Stringybark Open Short Story Award 2024

OPEN


BLOKELAND

By John Toohey

Author: John Toohey

Published: September 2023

Cover graphic: Felix Toohey

Cover designer: Jonathan Vernon

Layout: Stringybark Publishing

Australian printer: Prinstant, Canberra

A boy faces the randomness of life, a soldier makes a difficult choice, a migrant seeks new chances, an academic loses something precious, an ageing monk can’t escape his past. These are some of the stories of the boys and men of Blokeland. From their first decade to their eighties, these males chart passages through this land of curiosity and hope and loss and sometimes death. Blokeland needs no passport. Vaccination is unnecessary. You map your journey in your mind.


At his first offence hearing, the Childrens’ Court magistrate gave him a pep talk and a warning. Staffy told his foster mother he’d been ‘abolished and discharged’. The social worker later explained the legal difference between ‘admonition’ and ‘abolition’. He’d not be executed … well, not yet. - A Bloody Good Job


A monastery can spurn you like a heretic. It can scrub you from its story and cut you from its body of believers. It can be unforgiving. A monastery seeks no self-reflection. It demands no soul-searching. A monastery is right and infallible. - Into the Breeze


Ian winced at the trigger words, ‘structure’, ‘loads’ and ‘plans’ and especially at the phrase, ‘research opportunities’. He knew the university code words for work-harder-for-less and understood the three Rs of chaos – reorganisation, relocation and redundancies. – Parking Problems


By John Toohey, e-book and paperback, Stringybark Publishing,

ISBN: 978-0-645-47654-4


A$19.95 includes postage within Australia.  Please enquire for international orders.

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