I won first place in the 2011 Manly FAW short story comp! Squeee!

Me reading from “The Portrait of a Model”.

Excitement and nerves had me tugging at my husband’s sleeve and sipping back the wine last Sunday evening. I was at Manly Library for the annual Fellowship of Australian Writers Manly & Peninsula awards night, and I was on the shortlist for a prize.

Exactly what kind of prize, I did not know. Exactly how I was going to keep my four-year-old and six-year-old quiet, I also did not know. For them, the results of who won the articles, poetry and short story sections were of much less interest than the nibbles and juice on offer. Luckily, the corridor outside the function room appealed to them just in time for the audience to listen to the winning poems, and for the announcement of the short story prize…

It took me a moment to realise, but when I heard my name as the winning short story entry, I couldn’t stop grinning… until I was asked to read my story aloud! My winning entry Portrait of a Model is a confronting story to read, aloud or otherwise. But with so many eager and supportive faces in the crowd (and plenty of wine still to drink), it was almost fun. Thank you Beatrice Yell, president of Manly’s FAW, both for organising the competition and for all that you do for writers.

Here’s a full list of the results:


2nd – Helen Lyne, “Mothers Day”.

1st – Zena Shapter (NSW), The Portrait of a Model

2nd  – Helen Lyne (NSW), Mothers Day

Highly Commended – Leigh Glascott (NSW), Rounders

Commended – Cynthia Rowe (NSW), The View


Poet John Egan accepting his poetry prize.


1st – Kevin Gillam (WA), the stroking

2nd – John Egan (NSW), Closest to Rain

Highly Commended – Kevin Gillam (WA), what my father taught me

Commended – Margaret Owen Ruckert (NSW), read me, eat me


Commended – Jan Foster (VIC), Just Add Water

Commended – Bea Norrie (NSW), Opportunities For All

Congratulations everyone!

Thank you, Fellowship of Australian Writers!


Zena Shapter

I write from a castle in a flying city hidden by a thundercloud. #Ditmar Award-winning author. Movie buff. Traveller. Wine lover. Story nerd. Book Creator & Mentor. Founder & leader of the award-winning Northern Beaches Writers' Group / ZF Kingbolt.


  1. better leave the red carpet out no point putting away ! congratulations mum and dad

  2. How wonderful. Just keep rolling with. It is soooo good to win isn’t it?

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