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another year, another prize: Lip announces the winners of the 2018 rachel funari prize for fiction

Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction Logo

This time of year is an excitingly busy one for the Lip team.

We work for months to put together what we believe to be a worthwhile writing competition: we come up with a theme that we hope writers will find creatively inspiring and engaging; we contact potential sponsors to contribute to our prize pool; we put together a judging panel of writers and publishing professionals who generously volunteer their expertise and creative nous to judging the prize; and we work hard to get the word out there so that writers will submit their work.

And once the submissions come through (hundreds of them!), we put together our shortlist and whisk the stories off to our judges to do their official judging. (This year we had the wonderful Margot McGovern, Shastra Deo and Briohny Doyle on our judging panel.)

But nothing beats the announcement – particularly when we know the winners will be in attendance. We’ve been super fortunate to have had the support of the Emerging Writers’ Festival over the years and this year, we were stoked to have been invited to present our award at Amazing Babes, which is, arguably, one of the best events on their yearly calendar.



We launched the Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction back in 2013 in honour of Lip’s founding editor, Rachel Funari, to recognise her lasting contribution to the arts. Rachel passed away unexpectedly in 2011 and we hope that by running the competition annually, we’re not only helping to keep her memory alive, albeit in this small way, but we’re also providing a writing opportunity specifically for women and non-binary writers.

This year, writers engaged with the theme ‘metamorphosis’ in diverse ways: there were, among others, stories about death, grief and reincarnation; love and friendship and the transformation of oneself and others; as well as stories about time and longing; and childhood and the loss of innocence.

We are proud of this competition and what it has become and in its six years we’ve read close to 2000 brilliant works of fiction – and they just keep getting better. Each year we ask for creative, insightful fiction and each year, it’s exactly what we get.

This year, FIRST PLACE was awarded to Liz Allan for her story, Our Voices, Fierce. Liz receives a $1000 cash prize as well as other goodies courtesy of our sponsors.

Judge Margot McGovern said of the winning story: “[Our Voices, Fierce is] a haunting story of young women coming into their power. There is such a strong and compelling narrative voice here that captures the clique’s blossoming fierceness, the gossipy parlance of girlhood and the innocence being cast aside.”

2018 Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction winner, Liz Allan (Image: Lip)

2018 Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction winner, Liz Allan (Image: Lip)


SECOND PLACE was awarded to Emily Clements for her story Post and THIRD PLACE was awarded to Kristin Hannaford for her story, Quiquiriqui!.

Winning stories will be published on our website in the coming weeks.

Thank you, once again, to our sponsors, judges and, of course, everybody who submitted their words: without you, there’d be no prize.

2018 rachel prize sponsors

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