2020 Furphy Literary Awards Open and Youth Winners

Greater Shepparton City Council in partnership with the Furphy Foundation, Latrobe University and the GV Library Group are excited to announce this year’s Furphy Literary Awards recipients.


Congratulations to the following writers. The finalist entries from each category will be available to read from Sunday 26 July on the Furphy Literary Awards website.

2020 Furphy Literary Awards Open Category:

Place: Author: Title:

Winner Ruby Todd Awakening

Highly Commended Ya Reeves Pub Raffle

Highly Commended Cate Kennedy Ando Gets Plastered

2020 Furphy Literary Awards Youth Short Story:

Place: Author: Title:

First: Elly Miechel An Atlantic Night

Second: Sophie Campisi A Perfect Coincidence

Third: Layla O’Callaghan To Love a Faery

2020 Furphy Literary Awards Youth Poetry:

Place: Author: Title:

First: Miya Smith Persimmons

Second: Ben Shelton Colours of a lakeside life

Third: Layla O’Callaghan The Flavours of Demurity

2020 Furphy Literary Awards Junior Short Story:

Place: Author: Title:

First: Lila Plunkett Off Track

Second: Alice Bourchier Fortune Favours the Bold

Third: Riley Wooster The Miner’s Hat

Melbourne Based writer Ruby Todd has won the 2020 Furphy Literary Award with her entry entitled “Awakening”. The piece describing the tumultuous events in a woman’s life brought to a head by the HMAS Melbourne – Voyager disaster takes out the richest competition for Australian short stories earning the winner $15,000 in addition to a residency program at LaTrobe University and future publication in a forthcoming Anthology.

Two other works were highly commended by the judging panel in the open category which received a total of 850 entries from across Australia and overseas. Pub Raffle by Gippsland based author Ya Reeves is a thoughtful piece describing events in a small community in Eastern Victoria during the recent bushfires while “Ando Gets Plastered” by Castlemaine based Cate Kennedy is a delightful story of a bucks night gone wrong and sweet revenge.

Some 230 short stories and poems from young people in the Goulburn Valley have been judged for this years expanded Furphy Literary Awards. Categories for the Junior and Youth ages included Junior(12 and Under) Short Story, Youth (13-18) Short Story and Youth(13-18) Poetry were well supported and carry a total prizemoney pool of $1,350. ($300 1st prize, $100 2nd Prize, $50 3rd Prize)

Goulburn Valley Grammar student Elly Meichel won first prize in the Youth Short Story category with her entry titled “An Atlantic Night”. In second place with her entry titled “A Perfect Coincidence” was Notre Dame College’s Sophie Campisi. In third place was Layla O’Callaghan of GVGS with “To Love a Faery”. There were 56 entrants in the Youth Short Story category. Judge quote here:

Furphy Literary Award director Sam Furphy said that the quality of the shortlisted and finalist entries was very pleasing.

“It is fantastic to have received these very well written Australian stories from a variety of viewpoints. With such a large field of entries from all over the country and some from overseas the winning and shortlisted works really are a joy to read,” he said.

The finalist entries from each category will be available to read from Sunday 26th July on the Furphy Literary Awards Website. The Furphy Literary Award is working towards an annual publication of an anthology of selected works from entries submitted each year. FLA Director Adam Furphy explained –

“Now that the judging has been completed and the results announced we are thrilled to be able to publish the finalist works on our website and share them with a wider audience. We are looking forward to bringing out an anthology of works which we intend will be an annual publication and which will celebrate Australian story telling.”

Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor Councillor Seema Abdullah congratulated all for submitting entries.

“Council is honoured to be able to support the Furphy Literary Awards and we applaud everyone who has been involved to make sure these awards continued throughout the challenges of COVID-19,” Cr Abdullah said.

“Congratulations to our finalists and winners of the 2020 Furphy Literary Awards, thank you for sharing your story. I encourage members of our community to have a read of the finalist entries online and hopefully they will inspire more writers to pick up a pen or sit in front of a keyboard.”

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