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2022 Peter Cowan 600 Short Story Competition Results

The PCWC would like to thank all entrants who entered the PC600 Short Story Competition in 2022 and for your patience while the judging process was completed. The competition attracted over 200 entries this year from around Australia.

This year’s judge was WA writer and mentor, Brooke Dunnell. Brooke was a finalist in the 2020 Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award with her short story collection, Female(s and) Dogs, and won the 2021 Fogarty Literary Award for her novel The Glass House.

The full Judge’s Report for the PC600SS can be accessed HERE:

The winners and shortlisted entrants for the PC600SS are:


Winner, Julian Cowan Youth Award:

‘The Masterpiece’ by Eva Cheong (WA.)

This story makes an effective commentary on art and beauty ideals by way of clear imagery and fantastical elements. The physicality of the statue and her reaction to her changed, ‘ideal’ appearance has a strong impact on the reader.


  • ‘An Unnatural Beach Day’ by Maya Burns
  • ‘Forest Fire’ by Ella Jarvis
  • ‘Horoscoped’ by Ella McNamara
  • ‘It’ by Iluka Watson
  • ‘The Outback’ by Melissa Carstens


Winner, Novice Writer Award:

‘Drying Out’ by Kerri Major   (NSW)

This is a melancholy exploration of familial dysfunction, repressed rage, and substance abuse. The narrator’s tone is simultaneously wry and desperate, and the cyclical ending underscores the issues that arise in the story.


  • ‘Aisle 17’ by Ciaran Hogan
  • ‘Beast’ by Carol Astbury
  • ‘Rheta’s Unusual Refugee’ by Bronwyn Boehm
  • ‘That Lady Wot Died’ by Teresa Lynch
  • ‘The Call’ by Aimee Sargent


1st place :

‘Speak No Evil’ by Megan Anderson  (WA)

This story captures a distinct sense of place. The balance between the protagonist’s performance and what is going on beneath the surface is handled beautifully, and the author enters and leaves the piece with flashes of crisply rendered detail.

2nd place:

‘And the Rains Came Down’ by Sherry Mackay  (Qld)

The use of narrative voice in this work of flash is deeply engaging, with the sorrowful and resilient tone helping to bring to life the flooded communities in which the events take place. The writing style is both accessible and lyrical, drawing readers in.

3rd place:

‘Wisteria’ by Laila Miller  (WA)

The author of this story has created a protagonist through brief but illuminating sketches of detail. The use of sensory description, especially touch and smell, makes the scene feel vivid, and the character’s feeling of vertigo at the end is palpable.

Highly Commended:

  • ‘Berlin 2018’ by Meghalee Bose (Vic)
  • ‘Clean’ by Jing Cramb (Qld.)
  • ‘Rest in Peace Dad’ by Sarah Leighton (WA)
  • ‘The Pickup’ by Linda Brandon (NSW)


  • ‘Aquamarine’ by Alicia Sometimes (Vic)
  • ‘Between Them’ by Samantha Boswell (WA)
  • ‘My Mate Lucky’ by Martin Chambers (WA)
  • ‘Translation to Fire’ by Kristen Roberts (Vic)


  • ‘Abandoned’ by Pippa Kay
  • ‘Fishing’ by Martin Chambers
  • ‘Pow!’ by Kate Maxwell
  • ‘Sit’ by Sarah English
  • ‘The Picnic’ by Jess Andrews