Mornington Peninsula Shire and Peninsula Writers' Club present the third year of the Mayor’s Short Story Awards and invite local emerging writers to enter the Awards.

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

The judging panel comprising notable authors Garry Disher, Else Fitzgerald, Monica Dux, Sam-Ellen Bound and Coral Vass will read through the entries before a shortlist will be revealed on 24 July. Winners and highly commended writers will be presented their prizes at an Award Ceremony at Somerville Mechanics Institute Hall on Wednesday 30 August.

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 Garry Disher, Monica Dux and Else Fitzgerald
    2,000-word limit / short creative fiction only
    $1,000 prize, bookstore voucher and two-week Police Point Artist Residency

Mornington Peninsula Shire is proudly funding the prize money and the residency at Police Point, while bookstore vouchers have been generously donated by local businesses Antipodes Gallery and Bookshop, Farrells Bookshop, Petersen’s Bookstore and Rosebud Book Barn.

Meet the judges

Else Fitzgerald is a writer based on the Mornington Peninsula. Her writing has appeared in various publications including Australian Book Review, Meanjin, The Guardian, The Suburban Review and Award Winning Australian Writing. Else has worked with various literary organisations including the Emerging Writers’ Festival, the Wheeler Centre, Blak & Bright First Nations Literary Festival and the RMIT University Writing & Publishing program. Else's collection of short stories, Everything Feels Like the End of the World, was published by Allen & Unwin in 2022.

Garry Disher lives on the Mornington Peninsula and has published over 50 books, including the widely translated Hirsch, Wyatt and Peninsula crime novels, which have been on best-seller lists and won several best-crime-novel awards in Australia and Germany. The recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the Australian Crime Writers Association, his latest titles are The Way it is Now, a stand-alone crime novel set on the beaches of the Peninsula, and the best-selling Hirsch novel, Day’s End. Garry has also recently been shortlisted for the ABIA Book Awards 2023.

Monica Dux is a writer and commentator. She is the author of two memoirs: Lapsed: losing your religion is harder than it looks (HarperCollins ABC Books, 2021) and Things I Didn’t Expect (when I was expecting) (MUP, 2013). She is the co-author of The Great Feminist Denial (MUP, 2008) and editor of the anthology Mothermorphosis (MUP, 2015). Monica was a founding board member of the Stella Prize and the Feminist Writers Festival. From 2013 until 2022 she was a columnist for The Saturday Age. She is currently working on a third memoir and doing a PhD in Creative Practice at RMIT.

Samantha-Ellen Bound is a writer, editor and children’s author who lives on the Mornington Peninsula. From humble beginnings as an eight-year old writing Goosebumps rip-offs, she now has many years experience working with books. Sam-Ellen has been published in literary journals and shortlisted for 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.

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.

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

Awards partner

Thanks to our Awards partner, Peninsula Writers' Club.

PWC logo