (Catherine Noske) (WA)

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