Things That Are Found in Trees & Other Stories
A partnership between Margaret River Press and Arts Margaret River, this compelling collection of new writing from Australian writers emerged from the inaugural 2011 Margaret River Short Story Competition. The competition consisted of an Open Category and a South West Category.
About the Book
Beverley Lello’s winning entry in the Open Category, Things That Are Found in Trees, is a first person narrative that draws the reader in from the opening sentence: “I opened the newspaper today and saw a photograph of a dead elephant calf marooned in a tree by floods in Sri Lanka.”
This is the first ‘thing’ found in a tree within the story. The focus then shifts to the past and memories of an event that occurred when the narrator was seventeen. Central to the story is an event all too familiar in the lives of young men in rural Australia. But this is not a maudlin story. The writing is restrained, respectful and, wears its symbolism lightly.
Second prize open category entry, Christine Piper’s Stranded is a tightly written story set in Japan. The main character, Mr Takeda, is having an affair with a young woman not much older than his daughter. This is a very economical story with a strong sense of character and place. In spite of the ending, there is very little sense of moral judgement: in this world, surface is everything.
In Bernice Barry’s Mornings Like This, the winning South West Category story, the tone is quietly celebratory of the arrival of a new day. It’s also a time for reflection for the unnamed protagonist, who thinks about his choices—of staying on the farm, while his brothers left to pursue a university education and professional careers. It’s a familiar story, but here rendered in loving detail that avoids sentimentality.
Contributors Beverley Lello, Rajasree Variyar, Georgina Luck, William Lane, Christine Piper, Catherine Moffat, Liliane Grace, Jane Skelton, Kerry Whalen, Jacqueline Winn and Bernice Barry gain a special place in the competition’s history.
The stories in the book “are insightful, sensitive stories, wide-ranging in their interests and, I believe, deeply rewarding. In all of them, there is ‘something new’ for us to discover.”, Richard Rossiter, Editor.
Reviews and Press
Nice words of encouragement from Walter, check out his blog about our launch and Jane Skelton’s story : http://bit.ly/PQkn0n
Read the review by Karenlee Thompson ANZ LitLovers LitBlog 30/6/2012 review of our short story collection, Check it out at : ANZ LitLovers review
William Yeoman, The West Australian, Review 22/5
Following last year’s Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival, Margaret River Press and Arts Margaret River formed a partnership to run a short story competition.
This compact, elegantly printed and bound collection edited by master-storyteller Richard Rossiter represents the first fruits of that partnership and comprises 12 short stories, including those by the three prize- winners, out of 191 submitted.
The elegiac and highly accomplished Open Prize-winning title story by Beverley Lello opens with the arresting image of a dead elephant calf stuck in a tree and is a hard act to follow but every story is a gem, leaving one in no doubt about the future of short fiction in Australia.