Stringybark Times Past Award 2024


The Twisted Stringybark Short Story Award



Dumping Charlie


Monica Rogers

The Naked Truth


Julie Bowyer


The Sway


Holly Bruce


Tainted Innocence


Sharon Haste

The corpse was heavy. Significantly heavier than you would expect. That was the main problem, thought Bruce, but it certainly wasn’t the only one. The fact that there was a corpse at all was an issue in itself.  

The driving Melbourne rain fell with increasing determination as the two men navigated their way through the back lanes of Coburg. Bruce’s affection for his younger son — never particularly marked — was deteriorating rapidly...

“For crying out loud, Timmy!” Bruce cried as Timmy lost his grip yet again, the body dropping out of his trembling hands as a frenzy of barking exploded from behind a back fence. “If you can shoot him, you can fucking carry him!”

The evening was not going well.

     — From Dumping Charlie by Monica Rogers

A tale with a twist always intrigues and here is an entire collection of thirty-one clever stories from both Australian and international authors.  These are the winning and highly commended stories from the Twisted Stringybark Short Story Competition. Written by established and new writers, each story has been chosen for its unique contribution to Australian literature. Chosen by Susan Briggs, Andrew Perry, Julia Robertson and David Vernon.


Doubting Danny — Lesley Adams • The Text — Kathy Beiby • Unforgettable — Linda Carter • Crossroads — Jennifer Crane • Waiting for Father — April Edwards • The Pretender — Sue Healy • Roiling Ocean, Boiling Pot — Ian Holland • Keeping an Eye Out for Barbara and Ron — Michael Hunt • An Upturned Sky — Henry Johnston • The Archbishop’s Wife — Elsie Johnstone • Dave — Ella Joseph • I Hear Them — Beverley Lello • The Widow’s Garden — Kerry Lown Whalen • Getaway — James McLean • Tintinnabulation — that means tinkling — Rebecca Raisin • GSOH — Graeme Simsion • A Short Submission to the Coroner — Graeme Simsion • Unconventional — Simone Sinna • Small Town — Pauline Sorensen • What a Bugger! — Raymond Southall • Once Upon a Ferry — Carmel Summers • You Want to Go Crazy — Valerie Volk • The Committee Meeting — Denise Wild • The Bullet — Michael Wilkinson • Those Who Went Before — Michael Wilkinson • Afternoon at the Show — Claire Wood • Light of My Life — Emma Ziemer

Competition Closed: 4th March 2012

215 entries.  $545 in prizes.

Judges: Susan Briggs, Julia Robertson, Dr Andrew Perry and David Vernon

Editor: David Vernon

Proof-reader: Kate Copeland

Cover designer: David Vernon

Cover artist: Toni Verdú Carbó

Australian printer: Kainos Print (Canberra/Sydney)

31 published stories.  One e-book and printed anthology, Tainted Innocence.

edited by David Vernon, e-book — and paperback,  Stringybark Publishing,

ISBN: 978-0-9872558-1-5

$14.95 includes postage within Australia.  Discounts for multiple purchases.

Purchase E-book ($3.95 AUD)