Lost Boy & other stories
This anthology edited by Estelle Tang is a collection of stories submitted to the annual Margaret River Short Story Competition. The competition continues to attract both emerging and established short story writers, some of which have won local, national and international awards or have been published in The Best Australian Stories, and in journals such as Overland, Southerly, Island and Griffith Review.
About the Book
We live in the world. But how that world manifests for each of us is different—utterly dependent on circumstances. The people we are born to know and the places we are born to see fix us in their sights, and that’s it. That’s where our stories come from. The stories here are all charged with a human affinity that reaches through the page.
Of these worlds, we might note how geography shapes them, and so heed the callous colonialism of mid twentieth-century Sri Lanka, as seen in Michelle Wright’s ‘To Call Things by Their Right Name’, or note the different kinds of mystery Australian visitors to Laos might find, as Beverley Lello evokes in ‘Scenes from a Disappearance’. Other stories are circumscribed by the strictures and saving graces of family, which can create such specific, affecting universes. Take the child narrator of Rosemary Allen’s ‘What Has to Be Done’, whose observations unwittingly create rents in the fabric of her familial life. And while the bizarre behaviour of a lost man in Susan McCreery’s ‘The Uninvited’ alienates and frightens us, his understanding of parenthood humanises him once more.
We’re guided to still smaller spheres elsewhere in the collection: think of the atmosphere that produces its own pull between two people in conversation, as in Jeannie Haughton’s ‘Weight-Bearing Exercise’, or a girl communing with such an elemental force as the weather, which we witness in Cassie Hamer’s ‘Glory Season’.
We awarded first prize to Melanie Napthine’s ‘Lost Boy’ and second prize went to Eva Lomski’s story, ‘The Trapper’. Claire Aman’s ‘Ash Miss’ and Magdalena McGuire’s ‘Mojitos in Tehran’ were both highly commended, and the Southwest prize went to Carol McDowall for ‘Bringing Home the Ashes’.
We received 323 entries this year, a record number since the start of the competition. We thank all those who supported the competition and encourage all of you to continue writing. We were particularly delighted to receive twenty-six entries from the Southwest.