Judge’s Report for the KSP Speculative Fiction Award

Back in November, I had the pleasure of judging the annual Katharine Susannah Prichard Speculative Fiction Award. The results along with my judge’s report can be found at the KSP website, along with the results of the Short Fiction Award and The Karen W Treanor Poetry Awards.

It was great see the wide range of speculative fiction ideas presented by both new and accomplished writers. The winning stories of the Open Section were of a high standard and would require minimal polishing for publication. The Young Writer’s Section had a range of stories with varying strengths in different areas; but all tackled thought-provoking ideas. To judge these fairly, I needed to consider each entrant’s age, which ranged from eleven to twenty years. Overall, my decisions were based on stories that not only held my attention from beginning to end, but also resonated with aspects of the real word while seamlessly incorporating fantastical elements. I looked for stories that illuminated something interesting about the human condition, told from the points of view of well-rounded characters whose personalities were not based on stereotypes. More…

Congratulations to the winners and commendeds. Congratulations also to my writing buddy, Joanne Mills for her poem, Flying is Easy, which won third place in The Karen W Treanor Poetry Awards.

Short Story Competition Win

My short story, “The Silence of Clockwork”, picked up third prize in the Conflux 9 short story competition. I’m especially pleased about this as the story works as a prequel to my novel, Heart Fire, by showing some of the history of its male protagonist, Ruk, a bold, daring shapeshifting spirit who plots to escape the human word, but his shifterness prevents him.

Conflux 9 was held in Canberra in late April. It’s theme was steampunk (angels, junk and steam), an added bonus.

I wrote and edited the “Silence of Clockwork” at the same time as I was madly finishing my PhD, squeezing it in before bed over 5 days — the quickest 3000 word story, I’ve completed ever! It was subsequently published in the Conflux 9 Convention Programme book (page 37).

Many thanks to the Conflux 9 judges, Joanne Anderton, Jenny Blackford, Dirk Flinthart,  to Elizabeth Fitzgerald for her fine editing, and also to the convention organizers for putting on such a great convention.