Writing Competitions

The Stuart and Hadow Short Story Competition 2022

The Stuart and Hadow short story competition began in 1977 as a means to honour the work of Donald Stuart and Lyndall Hadow who were brother and sister writers. Each made a significant contribution to West Australia’s literary landscape in their own right, publishing novels, short stories, reviews and articles. Lyndall Hadow is also remembered as a prominent radio journalist.

Theme:  Open           

Prizes:  First $1000; Second $300; Third $100

​Opening Date:  15 March 2022                                 

Closing Date:  1 June 2022

Winners Announced:  August 2022                          

Maximum length:  3,000 words

Maximum of 3 stories

Entry Fee: $25 per story. Members $15

Click here to pay online, in person, or by post

Click here for entry form

Click here to purchase Kobo ebook format of Storyfire: The Magic of the Short

Ebook also available for purchase from Booktopia


Storyfire is a published collection of thirty-two winning short stories from the Stuart and Hadow Award from 2005-2018. It is edited by Madeleine Granger and Peter Bibby. 

Read Susan Midalia's Westerly review of the Storyfire collection by clicking here

 

FAWWA acknowledges the Wadjuk Noongar People as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which FAWWA stands, and recognizes their continuing connection to land, water and community. Our members pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.

 

 

 

Tom Collins Poetry Prize 2021 winners announced

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FAWWA President Karen Herbert (middle at right), Kevin Gillam (left), and Scott-Patrick Mitchell at the awards night.

Congratulations to the winners of the 2021 Tom Collins Poetry Prize, announced Monday evening, February 28, at Voicebox, Fremantle Navy Club. 

First Prize: Kevin Gillam, for his entry from here

Second Prize: Willo Drummond, for Ways of Seeing

Third Prize: Natalie Damjanovich-Napoleon for her entry I've Been Dreaming About Eating Salmon

Highly Commended: 
Rafael S.W. for Darning and Drowning
Dick Alderson for Butcher Bird

Renee Pettitt-Schipp for Love (and lost for words) in a Time of Covid

Commended:
Anna Elliston for bruny island district school thirty year reunion

Alan Fyfe for The Angel

Bron Bateman for The Boys Who Dream of Winter

Read the Judge's Report here

2021 Tom Collins Poetry Prize Judges Report

 

by Scott-Patrick Mitchell

 

Approximately 248 poems were entered into the 2021 Tom Collins Poetry Prize. Each new poem was like opening a portal into a poet’s unique world. In the space of three weeks I travelled across the country, into the bush, through oceans, deep into human souls, took shortcuts through aching suburban landscapes and found myself in awe with each new adventure. I was invited into homes, into relationships both budding and breaking down. At all times, the language was fresh and invocative. The overall experience was akin to snapshot after wonderful snapshot of a life beyond my own, yet lives that became instantly familiar the moment each poem was finished. 

 

It was no easy feat, judging a competition like this. One must create their own marking system by which to gauge each new poem. I looked for:

 

- poems that held my attention

- poems that used language in a way that was unique or exhilarating

- experiences that were reinvented through language to make them shine with empathy, compassion and light

- poems that brought detail to the front, so as to capture the eye and soul and lead it in new directions, into new discoveries of my own existence

 

Overall, the longlisted poems all did this. Then came the hard work of figuring out a shortlist.

 

Before that though, I would like to note that, contrary to popular opinion, I am actually a very big softie. There were a vast wealth of poems that captured the passion of the poet writing them. While the majority of these poems were not as technically proficient as they could be, they showed me poets who were in love with their craft, who were willing to take risks or play. Approximately 25 poems ended up with a love heart drawn on them, a symbol that the poem had indeed touched my heart, made it ache, made it smile, made it shine. Poems such as Who am I, Why my Home Country isn’t Home, Spearing Towards the Sky and the wonderfully titled Cryogenics and Ernest Hemingway – among many many others – were all touching poems. To these poets I say thank you: please know you were seen.

 

Now… the longlist was long. I managed to get 60 poems down to 34 and then from there to 20. It was hard, but by this point I was trusting my instincts, looking for poems that had emotional impact on multiple re-reads. I would like to acknowledge the following poets who made the longlist though. To Amy Crutchfield, Rhian Healy, Rita Tognini, Gerson Maller, Andrew Burke, Rose Van Son and Colleen Russell: your work was incredible. Absolutely incredible. Thank you.

 

So, now for the Commended, Highly Commended, and Top 3 Placements.

 

Congratulations to Anna Elliston whose poem bruny island district school thirty year reunion was Commended. A poem about returning home to Bruny Island, this piece was rich with sensory detail. The refrains of “island is calling you”, “island is written in you”, “island has given you gutdeep knowings” etc create an anthem of pulling, one that draws the reader into a landscape that is haunted by memory, one where “it is more than salt air / pulling you to / the homeness you seek”.

 

Congratulations to Alan Fyfe whose poem The Angel was Commended. There were surprisingly only a few suburban poems entered this year, and this was the best of the bunch. From the structured exact line lengths to the lifting up of the working class, this poem fizzes with imagery that makes the familiar broken and other. There is an astute holiness in what the ramshackle narrator observes, a divinity that elevates the everyday: “Riding surfboard thick soles down a wave of sticky tarmac; odyssey to / see the corpse of a god, its stretched form is a concrete tilt-slab shopping / gallery”. This is a poem of injured wonder, a piece that offers the reader a bristling shaken soul, unabashedly so.

 

Congratulations to Bron Bateman whose poem The Boys Who Dream of Winter was Commended. This a poem of beauty and violence, of youth cut short and the mothers who mourn such loss. I cried on reading this poem the first and second time, largely because its second half deals with the violent death of Matthew Shepard, an image etched into the psyche of every queer kid and adult who lived through the 90s. This poem, while a poem about violent death, is also a poem about vibrant life, where in the first half we are told that the boy’s “biggest problem until then was how to flow on the field / like slow electricity, sinew and bone, ribbons of breath / drawn in and let out like a party horn, held”. From the get go we know the poem will embrace release, finality and emergency. How we reach that is crafted superbly by a poet who knows how to hold tension, sensitivity and compassion in equal measures.

 

Congratulations to Shey Marque whose poem We, the he(a)rd, do not like to share this cabbaged country was Commended. In this piece, experimentation, bureaucracy and desire to find home all collide to create a tension that pulls at the reader. We are torn between red tape and the human desire of connection. Alternating stanzas remix words from an Australian Immigration case officer’s response to a visa application – these are stilted stanzas that jar and bicker, squabbling over the regulations of governance. The abrasiveness of these stanzas are mellowed by italicised stanzas that draw us into a world where “we can try to churn the great Milky Ocean” or watch as “one hundred birds / rose in slow spirals above the trees” The tension throughout is sustained, tight, almost nerve wracking. But the humanity of this poem ultimately shines through like “lamps of ghee”.

 

Now onto the Highly Commended entries, all three of which were short, sharp and contained yet also all reached toward an unknown liminal space.

 

Congratulations to Rafael S.W. whose poem Darning and Drowning was Highly Commended. My jaw dropped the first time I read this poem. I was struck by how sharp the images were, yet how they leant themselves to misdirection. This is a poem filled with dark humour and potentially dark subject matter. A confluence between darning, roof beams and birth / death emerges to strike the reader with such lines as “Everything you wore had to have its gaping mouth / stitched closed yearly”. The birth scene has a strange ambivalence to it, the imagery profoundly dark: are the father’s tears happy ones, or tears of grief? It’s this uncertainty that makes this poem so powerful, especially when we’re caught off guard by lines like “The possums / in the attic played midwife to the beams”. An intoxicating space, one I found myself returning to again and again, if only to bask in the masterful mystery it conjured.

 

Congratulations to Dick Alderson whose poem Butcher Bird was Highly Commended. Another short, startling poem, one where the celebration of life ebbs into an unknown liminal space of grief. The poet matches the butcher bird’s song to poetic forms, giving the bird wings on words as we travel a season in a short breath. This poem is well-crafted, tight, evocative. The tug between poet and subject is constant – “you sing in my sleep / to wake me” – and grows at times intimate in the power the poet gives the bird: “yesterday you sang shorter / brought haiku tree to tree”. As a meditation on mortality, this poem opens and bristles before pulling back sharply into lament. The effect is breath-taking and I found myself re-reading this poem, savouring the emotions it brought me each time.  

 

Congratulations to Renee Pettitt-Schipp whose poem Love (and lost for words) in a Time of Covid was Highly Commended. There weren’t nearly as many Covid poems as I expected, and I found that strange. That’s why when I came across one, I paid particular attention to see if it offered something new to the past two years and my word… THIS poem added so much. Which is interesting, because it’s ultimately a poem about reaching toward the unknown where “we need new nouns / for fragile privilege / dictionaries of modern deaths”.  In this world, nature, global calamity and the interpersonal are all given the same tenderness and attention, creating a space imbued with a democracy of love and compassion. It’s ultimately a love poem, but not before it carries the “sharpness of stars”, a “hammer of moth-wing” and “an index for fresh suffering” with equal duty of care, equal duty of witness.

 

Now for the three finalists.

 

Congratulations to Natalie Damjanovich-Napoleon whose poem I’ve Been Dreaming About Eating Salmon has placed third in 2021 Tom Collins Poetry Prize. The instant I read this poem, I knew it was 3rd place. This is a poem with teeth. It bites. It tears. What begins as tenderness for dream-space quickly moves into social media paranoia doubled with the horror of Tasman salmon fishing. The poem then becomes a meditation on name and identity, although meditation is probably the wrong word – this is more of a rock song, something punk, an anthem pushing back against. The poem is “penned up in mandala-line nets”, a flux of zen and captivity. Ultimately, this is a performance poem of true worth, one that shines when spoken out loud because it’s here the poet’s anger rocks us on the vibration of voice.

 

Congratulations to Willo Drummond whose poem Ways of Seeing has placed second in the 2021 Tom Collins Poetry Prize. This poem is like a moon-struck fish, flitting through a pond: it is bright and shimmering, yet profoundly evasive. The language in this poem is beautifully crafted, is a joy to read. I believe it to be a poem about pregnancy – “Currently / you are stardust. / Not even // yet / a crescent” – but it could easily be a poem about the expectant arrival of love. Whatever the subject matter, this poem brims with melancholy and yet an ever-resounding hope: “I dream of conjunctions / luminous alignments / stackings of hope // in indigo night”. This poem bristles with life, yet has a perfected restraint that makes it yearn and reach with tender hands.

 

The 2021 Tom Collins Poetry Prize winning entry is a poem called from here. This poem also made me cry when I first read it. Again, this is a poem of tension, as we move from watching from a window to being wheeled down to a riverbank. The poem is at once both stilted and a rush of memory. It yearns on an incredible level as the narrator desires to join the river and “to follow my own slick mammal stream back up to / the surface”. This is juxtaposed by the act of witness where “pane shards into quarter tones of birds”. The volta, or reveal, at the end of the poem is a shock to the gut, a revelation that places the want and need into a heartbreaking context that leaves the reader aching. I shan’t reveal the ending and instead, I invite the winner to read their poem.

 

Without further ado… congratulations to Kevin Gillam, the winner of the 2021 Tom Collins Poetry Prize with his entry from here. 

2021 judge: Scott-Patrick Mitchell

Scott-Patrick Mitchell (SPM) is a WA based non-binary poet who is a guest on unceded Land of the Whadjuk Noongar Nation. A seasoned performance poet, Mitchell has been writing and performing poetry for just over 20 years now. SPM’s work appears in Contemporary Australian Poetry, The Fremantle Press Anthology of Western Australian Poetry, Solid Air, Stories of Perth and Going Postal. They have a number of previous chapbooks, including songs for the ordinary mass (PressPress, 2009) and The Rutting Season (Mulla Mulla Press, 2012). They have won Coal Creek’s Literary Award for Poetry, Melbourne Poets Union’s Martin Downey Urban Realist Poetry Award, The Wollongong Short Story Prize and a number of other literary prizes. Most recently, SPM was shortlisted The Red Room Poetry Fellowship in both 2020 and 2021.

Scott-Patrick Mitchell photo credit Michael  Reynolds.jpg

Past Competitions

2021 Stuart Hadow Short Story Competition

1st place                                     Julie Woodland (WA), ‘The Astrophysics of Love’

2nd place                                    Michael Burrows (WA), ‘Green Thumbs’

3rd place                                     Paulette Gittins (VIC), ‘Only Joking’

 

Highly Commended                 Jean Flynn (QLD), ‘Someone like you’

                                                    Karen Hollands (QLD), ‘Unravelling’

                                                    Kerry Greer (WA), ‘Espalier’

Read the Judge's Report 2021, by Susan Midalia.

First Prize won $1,000 and a two-week residency at Mattie Furphy House, Swanbourne. Second Prize won $300; Third Prize won $100.

Tom Collins Poetry Prize 2020

1st Place                               Maddie Godfrey            Unmade

2nd Place                             Caroline Reid                DEVOUR

3rd Place                              Andrew Sutherland      'public health the silence of god'

Highly Commended           Kevin Gillam                 'bleakness'

Highly Commended           Peter Ramm                  Barren grounds in late Autumn

Highly Commended           Allan Padgett               'these pastures held my heart'

Highly Commended           Elizabeth Lewis             A Handful of Salt

Commended                       Shastra Deo                  The break

Commended                       Sharmin Paynter           All your red flags, black

Commended                       Shey Marque                Ruining the Light

Commended                       Anne Casey                  Prayer-fish

Thank you to Cailin Maling, who's insightful Judges Report can be read here.

          

          Photo: Caitlin Maling, Maddie Godfrey and Karen Whittle-Herbert

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Stuart Hadow Short Story Prize 2020

Winner...

Patrick Boxall, 'Blitzkrieg' (VIC)

Shortlised...

Ben Blitzer, 'Little Hero' (Merredin, WA)

Erwin Cabucos, 'Theresa' (QLD)

Kylie Shearer, 'Second Chance Elodie' (VIC)

Rita Tognini, 'When I Met Alice Munro' (WA)

Sean Wilson, 'Bully' (VIC)

Thank you Nigel Featherstone for your insightful Judges Report 2020.

Tom Collins Poetry Prize 2019

1st Prize:    Michael Greenacre – Missing Pieces

2nd Prize:  David Atkinson – The Straining Rowlocks

3rd Prize:   Peter Burges – Of Shearing

HC. Andrew Lansdown – Cherry Blossom Contemplations

HC. Nathan Curnow – The Lifeguard

HC. Josephine Clarke – Boronia megastigma

HC. Damen O’Brien – Day of the Spiders

C. Rita Tognini – Step-By-Step

C. Laurie Smith – All Shook Up

C. Jan Napier – On the Hill

C. Daniel Foster – The Death of Who I’m Not

Read Shane McCauley's Judges Report

Tom Collins Poetry Prize 2019

Stuart Hadow Short Story Competition 2019

Stuart Hadow Judge's report

 

First  -      Nadia Lisa King for Mariko’s Mouse

Second - Carmel Lillis for How I’ll Know Her

Third -     John Scholz for Boat People

Highly Commended - Michael Hunt for Between two Eternities

Highly Commended - Jim Brigginshaw for The White Horse

Highly Commended  - David Vernon for

                                       The Wrong Side of the Tracks

 

Commended - Susan Thompson for Letter from the Last Duchess

Commended - Lesley Neale for Amber the Dog

Commended - Ted Witham for The Odd Number

Huge congratulations to you all!

Tom Collins Poetry Prize 2018

 

Read the Judge's Report

Winner            Busted Piano Man – Christopher Konrad        

Second Prize Coming of Age – Kristen Lang

Third Prize      Barney Embraces Technology  - Peter Burke

Highly Commended

The Life of Caves Glen Phillips

Homage Marguerite – Julie Watts

strands of us – Kevin Gillam

Elk Rapids, Lake Michigan – Kim Waters

Commended

Love-Locked – Gillian Telford

Dreamlands Hopscotch – Yvonne Patterson

In Somnolence – Scott-Patrick Mitchell

Lazarette on Peel Island – Damen O’Brien

Talking to my Father – Tony London

Stuart Hadow Short Story Prize 2018

 

Winners:

1st: Chair - Peter Court

2nd: One Time My Sister - Melanie Napthine

3rd: Kind - Melanie Napthine

Highly commended:

Salt of the Earth - Ryan Delaney

Behavioural Experiment - Tanya Vavilova

Commended:

Forget it, Jake - Paulette Gittens

Tropical Cyclone - Tanya Vavilova

Congratulations to all the winners and those who took part. For more information, please read the Judge's Report by Laurie Steed.

Tom Collins Poetry Prize 2017

Congratulations to the following:

Winners:

1st: Rock the Baby - Andy Kissane

2nd: Orbit - Vanessa Proctor

3rd: On Route to the Iroquois Museum - Laura Shore

Highly commended:

Tom's Story - Robert Lumsden

Mathinna - Vanessa Page

Tell Me You Are Here - Alex Ripper

Commended:

Carpet - Colin Montfort

The Lie - Laura Shore

Open House, Palm Springs Modernism Week - Helen Thurloe

The 2017 prize was judged by Judith Rodriguez, to read the full Judge's report click here.

Stuart Hadow Short Story Prize 2017

Congratulations to the following:

Winners:

1st: Doors Closing - Dorothea Pffaf

2nd: Dead Ringer - Julie Woodland

3rd: Godsend - Jodie Kewley

Highly commended:

The Good Earth - Roseanne Dingli

The A30 Woodsmen - Kit Peek

Commended:

The Care Taker - Jemma Tyley-Miller

Pig - Philip Silvester

The 2017 prize was judged by Elizabeth Tan, to read the full Judge's report click here.

Rees Prize for Young Writers

The Rees Prize for Young Writers has been created as a biannual competition by FAWWA to support young Australian writers, and honour WA writers Coralie and Leslie Rees. 2016 was the first year for this contest, open to writers up to 21 years of age at the time of the closing date.

In 2016, the theme was 'Mars and Beyond'.

The following list were the winners of the 2016 competition:

Winners

1st: The Seven Travellers of 1184 - Jennifer Worgan (NSW)

2nd: The Price of Immortality - Alexandria Walker (QLD)

Highly commended

18-21 age category

Salvation - Stephanie Liddlelow (WA)

We Were Once Immortals - Anne Feng (WA)

15-17 age category

Saving Tomorrow - Katha Villanueva (VIC)

Silence - Radheya Jegatheva (WA)

Under 15 age category

Escape from the Earthlings - Lydia Colla (NSW)

Those Stars of Mine - Sarah Petersen

The 2016 Prize was judged by Emily Paull, click here for the judge's report.