The Whale House by Sharon Millar one of five regional winners of the 2013 Commonwealth Writers Short Story Prize, is now online. I read it and thought – well, hands down, Sharon can win the overall 2013 Commonwealth Short Story Prize with this story. I was right.
“It is a measure of the quality we had to choose from in the shortlist, that we unanimously settled on two joint winners. It was impossible to decide between them, though each one is quite distinctly different from the other. Both fulfilled our criteria of excellence in style, originality and tone. The Whale House, by Sharon Millar, sets the scene immediately, and there are lush descriptions of landscapes as well as emotion. It is striking how even minor characters are drawn vividly in quick, tightly written strokes. We Walked on Water, by Eliza Robertson, is an exhilarating story about the relationship between a brother and sister, both competitive swimmers. Writing with elegance about sport as well as the emotional bond between siblings is an impressive feat. The descriptive writing is nothing short of strikingly beautiful, in terms of emotions felt, the natural environment and the structure. Both these stories stay in the imagination and the heart, long after they have been read.”