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2023 ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize

Australian Book Review is delighted to announce that Rowan Heath is the winner of this year’s ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize for their story ‘The Mannequin’. They receive $6,000. This year’s prize – worth a total of $12,500 – received 1,200 entries from thirty-eight different countries. Uzma Aslam Khan placed second and receives $4,000 for her story ‘Our Own Fantastic’ , and Winter Bel placed third and receives $2,500 for her story ‘Black Wax’

The 2023 Jolley Prize was judged by Gregory Day, Jennifer Mills, and Maria Takolander.  

The shortlisted stories are published in the 2023 August issue (you can purchase single issues here). ABR extends a warm congratulations to Rowan Heath, Uzma Aslam Khan, and Winter Bel as well as to the longlisted entrants (listed below). Thank you to all who entered this year’s prize. 

The shortlisted stories are listed below (in alphabetical order by author surname)

‘Black Wax’ by Winter Bel (France/United Kingdom)
‘The Mannequin’ by Rowan Heath (Victoria)
‘Our Own Fantastic’ by Uzma Aslam Khan (United States)

The longlist for the 2023 ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize is as follows (in alphabetical order by author surname):

‘and ever more stranger’ by Emily Armanios (Victoria)
‘Black Wax’ by Winter Bel (France/United Kingdom) - shortlisted
‘Backstory’ by Sue Brennan (Japan)
‘The Mannequin’ by Rowan Heath (Victoria) - shortlisted
‘Our Own Fantastic’ by Uzma Aslam Khan (United States) - shortlisted
‘Older, Younger’ by Kira McPherson (England)
‘Fatal attraction’ by Fope Ojo (Netherlands)
‘Happy At Work’ by Ellen Rodger (NSW)

More information about the longlisted authors can be found below.

The 2023 ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize Longlist

‘and ever more stranger’ by Emily Armanios

Emily Armanios is a twenty-three-year-old Greek-Egyptian poet currently writing and living on unceded Wurundjeri land, in beautiful Naarm. She spends her time being awestruck by the terror/tenderness of the exquisite world, in which you'll often find her writing ‘poetry or else’.

Emily Armanios  

‘Black Wax’ by Winter Bel

Winter Bel is a writer of literary fiction and poetry. Born in England, she now splits time between Paris and Los Angeles. She is presently polishing for publication her début novel After The Angels, as well as her short story collection Hard Place Rock, from which story ‘Black Wax’ is taken. Her website is

Winter Bel - credit Jaimie Kourt  

‘Backstory’ by Sue Brennan

Sue Brennan is an Australian writer with stories published in Australia in ACE - Contemporary Stories by Emerging Writers, Meniscus, Meanjin, and in the USA in The Peauxdunque Review, Big City Lit and The Blue Mountain Review. In 2022, she was the winner of the New Feathers Anthology prose award. She can be found at

Sue Brennan  

‘The Mannequin’ by Rowan Heath

Rowan Heath is a writer, editor and LARPer living on Wurundjeri land. Their creative work has appeared in In Flux: Trans and Gender Diverse Reflections and Imaginings, Monstrous Appetites, Perspektif, Verge and Antithesis. Their fiction will be published in Strangely Enough, an ASSF anthology, in late 2023. They have edited for publications such as Farrago, Inkspot and CAMP. They currently work in the higher education sector.

Rowan Heath - credit Alice Capstick  

‘Our Own Fantastic’ by Uzma Aslam Khan

Uzma Aslam Khan is the author of five internationally acclaimed novels. These include Trespassing, nominated for a 2003 Commonwealth Prize; The Geometry of God, a Kirkus Reviews’ Best Book of 2009; Thinner Than Skin, nominated for the Man Asian Literary Prize and DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. Khan’s new novel, The Miraculous True History of Nomi Ali, was a New York Times’ Best Historical Fiction 2022. It won the Karachi Literature Festival-Getz Pharma Fiction Prize, and has been longlisted for the Massachusetts Book Awards for 2023. Born in Pakistan and now residing in the United States, Khan has also lived in the Philippines, Japan, England, Morocco, and Oceania. Her website is

 Usma Khan - credit David Maine

‘Older, Younger’ by Kira McPherson

Kira McPherson is the author of Higher Education, published by Ultimo Press (2023). Her short stories have been published in Westerly, the Stockholm Review of Literature, and the London Short Story Prize Anthology, and she is an associate editor of Short Fiction Journal. She grew up in Perth, Western Australia and lives in London.

Kira McPherson  

‘Fatal attraction' by Fope Ojo

Fope Ojo is a writer from Lagos, Nigeria, who currently lives between Amsterdam and Lagos. She is an alumni of Purple Hibiscus Workshop in Awka, Anambra 2020, Sonic Acts critical writing workshop in Amsterdam, 2021 and the Iceland Writers Retreat, 2023. Some of her work has appeared in Overland, Necessary Fiction, Spread Magazine, Cherry Tree, Ynaija, Irin Journal, Sleek Magazine, Native to name a few. Two of her short stories have been nominated for the Best of Net category in Fiction, and the Pushcart Prize. Her short fiction was also longlisted for the 2020 Commonwealth short story prize.

Fope Ojo  

‘Happy At Work’ by Ellen Rodger

Ellen Rodger’s novella The Girls’ Room was published in Love & Desire, Four Modern Australian Novellas. Her writing has also appeared in The Best Australian Stories and The Age. Her recent short fiction has been nominated for the Newcastle Short Story Award, the Albury City Short Story Award, and the Alan Marshall Short Story Award. Ellen has an MA (Creative Writing) from Western Sydney University.

Ellen Rodger  

Please sign up to our free 'Prizes and Programs' newsletter for more information about the 2023 ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize.

ABR warmly acknowledges the generous support of ABR Patron Ian Dickson AM, who makes the Jolley Prize possible in this lucrative form. 

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