Cothren wins 2019 Peter Carey Short Story Prize
Alex Cothren has won the 2019 Peter Carey Short Story Award for his story ‘Let’s Talk Trojan Bee’.
Judge Nic Low described Cothren’s story as ‘a polyphonic piece built entirely from quotations spanning Twitter, Fox News, the New York Times, IPCC reports, as well as Breitbart and Infowars’, and likened it to George Saunders’ Lincoln in the Bardo (Bloomsbury).
‘Alex tells a tale of climate change and the impact of collapsing bee populations. But the frame quickly expands to encompass migrant workers, border control, far-right conspiracy theories, mass shootings and ultimately civil war. It’s ingenious, timely, and politically and socially astute,’ added Low.
Cothren received $1000 and runner-up Paige Clark received $500 for her story ‘Elisabeth Kubler Ross’, presented at an awards ceremony on 1 June. Chosen from a shortlist announced in May, both stories will be published in the spring edition of Meanjin.
Also awarded was the inaugural award for best local entry, which was presented to Ballan writer Bob Carey-Grieve for his story ‘Act III’. He receives $250 and an excerpt of ‘Act III’ will appear in the Moorabool News in the coming weeks.
Organised by the Moorabool Shire Council, the award is for stories between 2000–3000 words and is open to all Australian residents.
For more information, and to read the full judge’s report, see the website.