Together with the Peninsula Writers’ Club, the Shire recently invited local emerging writers to apply for the Mayor's Short Story Writing Awards.

The Awards aim to encourage and support Mornington Peninsula writers of all abilities, celebrate our diverse talent and showcase local stories and voices.

Held for the first time in 2021, the Awards proved to be a huge success with 115 hopeful local writers submitting their creative fiction stories.

This year, writers are invited to incorporate Soar as a theme or word to form inspiration for their stories.

Soar: to fly or glide through the air, to rise or increase quickly, to rise to a great heights.

Award categories and prizes:

  • 8 – 12 years judged by author Coral Vass
    500-word limit / short creative fiction only
    $500 prize and bookstore voucher
  • 13 – 17 years judged by Samantha-Ellen Bound
    1000-word limit / short creative fiction only
    $500 prize and bookstore voucher
  • 18+ years judged by Mayor Councillor Anthony Marsh and author Garry Disher
    2,000-word limit / short creative fiction only
    $1,000 prize, book store voucher and and two-week Police Point Artist Residency

2022 winners

View the winning entries and the stories that the judging panel deemed highly commendable by clicking the button below.

Meet the judges

Garry Disher has published over 50 highly praised and widely translated books in a range of genres: crime thrillers, literary/general novels, short-story collections, YA/children’s novels, and writers’ handbooks.

An experienced mentor and creative writing teacher, he has also toured Germany and the United States, where his crime and YA novels have appeared on best-books-of-the-year lists and won awards. His latest titles are a literary novel, Her, the ninth Wyatt thriller, Kill Shot, and Consolation, follow-up to the best-selling and prize-winning crime novels Bitter Wash Road and Peace.

He has been awarded the 2021 and 2007 winner of the Ned Kelly Award for crime fictions, the Ned Kelly Lifetime Achievement awards in 2018, was the 2016 and 2002 Winner for German Crime Fiction and the 1999 NSW Premiers Award.


Coral Vass is an award-winning Australian children's author. She has always loved telling stories and has been writing books for over ten years.

With some of her books featured on ABC TV's Playschool and StoryBox Library, Coral is an ambassador for Reading Out of Poverty and is passionate about giving all children an equal opportunity to read.


Samantha-Ellen Bound is a writer, editor and children’s author. From humble beginnings as an eight-year old writing Goosebumps rip-offs, she now has many years experience working with books – as a bookseller, reviewer, editor, production and marketing coordinator, in education, you name it!

A huge supporter of #LoveOzMG, Sam-Ellen has been published in literary journals and shortlisted for numerous short story awards, including most recently the Peter Carey and Write Around the Murray short story awards. She was also shortlisted for the Vogel Prize in 2018 and been a recipient of a May Gibbs Creative Time Fellowship.

The first novel in her Seven Wherewithal Way series was named QBD Children’s Book of the Year and a CBCA Notable Book.

Sam-Ellen was born in Tasmania but now lives and works on the Mornington Peninsula.


Councillor Anthony Marsh was elected to the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council in 2020 and represents the Briars Ward. Cr Marsh was elected as Mayor in 2021. He is the appointed representative on the Mornington Peninsula Cemetery Trust, the DEWLP Wildlife Management Plan for Mornington Peninsula, the Bass Park Trust, Interface Councils, Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) and Greater South East Melbourne (GSEM). He is an alternate representative on Council's Audit and Risk Committee.

Cr Marsh has a degree in aerospace engineering and a master’s in business administration. His career background includes being a Commissioned Officer in the Royal Australian Air Force and founder of several entrepreneurial enterprises.

He has been an active community volunteer for many years, including various roles in sport, as a driving mentor for disadvantaged youth, a director of a non-profit helping children with disabilities, and maritime rescue.

He is passionate about supporting local businesses, attracting more Federal and State government funding, creating more local jobs, improving amenities for health and wellbeing, and protecting our natural landscapes, beaches and coastal villages from over-development.

Award sponsors

Thanks to the following local bookstores for contributing to the prizes:

  • Antipodes Gallery and Bookshop
  • Farrells Bookshop
  • Petersen's Bookstore
  • Rosebud Book Barn

Farrell's Bookstore Logo