2016 Hal Porter Short Story Competition winner is...


RJ Tennyson Tonight’s the night I’m going to shine

RJ Tennyson receives the $1000 first prize.

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.

The anonymous entries were read by one judge and shortlisted to 15 stories. Next the other two judges shortlisted to their top four. The judges chose the winning story for the professionalism of its prose. There is a strong narrative voice that has complexity and authenticity and was easy to understand. The narrator’s problem was clearly explained and developed as the story advanced to a surprising denouement.


The shortlist from 155 entries:


by Roger Vickery (NSW)


These three things

by Karenlee Thompson (Qld)

How to cure a cat’s anxiety

by Melisabeth Cooper Fell (VIC)

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


Peter Millard

Competition organiser

Download previous years winning stories


2016 RJ Tennyson

Tonight's the night I'm going to shine

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 Post-Partum

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.