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And the 2020 winner is …


The winner of the $1000 prize for The East Gippsland Shire Council, Hal Porter Short Story competition for 2020 is Andrea Rowe (Vic) for her story Blemish.


Andrea Rowe is a Mornington Peninsula children’s / Young Adult author, a writer of short stories, and a previous resident of Omeo. Her debut children’s picture book Jetty Jumping was released in January 2021 (Little Hare), and she’s published in anthologies and magazines. Her writing absorbs themes that capture our collective discussion and nostalgic celebration of culture. An editor and copywriter for Australian not-for-profit organisations, Andrea founded the Peninsula Writers’ Club.

The judges chose the winning story for the professionalism of its prose. This is a beautifully told story about the impact on a mother when she finds her daughter has been sexting on her phone. The next step is how to broach the subject and the consequences when the daughter wakes up. This is beautiful, clear writing with a gentleness that is profoundly moving.


Short listed stories …


The anonymous entries were read by one judge and shortlisted to 10 stories. Next the other two judges shortlisted to their top three. Discussion then took place. The shortlist from 179 entries:


The Lord’s Fodder by Amanda Hemmings (NSW)

Vacation by Kerrin O’Sullivan (Vic)


These writers receive book prizes donated by the University of Queensland Press. The judges congratulate and encourage the winner and shortlisted writers.          


The competition, about to enter its twenty-eighth year, would not be a success without the continued sponsorship of the Porter family and East Gippsland Newspapers.Supporters such as East Gippsland Art Gallery that auspice the competition and the University of Queensland Press must also be thanked.


Peter Millard – Competition organiser

The winning story CAN BE READ HERE


Download previous years winning stories:

2019 Jodie Kewley,

Laid Bare | Read here


Jodie has been writing part-time since the early 90s. She has authored two novels and co-edited a non-fiction book, but writing short stories is what she enjoys most. Her stories have won a number of awards and have been published in a wide range of journals and anthologies. Based on the Mornington Peninsula, Jodie has worked as a social worker, journalist, gardener, cook and potter’s assistant. She and her partner run a small business, ‘The Red Hill Muesli Company’, which is conveniently based on their property.

2018 Rob Johnson

The tree.

A beautifully told story about the love between a father and his son, symbolised in the planting of a tree. The boy’s enraged reaction to his father’s death is to cut down the tree. The father is reflective and philosophical. The story goes into a second generation that mirrors the first. This is beautiful, clear writing with a gentleness that is profoundly moving.

2017 Simon Rowe

Crossing the Ditch

The judges chose the winning story for the professionalism of its prose. The story was clear, simple and direct. Told from a boy’s point of view, this story of migration showed the stresses that moving into the unknown hold for probably all migrants.

2016 RJ Tennyson

Tonight's the night I'm going to shine

RJ Tennyson is a writer of short stories (and unfinished novels) who has been writing for pleasure since 2015. He is based south of Melbourne, on the sunny Mornington Peninsula, where he lives with his wife, daughter, two dogs, and a pair of crazy cats. He considers himself a ‘social justice junkie’ and it’s from this space that he draws inspiration for his writing. When time permits, he co-authors the blog FlashFictionFanatics with a fellow writer and friend.

2015 Amanda Wilson

Mr and Mrs Hopper, Room Eighteen.

Amanda Wilson is a daytime Librarian and an evening wordsmith. She likes reading old erotic fiction and wandering her Spotswood neighbourhood at dawn, when the industrial rail yards look like sleepy river towns.

2014 Kerrin O'Sullivan,


Kerrin is a Melbourne-based writer with a love of words and faraway places. She finds inspiration in, and is more than slightly in awe of, the intricacies of language, its nuance and mystery. Her published writings include short fiction and creative non-fiction and have appeared in various journals and anthologies including Southerly, Kill Your Darlings, the Victorian Writer, Write Now and Aesthetica

2013 Claire Aman

Love me tender

Claire says she has always been a daydreamer and always liked reading. She hasn’t studied creative writing. She wrote a novel once. It wasn’t published but it taught her how to write. She loves writing short stories. She likes sifting through the lazy subconscious, pushing preoccupations around and coming up with things she didn’t know she knew.

WINNER ANNOUNCED tilted black rectangle_


2 Nicholson Street
Bairnsdale Victoria 3875
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Saturday 10am–2pm
Sunday-Monday CLOSED

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