AustLit logo
Australian Short Story Collection - Steele Rudd Award
or University of Southern Queensland Australian Short Story Collection – Steele Rudd Award
Subcategory of Queensland Literary Awards
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

History

The award title was changed to University of Southern Queensland Australian Short Story Collection – Steele Rudd Award in 2015.

Winners

2020 winner y separately published work icon Lucky Ticket Joey Bui , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2019 17064005 2019 selected work short story

'IN the comic-tragic story ‘Lucky Ticket’, the narrator, a genial disabled old man, sells lottery tickets on a street corner in bustling Saigon. In ‘Mekong Love’, two young people in a restrictive society find a way to consummate their relationship—in an extraordinary tropical landscape.

'In ‘Abu Dhabi Gently’, a story of dreams and disappointment, of camaraderie and disillusionment, a migrant worker leaves Vietnam to earn money in the UAE in order to be able to marry his fiancée. ‘White Washed’ depicts a strained friendship between two students in Melbourne, the Vietnamese narrator and a white girl.

'What does it mean to be Asian? What does it mean to be white? And what makes up identity? In Lucky Ticket, Joey Bui introduces a diverse range of characters, all with distinctive voices, and makes us think differently about mixed-race relationships, difficulties between family generations, war, dislocation and identity.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2019 winner y separately published work icon Zebra and Other Stories Debra Adelaide , Sydney : Picador , 2019 15418348 2019 selected work short story

'A body buried in a suburban backyard.

'A suicide pact worthy of Chekhov.

'A love affair born in a bookshop.

'The last days of Bennelong.

'And a very strange gift for a most unusual Prime Minister...

'Tantalising, poignant, wry, and just a little fantastical, this subversive collection of short fiction - and one singular novella - from bestselling author Debra Adelaide reminds us what twists of fate may be lurking just beneath the surface of the everyday.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2018 winner y separately published work icon Pulse Points : Stories Jennifer Down , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2017 11679894 2017 selected work short story

'The characters in Jennifer Down’s Pulse Points live in small dusty towns, glittering exotic cities and slow droll suburbs; they are mourners, survivors and perpetrators. 

'In the award-winning ‘Aokigahara’, a young woman travels to the sea of trees in Japan to say goodbye. In ‘Coarsegold’, a woman conducts an illicit affair while her recovering girlfriend works the overnight motel shift in the middle of nowhere. In ‘Dogs’, Foggo runs an unruly gang of bored, cruel boys with a scent for fresh meat. In ‘Pressure Okay’ a middle-aged man goes to the theatre, gets a massage, remembers his departed wife, navigates the long game of grief with his adult daughter.' (Publication Summary)

2017 winner y separately published work icon The Circle and the Equator Kyra Giorgi , Crawley : UWA Publishing , 2017 9145964 2017 selected work short story

'In the dying days of the Russian Empire, a Scottish sound recordist disappears into the Caucasus mountains; a former hero of the Algerian resistance experiments with traditional Chinese medicine; a French anatomical artist models disfigured soldiers returned from the Crimea; in 1960s Poland, a grandmother hatches a plan when a Hollywood star comes to town; during the war in Vietnam, fate and superstition guide a Filipino cook toward a new vocation; in Weimar Berlin, a young man’s efforts to rehabilitate himself are derailed by a charismatic artist...

'Confronting, moving, and brilliantly original, Kyra Giorgi’s fascinating stories loop through time and place to delve into the lives of those caught at the articulation points of history. Deftly balancing the personal and the political with the historical and the medical, they explore the impact of conflict, the ethics of treatment and care, and the lengths to which we will go to preserve who we are.' (Publication summary)

2016 joint winner y separately published work icon The High Places Fiona McFarlane , London : Hodder and Stoughton , 2016 9172969 2016 selected work short story

'The stories in this enthralling collection find those moments - and places - when life seems to do an about-face. The revelations of intimidating old friends on holiday, an accident on a dark country road, a lottery win and a lesson in the real nature of luck, the sudden arrival of American parachutists in a country town . . . here people are jolted into seeing themselves and their lives from a fresh and often disconcerting perspective.

'Ranging around the world from a remote Pacific island to the tourist haunts of Greece and written with great emotional insight, extraordinary invention and wry humour, each of these stories is as rich and rewarding as literature can be.' (Publication summary)

2016 joint winner y separately published work icon A Few Days in the Country : And Other Stories Elizabeth Harrower , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2015 8702143 2015 selected work short story

'One day, Alice said, ‘Eric Lane wants to take me to—’

'For the first time, her mother attended, standing still.

'Eric was brought to the house, and Eric and Alice were married before there was time to say ‘knife’. How did it happen? She tried to trace it back. She was watching her mother performing for Eric, and then (she always paused here in her mind), somehow, she woke up married and in another house.

'Internationally acclaimed for her five brilliant novels, Elizabeth Harrower is also the author of a small body of short fiction. A Few Days in the Country brings together for the first time her stories published in Australian journals in the 1960s and 1970s, along with those from her archives—including ‘Alice’, published for the first time earlier this year in the New Yorker.

'Essential reading for Harrower fans, these finely turned pieces show a broader range than the novels, ranging from caustic satires to gentler explorations of friendship.' (Publication summary)

2015 winner y separately published work icon Merciless Gods Christos Tsiolkas , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2014 7903617 2014 selected work short story

'A collection of thrilling, original and imaginative stories from the award-winning, bestselling author of The Slap and Barracuda - a showcase all of his immense and unique story-telling talents.

'Love, sex, death, family, friendship, betrayal, tenderness, sacrifice and revelation...

'This incendiary collection of stories from acclaimed bestselling international writer Christos Tsiolkas takes you deep into worlds both strange and familiar, and characters that will never let you go.' (Publication summary)

2014 winner y separately published work icon Only the Animals Ceridwen Dovey , Melbourne : Penguin , 2014 7149680 2014 selected work short story (taught in 4 units)

'In a trench on the Western Front a cat recalls her owner Colette's theatrical antics in Paris. In Nazi Germany, Himmler's dog seeks enlightenment. A Russian tortoise once owned by the Tolstoys drifts in space during the Cold War. In the siege of Sarajevo, a bear starving to death tells a fairytale; and a dolphin sent to Iraq by the US Navy writes a letter to Sylvia Plath.

'Ten animal souls tell extraordinary stories about their lives and deaths, caught up in human conflicts of the last century and its turnings. Together they form an animal's eye view of humans at both our brutal, violent worst and our creative, imaginative best. Exquisitely written, playful and poignant, Only the Animals is a remarkable literary achievement by one of our brightest young writers. It asks us to find our way back to empathy not only for animals, but for other people, and to believe again in the redemptive power of reading and writing fiction.' (Publication summary)

2013 winner y separately published work icon Like a House on Fire Cate Kennedy , Brunswick : Scribe , 2012 Z1891466 2012 selected work short story 'From prize-winning short-story writer Cate Kennedy comes a new collection to rival her highly acclaimed Dark Roots. In Like a House on Fire, Kennedy once again takes ordinary lives and dissects their ironies, injustices and pleasures with her humane eye and wry sense of humour. In 'Laminex and Mirrors', a young woman working as a cleaner in a hospital helps an elderly patient defy doctor's orders. In 'Cross-Country', a jilted lover manages to misinterpret her ex's new life. And in 'Ashes', a son accompanies his mother on a journey to scatter his father's remains, while lifelong resentments simmer in the background.

'Cate Kennedy's poignant short stories find the beauty and tragedy in illness and mortality, life and love.' (From the publisher's website.)
2012 winner y separately published work icon Forecast : Turbulence Janette Turner Hospital , Pymble : Fourth Estate , 2011 Z1803542 2011 selected work short story 'Forecast Turbulence is a breathtaking and exquisitely lyrical collection of nine short stories and one memoir piece from internationally acclaimed Australian author Janette Turner Hospital. Featuring a compelling and enigmatic cast of characters - a loner obsessed with the beautiful face of a neighbour; a militant religious cult; the mute skipper of a whale-watching boat; a teenager who hasn't set eyes on his father since the breakdown of his parents' marriage; the daughters of a charming family man (and paedophile); a child and his grandmother sitting out a hurricane; two vulnerable girls visiting their stepfathers in prison; a young woman deeply ashamed of what her father has become; and the grief-stricken parents of an abducted child - Turner Hospital sensitively weaves their stories of raw emotion, heartbreaking vulnerability and incredible resolve, revealing their quest to hold their centres and maintain equilibrium in a turbulent and uncertain world.' (From the publisher's website.)
X