Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award 2021 finalists announced…

by Emma Ashmere

…and I’m thrilled to be one of them! My thanks to all at Spineless Wonders.

From the media release: Twelve finalists have been selected for the 2021 Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award by judge Roanna Gonsalves. The finalists were chosen from a field of 100 submissions which included short story collections as well as novellas up to 30,000 words in length. The finalists are:

Emma Ashmere, The Missing

Jarni Blakkarly, Talkin’ About a Revolution

Oddette Des Forges, Woman walks into a bar

Dominique Hecq, Smacked

D.J. Huppatz, The Net

Jodie Kewley, Laid Bare

Rashida Murphy, The Bonesetter’s Fee and other stories

Andrew Nest, Backtracking

Stephen Orr, Eleven Stories

Cheryl Rogers, The Other Side of the River

Su-MayTan, Lake Corona and Other Stories

David Wright, A Condensed History of Australian Camels

Information about the twelve finalists and excerpts from their submissions can be found on the Spineless Wonders website. Launched in December 2017, The Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award showcases new works of short fiction from Australian authors. Three entrants, one winner and two runners-up, will receive cash prizes totalling $5000 as well as publishing agreements with Spineless Wonders. The winner and runners-up will be announced in September.

The Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award is hosted by short fiction publisher Spineless Wonders and is supported by the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund.


Emma Ashmere was born in Adelaide, South Australia on Kaurna land. Her 2020 short story collection DREAMS THEY FORGOT is published by Wakefield Press. Her stories have been widely published including in the AgeGriffith ReviewOverlandReview of Australian FictionSleepers AlmanacEtchingsSpineless Wonders#8WordStoryNGVmagazine, and the Commonwealth Writers literary magazine, adda. She’s been shortlisted for the 2019 Commonwealth Writers Short Story Award, 2019 Newcastle Short Story Award, 2018 Overland NUW Fair Australia Prize, and the 2001 Age Short Story Competition; and longlisted for the 2021 Carmel Bird Digital Fiction Literary Award2020 Big Issue Fiction Edition, and the 2020 Heroines Prize, and published in NZ/Aust Scorchers climate change anthology. Her debut novel, The Floating Garden, was shortlisted for the Small Press Network Book of the Year 2016, and she is a recipient of the Varuna Writers Space Online Fellowship 2021. See more of Emma’s posts about books and writing here.