Read our $5000 short story winner
EXPLORING THE THEME ‘LIGHT’, THE 2017 WINNER OF COUNTRY STYLE’S $5000 SHORT STORY PRIZE IS A MOVING TALE OF EMERGING FROM A DARK PLACE.
For winning writer
Suzannah Churchman, the short story is a new form of writing she is enjoying after working on novels that she took a seven-year break from while looking after her three young children. “My stories explore belonging and people’s connections to the landscape,” she says. The Hidden Light was inspired by a visit to Kangaroo Island in South Australia a few years ago. Suzannah was struck by the wildness of the landforms and the amazing light there. “As we tore down the dirt track to the lighthouse — hanging on to the door handles — I felt the seed of a story forming in my head that wouldn’t go away. I feel privileged I eventually got to share it.” Suzannah, who lives in Perth, says that she is “truly humbled” to win in, what is, her first-ever short story contest. “I hope this competition continues to encourage women to pick up their creativity wherever they left it before life intervened,” she says. The runner-up is Isabelle Miller, 25, with her story The Bush Hut. When she was a young girl, Isabelle’s best friend’s mother had a trail-riding school. Isabelle and her friend would ride their horses up into the mountains, where there was a little bush hut they would stay in. The experience became the inspiration for her story. Isabelle likes writing pieces that are about empowerment and finds lots of inspiration every day in the women who come into the Black Sheep, a café she runs with her partner in the country town of Corryong, Victoria.