Stringybark Open Short Story Award 2024


The Stringybark Travellers' Tales Award



Close Encounter of the Fourth Kind


Julie Davies


Ernesto's Beans


Bradley Baker


Non Posso


Gerald Vinestock

Labouring up the massive cinder cone of the active volcano on Vanuatu’s Tanna Island was a memorable event, not least because our young Melanesian guide wore nothing but a penis sheath and a smile. As we walked behind him, the women in the group gazed at his bare buttocks dusted with tight, peppercorn curls, grinning at each other and wiggling our eyebrows. We did occasionally look upward as Mt Yasur spewed out lava and boulders the size of small cars, but he managed to focus our attention on something other than the imminent danger of liquefaction or crushing. There are few health and safety regulations in the third world, although I suppose penis sheaths could be classified as Personal Protective Equipment.

— from "Close Encounter of the Fourth Kind" by Julie Davies

Twenty-eight award-winning travel stories from the Stringybark Short Story Awards, will take you on adventures to far-flung continents. They will amuse and entertain you in this anthology of travel themed tales by Australian and international short story writers.


Like a Penguin — Maureen Brew • Nomads — Pauline Mary Curley • The Redeemer — Graham D'Elboux • Sticky Dates — Rebecca Dowd • Bonsai — Liza Dezfouli • Mukachevo on $5000 a Day — Howard Englander • The Last Night — Grace Ford • How (Not) to Climb a Mountain — Matthew Griffiths • Guilt Whispers in My Ear — Bronwyn Hale • An Unpredictable Land — Paula Henriksen • The White Desert — Alene Ivey • The Meltemi — Pippa Kay • Hammam… an Experience in Full — Debbie Kaye • Riders on the Storm — Denise Krklec • The Beauty of a Detour — Ann Kronwald • Mist, Moss and Mountains — Beverley Lello • The Trap — Mac Laniards • Children's Hands — Helen Lyne • Ancestral Travel — Carol Price • A 5,000 Baht Bowl of Noodles — Stephen Rhodes • Flying into the Past — Peter Smallwood • A Field of Their Own — Karenlee Thompson • Foreign Friend — Gayle Virgo • Let's Try the Bar — Kerry Lown Whalen • Ghosts? Pah! — Michael Wilkinson

Competition Closed: 3 May 2015

104 entries.  $809 in prizes.

Judges: Antoinette Merrillees, Julia Robertson, Marguerite Perkins and David Vernon

Editor: David Vernon

Proof-reader: Frances Underwood

Cover designer: David Vernon

Cover photographer: David Corral Gadea

Australian printer: Kainos Print, Canberra

28 published stories.  One e-book and printed anthology, Non Posso

Edited by David Vernon, e-book and

paperback, Stringybark Publishing,

ISBN: 978-0-9925759-2-2

$14.95 includes postage within Australia.  

Discounts for multiple purchases.

Purchase E-book ($3.95 AUD)