Congratulations to Melbourne-based writer Ruby Todd, who has won the 2020 Furphy Literary Award for her short story entry, “Awakening”. The piece describing the tumultuous events in a woman’s life, brought to a head by the HMAS Melbourne – Voyager disaster, takes out the richest competition for Australian short stories earning her $15,000, in addition to a residency program at La Trobe University and future publication in a forthcoming anthology.
Two other works were highly commended by the judging panel in the open category, which received a total of 850 entries from across Australia and overseas. “Pub Raffle” by Gippsland-based author Ya Reeves is a thoughtful piece describing events in a small community in Eastern Victoria during the recent bushfires, while “Ando Gets Plastered” by Castlemaine-based Cate Kennedy is a delightful story of a bucks night gone wrong and sweet revenge.
The Awards were presented in an online awards ceremony held Saturday 25 July, and the finalist entries from each category are now available to read on the Furphy Literary Awards website, including the winners of the junior and youth category awards for short stories and poetry.
La Trobe University is a sponsor of the Furphy Literary Awards. Shepparton Head of Campus Elizabeth Capp serves on the Advisory Board, and La Trobe academics Professor Clare Wright and Dr Marg Hickey were members of this year’s judging panel. Additionally, a dedicated group of ‘long list’ readers who completed the first round reading of submissions included colleagues from La Trobe's Department of Creative Arts and English.
"Some wonderful young and adult writers have been acknowledged through these Awards, and we congratulate all of them," said Elizabeth Capp. "We look forward to welcoming Open section winner Ruby Todd to a writing residency on our campus, at such time as this becomes possible."
The Furphy Literary Award is working towards an annual publication of an anthology of selected works from entries submitted each year. Furphy Literary Award Director and La Trobe University Council member Adam Furphy explained: “Now that the judging has been completed and the results announced we are thrilled to be able to publish the finalist works on our website and share them with a wider audience. We are looking forward to bringing out an anthology of works which we intend will be an annual publication and which will celebrate Australian story telling.”