Stringybark Open Short Story Award 2024


The Stringybark Australian History Short Story Award



The Woman at the Back of the Room


JB Rowley


Footsteps in the Dark


Elsie Johnstone




Sean Quentin Lee

“People don’t understand how desperate you have to be to eat a boot,” he replied. “Exploration of uncharted territory is very demanding, especially in the arctic. They don’t realise what we went through: the bitter cold, the scurvy, the unknown.  Men died of starvation out there; they did desperate things. These were good men reduced to scraping moss from rocks to survive. Yes, we ate boot leather as well, but it was an act of desperation, a last ditch attempt at survival. They act like I ate my boots as a matter of choice.”

— from Act of Defiance by Harold Mally

Twenty-six award-winning short stories vividly bring Australian history to life, in this  anthology from both established and new writers.   Chosen by Gregory Blake, Jamie Hodder, Nadine Smith and David Vernon, Australian history has never been more interestingly and entertainingly presented.


Encounter — Laurence de B Anderson • Donald Charles at Ziza — Anne Atkinson • Badu Boys Rule! — Dianne Bates • Bush Hero — Dianne Bates • Beechworth — Thea Biesheuval • Retribution — Kate Komoll • Remembrance Day — Julie Davies • Upon the Flat — Julian Howard • Water Rights — Kate King • A Bouquet of Lettuces — Beverley Lello • To My Sister, Hessie Burke — Beverley Lello • The Death of Beatrice • Mayhew — Janet Lowe • Act of Defiance — Harold Mally • Elsewhere — Rosalind Moran • Deportation — Carol Price • The Ace of Spades — Peter Rondel • Kamilaroi Country — Wendy Seddon • Fire — Frank Stubbs • The Cat — Frank Stubbs • New World — Valerie Volk • On Mercy, Justice and Redemption — Frances Warren • The Bunyip Hunter — Michelle Williams • Blow for Blow — Ted Witham

Competition Closed: 21st October 2011

117 entries.  $520 in prizes.

Judges: Gregory Blake, Jamie Hodder, Nadine Smith and David Vernon

Editor: David Vernon

Proof-readers: Kate Copeland and Elena Callipari

Cover designer: David Vernon

Cover artist: Richard Marman

Australian printer: Kainos Print (Canberra/Sydney)

26 published stories.  One printed anthology, Marngrook and one e-book.

edited by David Vernon, 142 pages, paperback and e-book

Stringybark Publishing, ISBN: 978-0-9870922-8-1

$11.95 includes postage within Australia.  

Discounts for multiple purchases.

Purchase E-book ($3.95 AUD)