Margaret River Press

Editor Laurie Steed describes the ‘right’ short stories as ones that ‘sear their mark upon one’s soul’. Repeatedly, this collection does that.’ – Joanne Shiells, Books + Publishing

The 2016 Margaret River Short Story Competition anthology presents the finest emerging and established voices in Australian literature.

These are stories to be felt, read, and remembered. They cover births, deaths, and moments that define our hopes, fears, and failures.

They are stories that connect with a deeper sense of humanity. They are stories to be enjoyed at home, in our bed, or on the train: wherever it’s possible to savour the quiet, loud, and unforgettable moments of life.

With her prize-winning story, ‘Shibboleth,’ Jo Riccioni paves the way for a collection of twenty-four immaculate stories. Other contributors include Magdalena McGuire, Julie Kearney, Cassie Hamer, Phil Sparrow, Michelle Wright, Mirandi Riwoe, and many more.

Editor Laurie Steed writes that, ‘When I tell people I’m an author and editor of short fiction, they often reply that they don’t like reading short stories. One might expect me to be dismayed by such a response. Instead, I’m all the more committed to assuring them that it is not that they don’t like short stories. It’s that they have not yet read the right ones.’

2015 Margaret River Short Story Competition winner, Melanie Napthine says, ‘Over the years, the Margaret River Press short story collection has established a reputation for excellence. To appear in it in 2014 was exciting; to have the winning story in 2015 was an absolute thrill. There’s no prize quite like having appeared in such a beautifully produced book among such talented company.’

‘Shibboleth and other stories’ is a celebration of talented Australian and New Zealand writers, both emerging and established. With twenty-four stories selected from over 200 entries, ‘Shibboleth’ is a delicately selected collection of outstanding original stories.

Laurie Steed’s work has been published in Best Australian Stories, The Age, Australian Book Review and literary journals, and broadcast on BBC Radio 4.  He teaches Advanced Fiction for Writers Victoria and was selected for the 2016 Bernheim Writers Residency in Kentucky, USA.

Shibboleth & other stories (Ed. Laurie Steed)

Editor Laurie Steed describes the ‘right’ short stories as ones that ‘sear their mark upon one’s soul’. Repeatedly, this collection does that.’ – Joanne Shiells, Books + Publishing

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Reviews & Press

The volume’s abundance means it is best read slowly or intermittently to savour each story’s intricacy and craft. Margaret River Press’ commitment to showcasing Australian writers deserves support. Editor Laurie Steed describes the ‘right’ short stories as ones that ‘sear their mark upon one’s soul’. Repeatedly, this collection does that.

Joanne Shiells was formerly a retail book buyer and an editor of Books+Publishing.  Four Stars.

'While the anthology is always a good read, this year’s collection – Shibboleth and Other Stories – is particularly impressive. Perhaps more than most years, the 2016 anthology embodies a small number of distinct themes, although several stories cross thematic categories.'  Fiction Craft

In this well-shaped collection, editor Laurie Steed has nestled the diverse work of emerging and established writers comfortably together. He says that the 24 stories chosen for the anthology ‘uniformly took risks, presenting new scenarios, vulnerable protagonists, and a willingness to think outside of the box’. There’s also a thread of darkness running through them—so pace yourself in your reading or you could easily feel overwhelmed.

Margaret River Press is a small press that produces good-looking books and this one showcases a wealth of Australian talent. It should be pondered with relish. a bigger brighter world

'In just a few sittings, Shibboleth took me around the world, into lives I’d never heard of. It introduced me to characters both sympathetic and not, and to writers I can’t wait to hear more from (Magdalena McGuire and Cassie Hamer, I’m looking at you!). It pivoted gracefully around the chasm introduced in Jo Riccioni’s title story, and made me consider the turning points and breaks in my own life.' Sam van Zweden

"Many of the stories are built around powerful central images that linger long after you turn the last page." - Julie Koh in her Sydney launch speech. 

"Shibboleth and other stories is a collection worth celebrating and worthy of enduring." - Nathan Hobby in his Perth launch speech. 


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