The winners of the 2016 Margaret Hazzard Award were announced on 30 September 2016. Congratulations to-
Mr Brown Jumper by Megan Wallens
The reader will be won over by the use of knitting as a metaphor for life in this story, then by the fact that the protagonist is – a brown jumper. The writing is sparse, well crafted and the voice strong.
A Dog, a Hat and a Moneybox by Judith A Green
The reader immediately falls in love with the country bloke (and his dog) taking his change to the bank. This is one of those stories that hooks the reader in with this seemingly innocent country bumpkin, only to leave you with a smile on your face when you realise he’s actually a wily old man and you can’t help forgive him for it.
Shooting Stars by Dulcie Stone
Jess is questioning her life. Her marriage, her work, her existence. But how can she be unhappy when she has everything that she needs and ever wanted and other people are jealous of this. Jess makes her mind up about what to do about this unrest when she meets Trudy and she knows that this is a turning point in her life
There are two highly commended stories this year.
The List by Janice Williams
This is a very sweet story about Gary’s marriage to Lisa. Gary is in the army but is not very impressed by the ‘homework’ given to him and the other officers, which is to write a list of ‘Ten things I admire and affirm in my wife’. The story goes on to show us what Gary does admire and affirm in his wife and is a sweet portrait of a long suffering but loving army wife.
Blowy Enough by SJ Finn
This story is about Angie and her sexuality, or the confusion about it. Something has happened that has confused Angie and she questions her relationship with Charlie. Is it cheating if you have sexual thoughts about someone of the same sex? This story is very well written, using a storm as a backdrop to the protagonist’s musings.