The Furphy Literary Award, established in 1992, became a national competition in 2020. Responding to the theme Australian life in all its diversity, over 600 stories were entered in the competition in 2022, giving the judging panel of Anson Cameron, John Harms, Margaret Hickey, Tara June Winch, John Kerr and Thornton McCamish plenty to discuss.
It was Cate Kennedy’s story ‘Art and Life’ that emerged from the pack and declared the winner. Kennedy, a celebrated writer and poet, who loves the short story form, has written a funny, insightful story about a young classical violinist whose busking career takes an instructive turn.
Short stories have a way of encapsulating the world around us and within us. While storytelling is a universal thing, it’s the images in these sixteen stories that evoke a place and its people. Dead bats hanging on a wire, sport on the TV, figurines by a bed, teacups of yore and reusable coffee cups of now, the thrill of something new, the politics of a school staffroom, real and unreal memories, the joy of music, the weight of art, wildlife and more.
Is it a furphy when a story captures a truth?