Category Archives: Short Story

A picture is worth a thousand words

The first impression of this picture is ‘what well-behaved dogs.’ And for the split-second this picture was taken, indeed they were. However, immediately after they both liberated some baubles from the Christmas tree and proceeded to chase them around the house.

Flash fiction style

Tell us your picture story—flash fiction style—in 250 words. What was contrary to the image, or what does your picture emphatically say? You only have 11 days to submit your entry. Click on the competition link to download the entry form and get writing.


Bally and Maddie–at a quiet moment

A big shout out to our local council

When my husband and I moved to the Mudgee region we did it for a tree change in preparation for our retirements. We are 30 years away from being locals, but our decision was based on well-researched factors. We had a choice of areas to move to.

We are 30 years away from being locals

My husband’s only criterion was good wine. However, I wanted somewhere that promoted the arts. Mudgee boasts a booming arts culture, and the Mid Western Regional Council are 100% behind this. And to prove my beliefs Mid Western Regional Council has again supported the Mudgee Valley Writers in promoting beginning and emerging writers with sponsorship for our competition and exhibition.

A big thank you to our local council—who would want to live anywhere else?


The clock tower (from Mid-Western Regional Council website)

Much More Than Words photo/prose competition

The Much More Than Words competition is in full swing with quite a number of entries already received. Our members are very excited to begin the process of judging the colourful entries and keeping them at bay is proving to be a harder task than anticipated.

Our competition committee is hard at work, collaborating with the Mudgee Readers Festival organisers to plan the exhibition of photos, prose and poetry at the festivals Home-Grown event. With so much happening this year’s exhibition will be our best so far.

Don’t forget to get your entries in before June 17th. Entry forms can be downloaded at the competitions tab.

One of Mudgee’s stunning sunsets.


To all present and future contestants—-please read the following comments as constructive criticism. They are meant to support your efforts to submit worthy entries into written competitions.

  1. ADHERE to CRITERIA as stated on information and entry forms, otherwise your work won’t be received by the judges. Word counts, double spacing, one side of paper, page numbers, no indication of Author’s name, titles etc mean what they say and cannot be ignored when preparing your entry.
  2. A competition such as this is not for first drafts. You need to proof read and edit thoroughly with help of teachers or someone who can assist, until your work is ready for publication. Judges need to be impressed by your desire to win. Errors in Spelling, Grammar, Punctuation, Structure and “typo’s” lose marks and detract from the appeal of the presentation of your work. Polish your gem until it shines brighter than the rest. A prestigious competition such as this one where thousands of dollars are on offer, demands quality of technical structure and content if it is to be competitive.

The winning story was a standout for each judge, being so well crafted with exceptional imagery such as “ a forgotten memory dredged its way up from the fathoms of my subconscious” and “unread papers still rolled tight, fought for space amidst discarded rubbish”. It was readily apparent that the author is a gifted writer, able to tell a moving story with control of language, free of faults throughout. Congratulations to Number 19, “Two Sides to Every Coin”.

We awarded First, Second, Third places, 2x Highly Commended and 2x Commended from the 61 entries.

The Poetry section had fewer entries and seemed to be the more difficult genre to handle. Traditional Rhyme is easy to read but challenging to write as it needs an understanding and control of rhythm through the cadence achieved with soft/hard syllable count and consistent structure of each verse. Free verse also needs to show control and flow of lines in a meaningful, connected work. It is not an opportunity to contrive language or abandon standards and hope the reader gets the message. Crudity and/or plagiarism are not acceptable.

The winning poem is still a work in progress and hopefully the writer will revisit it in time to improve the structure.

Congratulations to Number 17, “My Home”. We awarded First, Second, Third places, 1x Highly Commended and 3x Commended from the 38 entries.

Thank you to all entrants. Keep writing and striving for a judge’s recognition of excellence.

2018 Norman McVicker Youth Literary Award Results

 Winning entries Prose Section


Brittany Doolan,   Coonabarabran

Two Sides to Every Coin



Yehezq’El Schuster ,  Gin Gin

Battle of the Innocent 



Kodi Sawtell ,  Coochin

Her Name is Hope

Highly Commended

Tessa Quinlan,  West Wodonga

Loyalty Above All


Grace Wallin,   Kallangur

I Will Ride


Alexa Trochatos,   Lenah Valley

Weaving Life


Cassandra Nguyen,  Hinchinbrook

The King

Winning entries Poetry Section


Brittany Doolan,   Coonabarabran

My Home 



Rachel Goodwin,   Thurgoona

Tall Bluey 



Grace Matthews,   Banora Point

A Memoir of a Stolen Boy

Highly Commended

Bailey Keay,   Kingscliff

The Rebellion


Elsa Beinssen-Henry ,  West Hobart

Christmas Cards


Levi Siu,   Carlingford



Emma Reitano,   Innisfail

A World Depicted in a Bird’s Eye