Since 2008, the Grace Marion Wilson Emerging Writers Competition has aimed to support and profile emerging Victorian writers.
The annual fiction and creative non-fiction prizes are open to writers with no more than three stories or articles published in a recognised book, magazine, or journal.
Winners of each category receive a $1,000 cash prize, with second prizes of $250 awarded to one runner-up in each category. The first and second prize entries are also published in an issue of The Victorian Writer magazine.
The winners of the 2022 GMW Emerging Writers Competition will have their stories published simultaneously in the December 2022 – February 2023 edition of The Victorian Writer, and online on the Writers Victoria website.
Our heartfelt thanks to our scrupulous judges Eda Gunaydin, Melissa Manning, and Wayne Marshall.
WINNER: Emma-Grace Clarke, ‘The Arboreal Lens’
RUNNER-UP: Marion Taffe, ‘A Year on Saturn’
WINNER: Robyn Grace, ‘Sleeping’
RUNNER-UP: Elsie Mellor, ‘Birdfall’
WINNER: Jen Majoor, ‘How did I love thee? Let me count the love heart emojis’
Read the judges’ comments on the winning entries here.
Alaina Dean won the Fiction category for her story ‘The Mother’, and Mary Fleming was awarded runner up for ‘Danny Deserves a Medal’. High commendations also went to Anne Casey-Hardy for ‘Bear Gully’, Andrew Drummond for ‘The Early Settlers’, and Liz Walkenhorst for ‘Corral’.
Natasha Agafonoff received first place in Non-fiction and also the Best Regional Writer Prize for her piece ‘Sexy Nails’. Maria Griffin was awarded runner up for ‘The Pause Between Breath’. High commendations were also awarded to Cathy Koning for ‘Becoming Normal’, Charlie Scott for ‘Carrying On’, and Siobhan Kavanagh for ‘Freedom of Mind’.
The winner of the Fiction category was Benjamin Hickey for ‘Acheron’. Pamela Swanborough was awarded runner up and Best Regional Writer for ‘The Good Mother’. High commendations were also awarded to Alex Fenton for ‘The Girl from Tidy Town’, Fiona Taylor for ‘Birdsong’ and Vicki Long for ‘A Parcel of Crows’.
The winner of the Non-Fiction category was Mykaela Saunders with the entry ‘West Footscray Factory Fire (an apocalypse)’. Michelle Tom was awarded runner up for ‘Ocean Beach’. High commendations were awarded to Maria Griffin for ‘Girl, Moving’, Zahava Doery for ‘Just a Man’ and Thanasi Bolkas for ‘Temporary Leave’.
The winner of the Fiction category was Amanda Hildebrandt with the entry ‘Market Day’. ‘Binky’ by Margaret Hickey was awarded runner up. High commendations were also awarded to Damian Perry for ‘Death Watch’, Liselle Bhatia for ‘Food for Prayer’ and Phillippa Finkemeyer for ‘Made of Ivory’.
The winner of the Non-Fiction category was Karen McKnight with the entry ‘The Playboy Club of North Perth’. ‘Myanmar and My Father’ by Claire Harris was awarded runner up. High commendations were awarded to Katia Ariel for ‘Black Pearl’, ‘Hessian’ by Marg Hooper and ‘Fierce and Feisty Love’ by Fiona White.
The winner of the Fiction category was Kieran Stevenson with the entry ‘Skin’. ‘Crack’ by Zoe Bradley was awarded runner up in the Fiction category. High commendations were also awarded to Thomas Minogue for ‘Helen Earth’ and Ben Oost for ‘Mumtaz’.
The winner of the Non-Fiction category was Christine Hill with the entry ‘How could you do this to us?’. ‘Melbourne ’89’ by Susan Bennett was awarded runner up in the Non-Fiction category. High commendations were also awarded to Linda Judge for ‘The Odyssey’, Ann Dinh for ‘Christmas Excrucinaire’, and Warwick Sprawson for ‘The Island of Flowers’.
In the eighth year of our annual Grace Marion Wilson Emerging Writers Competition, we received the highest number of entries since its inception in 2009 with 129 entries.
The prize for short fiction was awarded to Justine Sless for ‘Price Check’ with the second prize going to Amelia Mellor with ‘Left of Centre’ and high commendation to ‘Reel’ by Zoe Bradley.
First prize for creative non-fiction went to CB Mako for her essay ‘A Year of Drawing Breasts’, with the second prize awarded to Anita Smith with ‘Real Act’, and a high commendations was awarded to ‘Tough Love’ by Lawrence Barker.
The prize for short fiction was awarded to Kerry Lee Munnery for ‘Solatium’ with the second prize going to William Stanforth and honourable mentions to Melisabeth Cooper Fell and Katy Warner.
First prize for creative non-fiction went to Tamsin Martin for her essay ‘Lady M’, with the second prize awarded to Julie Perrin, and honourable mentions going to Mark Brandi and Susan Bennett.
The prize for short fiction was awarded to Else Fitzgerald for ‘River’ with the second prize being awarded to Stephanie Wang for ‘This is What We Know’. Magdalena McGuire was awarded an honourable mention for her short fiction entry, ‘Polish Cooking for Beginners’.
First prize for creative non-fiction went to Sandra Todorov for ‘A woman must have money’. The second prize was awarded to Jen Squire for ‘Getting back together, again’. And Kate Amesbury received an honourable mention for ‘A judge of good character’.
The $1000 prize for creative non-fiction went to Judith Bunn for her story ‘Pink’, a concise and touching memoir of the writer’s aunty. The $250 second prize was awarded to Shivaun Plozza for ‘Fox, Birdie and Me’. Chris Brophy and Alice Bishop were awarded honourable mentions for their short fiction entries, called ‘The Zoo’ and ‘Paper Squares’ respectively.
Following on from being awarded the inaugural Templeberg Residential Writing Fellowship in Sri Lanka, Michelle Wright was announced as the winner of the $1000 prize for short fiction for ‘Family Block’. The $250 second prize for creative non-fiction was awarded to Kerrin O’Sullivan for ‘Homesickness – terra incognita’.
Peter Dann won with his short story ‘The Aerial Tree’ and Harriet Gaffney won with her non-fiction piece ‘A Battered Heart’. In second place with her short story, ‘Faris’s Story’, was Wendy Riley, while Zoe Blain took runner-up position for ‘My Father’. Congratulations to those writers that were highly commended: Mattie Sempert, Nancy Sugarman, Gabrielle Daly, Daisy Wallace, Karen Charlton and Liam Brooks.
Fiction Awards First Prize: Beau Hillier for ‘What Happens Between Dreams’.
Second Prizes: David Mence for ‘Boxing Match’ and Cassandra White for ‘How Cold the Northern Lights’.
Commendations: Fikret Pjalic for ‘Running With Red’ and Naomi Turner for ‘Every Little Thing’.
Non-Fiction Awards First Prize: Hugh Kiernan for ‘Iris in Beige and Yellow’.
Second Prize: Andee Jones for ‘Mrs Goebbels’.
Commendations: Dion Teasedale for ‘Camp Dog Blog’, Kent McCarter for ‘Around the Globe in 28 Novels’ and Kerrin O’Sullivan for ‘Gambling on a Day at Hinnomunje’.
Timothy Robinson won the Short Story category for his entry ‘Henry Stanfield Can Fly’, while Lindy Alexander won the Non-fiction prize for ‘Hiding from the World’. The fiction runner up was Melanie Cheng for ‘Stone Baby’, and Lorna Hendry was Non-fiction runner up for ‘Killing the Dogs’.
Commended fiction prize entrants were Sarinah Hope for ‘The Second Marriage’, Julie Twohig for ‘The Glove’ and Kate Rotherham for ‘Here and There’. The commended non-fiction entrants are Jane Pitt for ‘A Bit of Fun’, Carole Poustie for ‘The Holiday’, Keri Rehfisch for ‘In Castro’s Backyard’ and Wendy Hawkins for ‘Rain on the Roof’.
First prize for Non-fiction went to HL Singer for ‘Life: An Exercise in Words’. Second prize went to Zhiling Howlitt for ‘Mao’s Great Mangifera Parade’. Other shortlisted entries included: Joan Kerr for ‘The House We Live In’, Graham Reeks for ‘Beneath Balaclava’ and Judy McGrath for ‘It’s a Lovely Day’.
The winner of the first prize for Short Story went to Rhys Tate for ‘Smallholdings’. Second prize was won by Ross Topham for ‘Like Mary and Child’. Other shortlisted entries included: John Bartlett for ‘Dulce Et Decorum Est’, Karen Parker for ‘Wusthof’ and Joan Kerr for ‘A Life’.