Here are the Cooney Insurance Short Story Competition 2020 Winners

We are delighted to have received 285 entries in this year’s short story competition, the highest number we have ever had.  Thank you to all entrants for their hard work, thank you to our wonderful judges, and thank you to our awesome sponsor Cooney Insurance for being our Short Story Sponsor, for the 9th year. This year’s theme was to start the story with the words “It was 3am” and the stories had to be fiction with a word limit of 1500 words. The first prize is $1000, second prize $500 and third prize $250.

Congratulations to the 3 Winners for 2020!
Click the links below to read their stories.
Over the next few days we will share more information about winning authors.

1st Prize Tim Saunders

Trigger warning for domestic violence in this story.

2nd Prize Laura Thompson “ANGELA’S TURTLES”
3rd Prize Makereta Brown “THE TIME AND THE TIDE”

Each of the winners has shared their bio and thoughts about the competition:
Tim Saunders
Laura Thompson
Makereta Brown

Judges for the competition were:

Hamish Wright – Bookseller, former Chairman of Booksellers New Zealand
Venetia Sherson – Former Waikato Times Editor, journalist and author
Denise Irvine – Author and journalist
Jill Carter – Former teacher and passionate educationalist

Judges’ comments:

About the winning story: “The title of the winning short story disguises the content of this powerful and at times, shocking piece of writing. The reader is ripped into the characters life as we are taken back and forward within the hours and days that exist in the story. Cleverly drawn and powerfully delivered, Fish and Chips leaves you wounded and scarred. At 3:01am a light opens and the reader can breathe with hope.”

Comments about the entries overall from the judges:
“The standard and breadth of ideas was impressive. The opening line, “It was 3am”, provided great scope for the imagination, and the range of themes kept me entertained and – in some cases – enthralled. The event continues to grow and showcase emerging writers.”

“There was some clever writing among this year’s entries, and some quirky takes on the theme. I especially admired the two top stories, Fish and Chips, and Angela’s Turtles. They unfolded clearly and subtlety, without contrivance or over-working, and they kept me totally engaged until the last word. All the hallmarks of a well-told short story.”

“It was a pleasure to read the wide range of high quality stories entered in this competition. The theme allowed a variety of responses – some very intense stories, some whimsical, and many a testimony to the resilience of the human spirit.”

The announcement of winners has been emailed to all entrants.
If you were in the shortlist we have emailed to advise you of this.