They say a picture is worth a thousand words – but this month we were fine with just 500 as we introduced only the fourth picture prompt in Furious Fiction history.
These were the complete criteria for March:
- Each story had to include the pictured setting (above) at some point.
- Each story had to include the following “MAR-” words: MARKET, MARBLE, MARVELLOUS, MARSHMALLOW.
- Each story’s final sentence had to contain dialogue – i.e. someone speaking.
(The four required words could be longer variations as long as the original word remained – e.g. MARKETS or MARBLED. And yes, Americans could spell MARVELOUS with one “L”.)
And so, nearly 1300 entrants dialled up a frothy mix of hot chocolates, farmers’ markets, tearful reunions and seaside nostalgia. The red phone box rang out across the land as a beacon for all would-be storytellers. (Actually, in many stories, it didn’t ring at all – long since decommissioned.)
The locations were far and wide – as we wanted them to be – although for those curious about the actual location of the image, it was the shoreline of Loch Linnhe in Scotland near the town of Kentallen. Google maps reveals that the phone box is no longer on the shore – but you can clearly see it looking even more neglected across the main road from the Holly Tree Hotel! (Fun fact – we actually photoshopped out the Scottish flag from the pole on the jetty and the royal crest off the phone box so that entrants wouldn’t feel the need to take the location so literally.)
Of course, there could be only one winner this month and it was Jay McKenzie’s original take that caught the judges’ attention. Congratulations Jay – the prize of $500 in small change has been left in your nearest old phone box awaiting collection!
You can read Jay’s story below, along with six other shortlisted stories from this month plus the longlist of highly commended entrants. And to ALL those who “answered the call” this month, congrats on creating something original and sharing it with the world – we hope you enjoyed participating… and who knows, April's competition could push all the right buttons for you.
MARCH 2021 WINNER
THE ISLAND by Jay McKenzie, NSW
You walk. It’s something to do.
The dog whines, hurrying you on. You pat his head. You don’t remember how he came into your life, or when, but he’s there, making you that character with the dog.
A fine mist drizzles onto your coat, moisture licking your boots. You hunch your shoulders and head off on your daily pilgrimage around the island.
It’s not a big island, but the circuit takes hours. You avoid town though. Too many people, either bland and fading like old photographs or too bold, too bright. The bright ones, you only ever see once or twice before they disappear. No idea where. You wonder which category you fit into.
On a whim, you stop at the cafe on the headland. You’re damp and the dog is grateful for the rest.
“Marvellous day!” The waitress is one of the bright ones. She won’t be here long. You wonder if she has any idea why she’s here.
You grip the warm paper cup, watching the marshmallows disintegrate into brown sludge, and head back into the mist.
The dog is under a bench. You sigh and sit. Dampness seeps through your clothes and you gaze at the boats moored untidily along the dock.
“Waiting your turn, are ye?” The voice is old, male. Cornish accent thick as clotted cream. Its owner is a rotund man, dressed unseasonably. He points at the red phone booth that you’ve often felt looked out of place. “Some never get the call. How long you been ‘ere?”
“I honestly don’t know!” you blurt, surprising yourself. “I don’t remember how or when I got here. Or anything before. I…I don’t know.”
He pats your shoulder, and for a horrible moment, you think that you might cry.
A shrill ringing assails your ears. Your companion pushes himself to his feet. “I’ll get that.” You stare out at the boats and try to remember if you have ever seen one leave or arrive. “It’s for you.”
He proffers the phone towards you.
He nods. You take the receiver.
A raspy whisper. It sounds like your name.
“Hi! Sorry. Frog in the throat.” The voice is crisp, efficient. “So, there’s someone in the market for one like you. Your boat leaves in twenty minutes. Bring the dog.” The line goes dead.
Your bench-mate’s eyes gleam.
“What is this? Am I losing my marbles?” you ask.
He grins and grabs the dog’s lead.
“Come. I’ll walk you to yer boat.”
You frown, but he’s already gone. You trail him downhill to the water, expecting an explanation. But he doesn’t speak.
At the jetty, he indicates a tugboat. You take the dog’s lead and walk up the ramp. The man doesn’t follow.
“I feel like a character in a weird book.”
“A character that got the call! But you might not end up in a weird book. If yer lucky, you might be one what gets sequels. Like Harry Potter.”
“Go get your story.”
What we loved:
Flash fiction is often about originality – and here we immediately stumble upon an inventive premise, simple evocative language, and an effective 3-act structure that ensures this short story is an enjoyable read. The choice of 2nd person POV immerses you instantly into the scene, creating a sense that you are this amnesiac character who’s circling the island, waiting to be plucked away. The picture prompt elegantly lends itself to this setting; a secluded nook of the world that’s equal parts mysterious and mundane.
The subtle humour is great (the ominous raspy whisper on the phone that then clears its voice – reminiscent of The Princess Bride’s pit of despair!) and the nod to the characters who are fully formed, shining bright, and the dull two-dimensional ones blending into the misty surrounds. Ultimately, it is a deftly-realised concept that appealed to the judges’ whimsical side and as writers, you can’t help but imagine the sheer volume of characters who would be occupying this island, patiently waiting for the summons of their author…
SUBMERGED by Cath Krejany, Vic
The pebbles dig into my feet as I walk toward the lake. I dip a toe.
Still cold. Bracing.
Slowly I wade in, shins, thighs, chest, until I am eye-line with the water. Icy fingers stroke my cheeks taunting me, the cold embrace familiar.
I remember you.
On the old levee wall a red rowboat lay suspended and dry-docked halfway up the ramp. The oar protrudes like a limb. Had it been there all this time? It was the colour of the phone box. Our phone box. Scarlet. Crimson. Blood red.
The cold seeps into my bones. Dappled light hits the water’s surface but there is no warmth to be found there. It reflects only shadows from below. Indistinct and blurry. Underneath, the pebbles give way to sand and weeds and the occasional tangle of lost fishing line. Was it one of ours? Did we lose a line, that day? I don’t recall.
Out past the levee wall I can see the buoy floating. Beckoning. I am gliding through the water now. My adult body streamlined, effortless. This time I do not have windmills for arms or thrashing limbs that are unfit and undersized. I reach the buoy easily and cling on like a limpet.
I can see the full shoreline from here. The whole breadth and extent of it. Of us.
There you are bursting out from that ridiculously misplaced phone box. Your red towel draped around your neck like a cape. You are standing, laughing, hands on hips with a large ‘S’ made from zinc cream painted on your chest. Further along the beach you appear again. Your skin is lit with the cherry glow of our campfire, your face full of marshmallows. Your smile is wide and sticky.
Half-way down the boat ramp I see you one more time. You drag that cursed boat along the concrete and into the water. Your young muscles strain with effort as you yell at me to help. I don’t care about the catch you think you can flog at the market for a few bucks. I won’t go out with you in that death trap.
I dive under the water and hold my breath until my lungs want to burst.
In my mind’s eye it is dusk. On the shoreline two police cars park next to the phone box. I hear the pebbles shifting under their weight. Red and blue lights play eerily like a carnival sideshow. A portable floodlight illuminates the boat ramp. A policeman drags a wet red rowboat and sets it aside on the levee wall. The blanket I am wrapped in is coarse and scratches my skin.
You are lying on the pebbles. Your skin is not lit cherry red. It is porcelain white. Marbled like some marvellous statue, perfectly carved. But there is no zinc cream on your chest. No towel, no cape.
I breach the surface, gasping for air. Tears sting my eyes and track down my face unchecked.
‘I am sorry.’
What we liked:
This is a standout example of some of the haunting, nostalgic entries that our picture prompt summoned this month. Here, the story’s intentions are initially as “indistinct and blurry” as the cold water itself – requiring the reader to wade further into the story’s depths to reveal a tragic trip down memory lane; “I remember you” the perfect line.
Deftly playing out a real-time swim while also showing glimpses of the past and its ghosts on the distant shoreline, the story blurs the line between past and present, child and adult, and ultimately driving the emotion like a current through each paragraph.
By effortlessly weaving sensory details and symbolism together it creates an immediacy to the reader that is so apparent. You can feel the chill of the water, the scratch of the blanket, hear the crunching of the pebbles. You intuitively understand the sense of unease when the oar is described as “protruding like a limb”. The vivid colours dramatically change the tone of the story as they go from childhood red towels and capes to serious tragedy with police lights and porcelain white skin. It’s powerful stuff – a strongly crafted piece that pulls you in deeper and deeper with every read.
WHAT IT MEANS by Anna McEvoy, Qld
We don’t know what it means that the supply ship is late.
Our only contact with the mainland is the phone booth by the water, a one-way line jerry-rigged to receive calls but unable to dial out. Thomas calls once a month to confirm the arrival time of his father’s ship with our supplies. He called four days ago, said the ship would come tomorrow, but tomorrow was three days ago.
We don’t know what it means that the phone hasn’t rung in over a month.
Thomas never misses a call with the shipping information. And he never misses our private calls, late at night once a week, when the island is sleeping and we can talk till dawn. I’ve never been to the mainland, and Thomas would tell me the most marvellous stories about his life there. You can buy whatever you need at the market; you don’t have to rely on a supply ship. Imagine that! And I tell Thomas about the stars here, where we can see more constellations in our isolation.
We don’t know what it means that bodies keep washing ashore.
They’re bloated with a strange disease, the flesh swollen and puckered like marshmallows in hot chocolate. Not that I’ll ever get to taste marshmallows or hot chocolate again since the supply ship’s never coming—no one is. We know that now, so we fish every day and set crab pots and grow vegetables, and some days we even hunt game on the deserted islands nearby that we can reach in our dinghies. Not that I’d want to eat a marshmallow now, not anymore. We burn the bodies and are careful not to touch them.
I don’t know what it means that I’ll never get to meet Thomas.
He sent me his picture once, in a letter tucked into a crate of fruit aboard his father’s ship. The ink is fading after all these years and I can barely make out his smile anymore. I used to feel his smile down the phone line, like you can feel a storm in the air before the clouds have even rolled in. If I go to the phone booth and press the receiver snug against my ear and close my eyes tight I can still hear his voice, like an echo of the ocean in a seashell.
My little sister, who’s not so little anymore, says I’ve lost my marbles, but Mother says hush now, we all have our own way of dealing with this strange new world where we might be the only people left alive. And sometimes when it’s quiet at night and the sky is clear, so is Thomas’s voice through the phone line: ‘Tell me about the stars tonight.’
What we liked:
When looking at the picture prompt, it’s not hard to imagine it being one of the remotest places in the world. And here, that idea is taken even further as we play out the possible end of such a world through effective repetition and a diary-entry style narrative that helps to coat an intimate veneer on such a stark premise.
It all begins simply enough as an illustration of a remote land with a single phone booth as its nucleus and concerns over shipment delays, but things take a dark turn when bodies begin washing ashore (a creatively macabre initial use of the ‘marshmallow’ prompt). In this newly dangerous world, the human connections and memories remain paramount in the protagonist’s mind… resulting in an oddly relatable story after the isolation and changed world we’ve all experienced in the past year.
This piece’s strength is that it knows its medium – delivering simply a slice of apocalyptic life, rather than an elaborate dystopian tale where 500 words would be too few for its required world-building and plot. That’s “what it means” to understand flash fiction…
UNTITLED by James Inglis, Vic
I’m driving and Dad and Tim are in the back seat. We’ve been on a boy’s trip, way up in the highlands. Mum’s been reading a lot about psychology on the internet and thought it would be a good idea for us to get away so we can bond and talk through our differences. We’ve been hiking and fishing and hunting together and had to make camp and cook our food on a fire. We toasted marshmallows and drank whisky. We talked too, and I’m not ashamed to admit that on more than one occasion I cried.
The car’s going around the bends nicely. I’ve got AC/DC playing which would normally start a fight, but there is silence from the back. Dad normally likes classical music and Tim prefers techno.
I think about Mum and I want to talk to her. Soon we come down by the loch and there is a phone box and I take the opportunity to stop and call her. I tell her we’ll be home later today and she tells me she’s baking marble cake for the market tomorrow.
While I am talking to Mum, I’m looking at a picture of a lassie’s g-stringed bahoochie. She’s looking over her shoulder suggestively and I feel we have a connection. After Mum hangs up, I call the number on the picture.
“Hello,” says a husky voiced woman.
“Hello,” I say, and then, “tell me about yourself.”
“Josephine. Dirtiest woman in the highlands. Good prices.”
I start thinking about dirty fingernails and unwashed hair, but then I look back at the picture and see that she is clean and beautiful and tanned like no woman this far north. I look at the car, and am certain that Tim is nodding encouragement. We’re not due back for a little while so a brief excursion won’t make any difference. Dad and Tim can stay in the car.
She tells me that it is cash only and then gives me directions.
Dad’s silent when I ask him for some money. He just stares blankly at me and then slumps a little as I go through his wallet. I accelerate away from the car park in a shower of gravel and soon arrive at Josephine’s.
I discover that she doesn’t look as marvellous as the photo in the phone box. I feel cheated and I don’t like it. She takes my hand but I pull away and then suddenly she’s leaning on me, coughing blood with a knife in her abdomen.
I feel bad so I help her to the car and put her in the front seat. I introduce her to Dad and Tim but no one says anything. She stops breathing and gets the same glassy eyed look the other two have.
I’m about to drive off when a police officer knocks on the door.
“There’s been an accident,” I say to the officer.
He peers in the window, “three accidents I would say.”
What we liked:
Did we receive our fair share of dark tales this month? Yes we did. Did they often struggle to “stick the landing”? Also true. But here, the darkness does a great job of tiptoeing up behind the reader and delivering what the judges unanimously agreed was a surprising twist.
Of course, story twists are the pinnacle of flash fiction, so when they’re done well, we take note. And this is a great example of how small details overlooked initially can become illuminated upon rereading (e.g. the mother reading about psychology, the crying episodes, the silent passengers and the way the father slumps when his son fishes through his wallet). The second read is quite a revelation!
The author displays a wry smile throughout, initially the only one aware of this masterclass in misdirect – maintained nicely in the seemingly healthy relationship between son and mother. It all ensures that when the final line of dialogue hits, it’s an extra satisfying (if sickly) ending.
SHIRLEY TEMPLE by Tori Wills, NSW
You’re clinking your Shirley Temple against your parents’ chardonnays when two men-boys and two women-girls barge out onto the lakeside terrace. They’re only about five years older than you, but seem worldly, with their pints and trendy hairstyles. They exude the assured ease of locals, willfully ignoring the summer tourists colonising the pub. They occupy the table behind your parents. Their closeness gives you a thrill, which must be fear. Rowdiness irritates your father. You don’t want a repeat of the shouting match with the Brazilian family on the Seine Cruise.
Being in not-so-foreign England has calmed everyone's nerves. This day trip is for you, the village little more than a visitors’ centre and a churchyard farmer’s market. The nearby National Trust property featured in your favourite Pride and Prejudice adaptation. This morning, you posed in a bonnet and glided through the marble-floored rooms imagining you were an Austen heroine yourself. It’s restored you after the culture shock of Rome. The city was less Audrey Hepburn movie and more honking horns, pickpockets, and adult men who called you bella and stared openly at your bare legs. You haven’t worn shorts since.
The loudest local boy has his feet up on the bench next to him. The girl sharing it swats his shins playfully. The other boy sucks on an e-cigarette. Your mother coughs pointedly at its marshmallow scented vapours.
The final girl is beautiful. Reclining languidly against the stone wall, she reminds you of a Manet you saw in the Musee d’Orsay. You blush, remembering it was a nude.
You freeze, worried your thoughts are transparent, until you realise your father is looking towards the distant hills. As your parents discuss agrarianism, you steal glances at the girl’s wild curls, the white straps against her golden shoulders, the bird tattoo on her wrist. You’re cataloguing everything about her, committing to memory her outfit, her hair, her makeup.
You want… to be her? If you emulated these details maybe you’d also be cool, sophisticated, grown up. She’s nothing like the women you usually look up to – gamine and ladylike, no tattoos or grubby sneakers. Maybe that’s not who you want to be after all?
The girl rises and disappears into the pub.
You have to use the toilet, you announce. Yes, you can go by yourself.
When you come out of the cubicle, she’s at the sink, fixing her hair. You wash your hands and watch her in the mirror. She catches you looking and smiles slightly, before squeezing behind you to exit. You wipe your wet hands on your jeans and chase her back out to the terrace.
To your horror, your father is berating the vaping boy. His friends watch on, entertained, as the beautiful girl slides back in. Your mother glares.
“Ready to leave?” she asks, already reaching for her handbag.
Yes. No. You follow your parents out.
“I hope you’ll never be like that,” your father grumbles as you steal one last look back.
What we liked:
Nostalgia takes a brighter tone in this piece as we are instead reminded of the flush of youth and just how embarrassing your parents can be when you’re busy becoming an adult yourself. Again, the less-commonly-used 2nd person POV is a great choice – inviting the reader to be right there and experience a holiday that feels very relatable, while cleverly name-dropping just the smallest hints from earlier European stops to help flesh out the current one. (Perhaps one day we’ll learn more about that French riverboat cruise!)
The “marvellous view” line illustrates the wonderful intersection of two worlds here at the lakeside pub – where our Shirley-Temple-sipping protagonist is stuck feeling both too young and too old all at once. It’s a simple scene without death or drama, but it works by observing the simple details so well – the “yes/no” indecision in the penultimate line summing up this age perfectly. Curiously, it does all of this while using the picture prompt merely as pure background. Not a phone box in sight!
5 PEOPLE YOU CALL AT THE END OF THE WORLD by Hannah Whiteoak, UK
- Emergency Services
When everyone in the seaside town you’re visiting drops dead, calling an ambulance is the obvious thing to do. Your smartphone’s battery is dead, but you remember passing a phone box on your seafront walk this morning. You run there, past the market where bodies flop between the stalls, past the marvellous old-fashioned sweet shop with a kid collapsed in the doorway, gobstoppers rolling into the road. What are you going to say? Everyone collapsed, except me? You’ll sound crazy. Worse — it rings and rings with no answer.
You didn’t tell her you were taking a holiday, didn’t want her inviting herself along. The cottage you rented has two bedrooms, but it’s not big enough for your mother’s questions about whether you’ve thought any more about going back to university. Alone, you can read all the trashy novels you want without her tutting and mumbling about “culture”. The phone rings off. She’s probably at her art class, painting marshmallow clouds above hills studded with giant, stiff-legged sheep.
He fixed your breakdowns, picked you up from the side of the road when you got a flat on your way to your cousin’s wedding, even though it meant missing half the service himself. As you’ve gotten older, he’s been less reliable. Sometimes you can’t get hold of him for a week, then when you go over the fridge is full of rotting cream cakes. Any suggestion that he’s losing his marbles is met with rage. If he had a fall, how long would it take his neighbours to notice?
- Your Ex
You got together in high school, which means his is one of the few numbers you know by heart. You remember curling the cord around your fingers as you perched on the telephone table in the hallway. When the bill came, you claimed you didn’t know anyone with a mobile. You sent him postcards all through first year uni, until at the end of term you caught the train to Edinburgh to surprise him, and found him in bed with another girl. For years, he’s called every time he drinks, begging you to forgive him, so when he doesn’t answer you let yourself worry that whatever is happening might not be local. Along the seafront, a seagull pecks at a fallen body.
It can’t just be you left. What do you know about surviving an apocalypse? Fumbling your last coin into the slot, you phone the only other number you know. It is good to hear your own name, even if you’re the one saying it. Once, you were sure enough of yourself to record an answerphone greeting: “Leave a message and I’ll get back to you.”
What we liked:
Often overlooked, a good title for a short story can add value, complement the narrative, or even give it a leading edge with a hidden added layer. (Hot tip: it should never overtly give away a twist!) Here, it’s as important at setting the scene as the words that follow.
The unique structure of the piece is an excellent choice for flash fiction, providing a snapshot into the protagonist’s life, while also escalating the hopelessness of the situation as each phone call rings out… ending with the most desperate call of all.
The dystopian premise is juxtaposed nicely with familiar, matter-of-fact details and character traits, adding a dash of authenticity to the dire circumstances. It’s also painfully true that in this smartphone era many of us would find it difficult to have more than 5 numbers memorised!
THE TIME MACHINE by Sharyn Swanepoel, Qld
It’s a time machine, the old telephone box.
The outside looks pristine but inside has been gutted, replaced with graffiti and unpleasant smells.
As I step inside the four walls, I’m transported back. Back to the age of 11, dialling four numbers and waiting for the response.
‘At the third stroke it will be 5.47 precisely.’
That makes 13 minutes to dash home before I’m late for dinner.
I’m sitting at the dinner table, jiggling the marbles in my pocket.
“How’s the homework coming along?”
I don’t even look dad in the eye, but I can sense mum straighten up in her chair. She knows I’ve not started yet.
“I was thinking we could go to the second-hand markets this weekend? To see if we can get you a bigger bike?”
I grin at her attempt at changing the subject, nodding my head.
“You’ll have to do some extra chores to earn it.” Dad’s voice is gruff, but he starts eating again. A good sign.
That night, mum brings me a hot milo with two marshmallows floating on top.
“You know your dad loves you,” she said, her fingers ruffling my hair.
“Maybe tomorrow you’ll get that homework done before he gets home?”
I nod again, knowing it’s unlikely. I’ve already planned to meet Johnny at the jetty after school.
This time I fill the frame of the red box as I’m jiggling coins in my pocket. I only get halfway through dialling the numbers before I hang up. I take a deep breath and dial again. It rings five times before someone answers.
‘Hello, can I please speak to Susan?’ I’ve tried my most polite voice, but it comes out high-pitched.
The silence drags on and then her voice comes through, like an angel calling down from heaven.
I can’t find the words I had practised. Instead, different words come out, stumbling over each other in their haste to be free. They have the desired effect, though. She says yes, and it’s a marvellous feeling that settles on my chest, carrying me home.
Our first date was the next day. Our last date too. But it didn’t matter. I made many more calls from that phone box. Some said no. The one that mattered said yes.
As I step outside and close the door, there’s a sadness that swallows me, knowing we no longer need these boxes. Not now everyone has a portable version on hand.
It makes me wonder, though, why my phone stays silent. The kids are too busy. They say text me, rather than call. And friends, the few that are still around, they’re like me. They can hardly read the screen on those small things, let alone know how to work them.
A swell of people surround me now. They’re holding those phones, but no-one’s talking. No-one’s listening.
“Can anybody hear me?”
What we liked:
Some entries this month sought to use the phone box as an actual time machine, capable of TARDIS-like feats. But ultimately, it was a story that simply saw it as a portal to past memories that resonated strongly with the judges. The required words are woven effortlessly into the narrative here as we are transported back to earlier times and richly illustrated scenes that are so easy to picture. Those of us old enough to remember the reliance on landlines will relate to how a simple object can be linked to many memories and pivotal life moments… and here it works perfectly as an effective vessel to encapsulate the story’s themes.
The final paragraph ties the bow so well – beautifully linking the past with the present and ending this month’s collection on the irony of today’s “connected” society. Call (yes, actually call) someone you love this weekend!
If you’re on this list, well done – you’re one of approximately 3% of stories that made it to the judges’ final discussions – so kudos on delivering an original idea or deft piece of writing. Furious Fiction, like all writing comps, is a subjective beast, so to all those who didn’t make the list this month, always remember that it’s not a referendum on talent – you can totally win this thing next time!
THIS MONTH’S LONGLISTED (in no particular order):
- RUBBLE by Bethany Cody, SA
- HENRY THE VIII COMES HOME LATE (SO LATE) by Craig Cormick, ACT
- ADVENTURE ABOARD THE GOOD SHIP GLORIANA by Jessica Southern-Reid, NSW
- THE CALL by Isabel Pereira, ACT
- FAR AND AWAY by Rajyashyree Rajagopal, Malaysia
- THE MAGIC LINE by C.R. Serajeddini, United Kingdom
- THE BOOTH by Etienne Essery, South Africa
- GRAVE DECISIONS by Doreen Shea, United States
- DISPLACEMENT ERROR by N.E. Rule, Canada
- DOG ACT by Tegan Huntley, WA
- SMOKE RINGS by Lisa Habermann, Vic
- SUNDAY MARKET by Sueanne Gregg, Qld
- DISCONNECT by Matias Grotewold, United States
- MY KINGDOM FOR A SELFIE by Andrew R. Krey, United Kingdom
- AWAKENING by Rory Mcdonald, Canada
- FRANK'S FINALE by Natasha Chesterbrook, United States
- A TREE FALLS by Tamara Moss, WA
- HANGING ON THE TELEPHONE by Mandy Savoie, Canada
- PRESSED FOR TIME by Luke Lockwood, Qld
- UNTITLED by Laura Jay, Vic
- MISSED CALL by Sarah Ayres, WA
- HEARTLINE by Miranda Scott, NSW
- WAITING FOR YOU by Jackson Haberlin, NSW
- FORTUNE’S CALL by Magali Boizot-Roche, Switzerland
- UP THERE, TOP RIGHT by Mick James, Vic
- BLAKENEY PIER by Kimberley Colless, Qld
- THE LOST SMILE by Doug Donnelly, WA
- UNTITLED by Maya Duggan, VIC
- LUCKY 13 by Benjamin Keyworth, NSW
- THE LITTLE ESCAPE by Lauryn Lambert, Qld
- CAPTAIN COMMANDO by Sarah Edmunds, WA
- ELUSIVE MEMORIES by Sharon Jones, NSW
- SOME THINGS ARE WORTH WAITING FOR by Tracy T, SA
- UNTITLED by Brooke Turnbull, Qld
- THE PHONE BOX AT THE END OF THE WORLD by Hilary Ayshford, United Kingdom
- JUST A BIT OF RAIN by Ebony Frost, WA
- IN-BETWEEN by Scout Easson, Qld
- UNTITLED by Chris Blackford, Qld
- UNTITLED by Thomas K Slee, Vic
- UNTITLED by Aphel, Philippines
- SECOND GLANCES by Jenny Lynch, WA
- IN HER MAJESTY'S SERVICE by Nikhil Mathew, NSW
- THE COLLECTION POINT by Richard Conway, United Kingdom
- GRANDMA by Tom Blimfield, ACT
- OUR TELEPHONE BOX by Stephanie Forster, NSW