The Overland Victoria University Short Story Prize aims to discover the finest in original short fiction by Australian and New Zealand writers who have not yet published a book with commercial distribution. With a $6000 first prize and two runner-up prizes of $1000, the award is the most lucrative of its kind in both countries. All winning stories are published in Overland magazine.
'You are: stiff lines, hard colours, corporate setting. Pleats ironed, turtle neck immaculate, hair pulled back. You are: an intern, savvy, eyes-bright, tail-bushed.' (Introduction)
'It's pre-dawn, all dark. Breeding season. Elise wakes just before her alarm goes off, skin sharp in the cold air. She tugs the blankets back across her body, curls her knees in and lets herself - for a moment - think of Dan asleep at home in Brisbane, long limbs spidered into all the corners of their bed. In her mind, she sits across from him and kiss-counts the freckles on his shoulder. On his nose. His beard tickles her chin. He exhales warm air through his damp gap mouth and he will never know it, how she runs her hand across his clavicle, sternum, ribs as he sleeps; how she traces the lines of his wrist and hip where the flesh is thinnest, where she might so easily push in.' (Introduction)
for ‘Breeding Season’
'The afternoons when Murray got home first, he liked to take the dog for a walk down to the foreshore. In winter the fat palms shivered. Murray spent his days with trees. Naming them, measuring them, collecting the soil they stood up in. He lived in St Kilda for thirty-odd years, but sometimes the sour smells of rotting seaweed and dim sims and car fumes still surprised him. he had habit of sniffing his fingers to see if they still smelt of the forest at the end of the day. They never did, but sometimes his nails were still caked with soil.' (Introduction)