Tales from the Pandemic: Short Story Competition

Tales of the pandemic short story competition

A time like no other…

‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times’

– Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities, 1859.

As 2021 draws to a close, Your Library wants to capture the stories of this place at this time. The past two years have seen most of our assumptions, habits and expectations thrown out the window. We would like to record the tempo of the time while it is still fresh and preserve it for the future.

We are calling for short pieces of fiction or non-fiction writing up to 3000 words. A selection of entries will be professionally published in an anthology by IngramSpark. Winners will receive two free copies of their work in the paperback publication and all library members have the opportunity to get other work printed by IngramSpark at a reduced fee. Copies of the anthology will be kept in the Eastern Regional Library collection.

Opens 10 December, 2021
Closes 11 March, 2022

First prize $3,000
Second prize $1,000
Third prize $500
Local prize $1,000

Circular transp PNG
How to enter:

Complete the form below and upload your entry.

Terms and conditions

  • The judge’s decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • Entry is free and open to anyone over 18.
  • All entries to be the original, unpublished work of the signatories.
  • Entry into the competition confers permission to publish the entry if selected.
  • Stories should not exceed 3000 words
  • Authors will be asked to supply a short biography (approx. 30 words) to accompany their story. Authors can choose to publish under a different name, or anonymously.
  • A selection of entries will be published by ERLC in an anthology. This selection will be made by the judges, assisted by ERLC staff.
  • No guarantee is made that any entries, including the winners, will be published in the anthology.
  • The selected stories and author biographies will be edited and proofread for length; clarity; correct spelling, punctuation and grammar; and consistent style. The editing process will be done as carefully as possible, but time constraints mean that editing changes will not be returned to the authors for approval before publication.
  • Copyright will remain with the writer and is not taken over by Eastern Regional Libraries Corporation.

Library News

Stories Beyond Stereotypes


Featured Staff Review

I found this book looking for something new for my book club Around Words that runs on the first Wednesday of the month at Yarra Junction Library. Allegra is eleven and has three important people in her life. She lives with one grandmother, Matilde, who is from Hungary and with her own story to tell. Next door is Joy, her other grandmother. They both love Allegra but can't stand each other. Rick, her Dad lives at the end of Matilde's garden and is Joy's son. As Allegra says, Matilde's 'got a blind spot when it comes to Rick'. He is trying to be a good dad to 'Al Pal' but has his own issues and the absence of her mother affects all four of them. These relationships cause a great deal of tension in the child's life and culminate in a very dramatic conclusion. A gripping book with many life lessons for all of us. I loved the rich, full blooded characters of the grandmothers but also the secondary characters, the people Allegra comes in contact with, her friends and neighbors. What an exciting new novelist.

Maria M

Latest Staff Reviews

Milkman is the type of book that you want to give your full attention to, to get the most out of it. You’ll want to spend hours at time reading on the couch absorbing each poetic sentence.
What I loved most about the Milkman is the lack of names and the ambiguity. The story follows ‘middle sister’ as she struggles to live her life on ‘this side of the road’ hiding her ‘maybe-boyfriend’ from her family, and her encounter with the Milkman from a town full of gossip and rumours.
I have never read anything like this book, and I doubt I ever will again. The writing is unique and beautiful. If you’re looking to mix up your summer reading list, I highly recommend it.

Tanisha T

This is a book of beautiful description and imagery, fierce battles and more than interesting characters. Orario Celavini, an ex soldier now law enforcer in 16th Century Florence needs to confront his troubled and traumatic past when he must solve two murders in Florence. A past feud between two wealth families in the area, which ended in the massacre of one of the families, is linked to the murders and Onorio's past. He must solve the murders, save a friend and confront his own past to find peace and harmony in his future.

Lucy I

I thoroughly enjoyed reading In the Footsteps of Zen, written by local author Dr Lim Meng Sing (Peter). He explains what “Zen” is and how it can be used to create a more happy and peaceful life in our modern, chaotic world. He speaks about silence, mindfulness, having purpose and using Zen as therapy through difficult times.
The beauty of this book is in its simplicity. Written by someone who has for many years travelled the Zen path, it is clear and uncluttered. It includes poetry and quotations from authors, teachers, philosophers and scientists.
Peter’s own 150 brief reflections (which make up the second half of the book) are also simple, but very thoughtful.
This book is small in size, but big in content.

Heather M

This is Holly Ringland’s debut novel, she grew up barefoot and wild in her mother’s tropical garden on the East coast of Australia. Her interest in cultures and stories was sparked by a two-year journey her family took in North America when she was nine years old, living in a camper van and travelling from one national park to another. In her twenties, Holly worked for four years in a remote Indigenous community in the central Australian desert.
In the novel Alice suffers a tragedy at 9 years old when a fire destroys her home and she loses her parents. She is taken in by her estranged grandmother, a flower farmer who raises Alice on the language of flowers, but Alice also learns that there are secrets about her past that her grandmother is reluctant to speak about. An unexpected betrayal sees Alice leave the farm and she ends up in the central Australian desert where she learns the culture of the people and their relation to their plants.

Maria B
Would you like to see your review featured? Send any items reviews to [email protected] or get in touch through our social media pages!

Beyond Sparkles and Superheroes

Children receive messages about gender everyday through behaviours, images, written and spoken words at home, at school and in other settings. 
These picture books present child characters in a way that challenges gender stereotypes. They are just a sample of books available on the theme of gender equality or gender equity and have been chosen because they are both enjoyable stories to read with your child and because they represent a range of approaches to the topic of gender equity.
We hope you enjoy them.

Download the Beyond Sparkles And Superheroes Poster here

Knox City Council
Yarra Ranges Council