University of Southern Queensland Steele Rudd Award for a Short Story Collection

2022 Shortlist

Congratulations to the finalists!

Dark as Last Night by Tony Birch (University of Queensland Press)  

Judges' comments 

Dark as Last Night is a superbly crafted set of stories that are in turn poignant, wry and well observed. Birch’s writing canvases a range of experiences and voices, from childhood to jaded adulthood, with technical grace and a telling eye for the sort of detail that resonates.

The Kindness of Birds by Merlinda Bobis (Spinifex Press)  

Judges' comments 

Structurally dexterous and lyrically written, Bobis writes on themes of colonialism, diaspora, displacement and the central importance of kindness in social discourse. This is a collection that comes at its themes in an original way, and where the craft of the writer is evident throughout. 

The Burnished Sun by Mirandi Riwoe (University of Queensland Press)

Judges' comments

Two novellas and ten short stories that demonstrate an impressive range that moves assuredly across both the historical and the contemporary. Riwoe has a rare skill of being able to put the reader very much in the shoes of her protagonists to viscerally sympathise with their situation and the choices they’re forced to make. 

If You're Happy by Fiona Robertson (University of Queensland Press)

Judges' comments 

A very well-crafted collection that hops the globe to present a variety of settings and situations, all conjured with notable technical proficiency. Often subtle and understated, these are stories that bring the reader effortlessly into scenarios that are adeptly drawn and skilfully evoked. 

Lake Malibu and Other Stories by Su-May Tan (Spineless Wonders)

Judges' comments

Engaging and elegantly written set of stories that range across Malaysia and Australia. Although this is a debut collection, it is both assured and impressive and demonstrates that this is a writer very much in command of her craft.