This week the shortlist for the 2018 ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize was unveiled to the public, with Claire Aman (NSW), Sharmini Aphrodite (Singapore) & Madelaine Lucas (NSW/USA) each getting the nod. This year the prize attracted almost 1,200 entries from writers from across the globe. The winning author will receive $7,000, whilst the shortlisted stories will also appear in the August Fiction issue of the Australian Book Review.
The three shortlisted stories were: ‘Vasco’ by Claire Aman, ‘Between the Mountain and the Sea’ by Charming Aphrodite, and ‘Ruins’ by Madeline Lucas. Aman was previously shortlisted in 2011 for her short story ‘Milk Tray’, and is a previous winner of the E.J. Brady, Wet Ink and Hal Porter prized. Her short story collection, Bird Country, was released in 2017 by Text Publishing. Aphrodite, was born in Borneo in 1995 and grew up in the sister cities of Singapore and Johor Bahru. She has previously been published in Cha: An Asian Literary Journal and Smokelong Quarterly. She was also runner-up for her art criticism in Frieze Magazine’s Art Writing Prize. Finally, Lucas is an Australian writer and musician based in Brooklyn, New York. She is the senior editor of NOON literary annual and is a teaching fellow at Columbia University. She’s a former winner of the Overland/Victoria University Short Fiction Prize and is currently at work on her first novel.
Along with the three shortlisted stories, the judging panel of Patrick Allington, Michelle Cahill, and Beejay Silcox, also singled out three further stories for commendation. These were: ‘Joan Mercer’s Fertile Head’ by S.J. Finn (VIC), ‘Hardflip’ by Mirandi Riwoe (QLD), and ‘Break Character’ by Chloe Wilson (VIC). Each of these three authors will receive $850 and have their stories appear in forthcoming issues of ABR.
Aficionados of the short story and literature lovers are invited to join ABR at fortyfivedownstairs in Melbourne on Monday 20th August at 6pm to hear readings from the three shortlisted stories before the winner is announced by a mystery special guest. For more information about the prize and to RSVP visit the ABR website.
Header Image (L to R): Claire Aman (photograph by Ravi Watt-Nersesian), Sharmini Aphrodite (photograph by Varkur), Madelaine Lucas