The winner of the Minds Shine Bright writing competition Storm was announced at two online events on Friday. Chelinay Gates (Malardy Malardy), an indigenous artist, writer and Doctor of Traditional Medicine from Perth, Western Australia, won first prize of $500 for her flash fiction entry Storm Clouds Approaching. Chelinay’s portrayal of indigenous women in the morning brings both the landscape and the people to life and stays with you. Second prize winner Cassie Boulis, from Atlanta Georgia, masterfully builds atmosphere inside a Florida home, at night, as a hurricane approaches. The third prize winner was Troy Walsh, from Central West, New South Wales. Troy’s short story In the Embrace of Trees has haunting and lyrical qualities as a wandering boy grows to a troubled manhood. Fourth prize was awarded to short story House of Feathers by Victorian writer Sarah Rasmussen. Sarah tells the heart-warming story of a young boy in a deserted house caring for many animals.
Twenty eight writers were selected for the Storm Shortlist as winning or commended entries and for publication in the Mind Shine Bright’s anthology Storm, the first in the Seasons Series. The top ten showcase included South Australian poet Steve Evans for Storm , Victorian poet Jennifer Harrison, for Shelter, Bass Coast short story writer Gayle Beveridge for The Lightning Traveller and flash fiction writers Patricia Fitzgerald (Queensland) for Storm in a Tea Cup, Jacqueline Winn (Possum Brush, New South Wales) for When God Goes Mad, and Riya Patel (New Jersey, United States) for A Breeze that Brought in a Taxi Cab. A second poem by Steve Evans, Coackroach, Honey was commended.
There were almost 400 entries to Storm which was judged by Amanda Scotney, curator of the Mind Shine Bright anthologies, writer and founder of Minds Shine Bright. Shortlisted entries ranged in age from eighty to thirteen including writers from Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Canada. The blind judging and assessment process ensured that each entry was judged for the words on the page alone. A Longlist of thirty one writers will receive e-certificates of merit for the high quality of their writing. Ten certificates and gifts of recognition will be awarded to writers whose work shone brightly in some way. Two schools, Victoria Point State School in Queensland and Elsternwick Primary in Victoria will receive certificates of merit for their participating students.
Storm, Minds Shine Bright, Season 1, 2023 is due for release in late July 2023. The cover is shown above and art work Weather at the Museum is by Adelaide artist Mike Barr. The launch of Storm and some community and online events are being planned for August and September 2023.