Image: Screenshot, Moorabool Libraries.

Moorabool Libraries have used a live YouTube feed to announce the winners of this year’s Peter Carey Short Story and Moorabool Young Writers awards.

A whopping 320 entries came in from across Australia – and 116 for the children’s sections. The intermediate section alone attracted 95 entries – many from local students in COVID19 lockdown.

Speaking from Adelaide, Andrew Roff took out the Peter Carey honour for his story ‘Bock Bock’.

The runner up was George McElroy for ‘Company’ while Ballan’s Matt Barbetti took out the local award for ‘Sweet the Bitter’.

The shortlist also included ‘Tight Lines’ by Allee Richards, ‘Flight Mode’ by Charlotte Guest, ‘Caravan’ by Jenni Mazaraki, ‘The Cockatoo’ by Joseph Earp, ‘What would Kim do’ by Miranda Riwoe and Rebecca Slater’s ‘Prawn Fishing with Medusa’.

The award was named after one of Australia’s most successful modern authors – Peter Carey – who was born in Bacchus Marsh in 1943, grew up in Lerderderg Street, admitted he failed English at Bacchus Marsh Primary and still managed to forge a career in writing.

His novels include ‘Bliss’, ‘Oscar and Lucinda’ (Booker Prize 1988), ‘The True History of the Kelly Gang’ (Booker 2001), ‘Jack Maggs’ and ‘A Long Way From Home’.

His 2006 novel ‘Theft: A Love Story’ was based on his childhood in Bacchus Marsh (pictured below).

Other Moorabool short story winners announced today (Saturday) were:


1st ‘Bellybuttonitis’, Ryan Simpson

2nd ‘The Lonely Bear’, Ivy Tyler-Miller

3rd ‘The Whooshing Wind’, Elise Holland

Honourable Mentions:

‘Lily Bird, Lady Bird, Blue Bird’, Sophie Middleton

‘The Tsunami Dragon’, Kumayl Rizvi


1st ‘The Secret within the Woods’, Kaitlyn Imelda Odgers

2nd ‘Saving Rain’, Elise Hayes

3rd ‘A Narwhal’s Magic’, Kaylee McDowell

Highly Commended:

‘Flowers’, Malachi Fox

‘The Magic Sharpie’, Will Richards

Honourable Mentions:

‘The Rescue Mission’, Arnav Thorat

‘The Unknown Battleground’, Joseph Seketa

‘Dug the Hero’, Bryson McMillan


1st ‘Hollow Hearts’, Matthew Michalik

2nd ‘An Island of Fear’, Todd Robinson

3rd ‘Shadows’, Alisha Rizvi.

Honourable Mentions:

‘The Colonial Experience’ by Dana Sparrius and

‘Experience 36’, Mackenzie Stark

Moorabool Libraries thanked everyone who entered.

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Author: Dev