Peter Cowan 600 word Short Story Competition.

In the early nineteen nineties I did a two year post graduate diploma of the arts specialising in religious education. I was a science teacher in a catholic school in NSW and they paid the HECS fees. It didn’t matter that I was, and still am, an atheist, they just wanted the baptised Catholics who they shanghaied into teaching religion to be qualified. The other interesting thing is that I did this qualification by correspondence at Edith Cowan University, home of the Peter Cowan Writing Centre. And, in the whole two years I didn’t speak to a single person. This was before the days of the internet being used for distance education, the whole deal was accomplished on paper and through the mail in envelopes with stamps on them. So don’t let anyone tell you that it is the internet causing a lack of face to face connection. It’s been going on for yonks.
Even though the HECS debt was paid, I still had a mortgage and three kids. I left teaching and did a whole lot of jobs that paid less but made me happier. The long and the short of this is that it wasn’t until I was about fifty two that I finally had the time to sit down and do any sort of serious writing. I joined the Palmwoods Writing Group in 2014 and started having a shot at fiction. Every second meeting we have a theme or prompt to write to. One time the idea was to write from the perspective of an object. And that is how I came to write ‘Submission’. It is my take on the tension between writing for fun and creativity and self, and writing to get published or acknowledged by others. There shouldn’t be that tension, but it happens and afflicts, to some extent, all writers – I think?
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Foundation Song

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Everything is going away, except for the sea that is. The children were the first to go, how quickly they expired under the brand new purple sky. Men retrieved hidden guns and marched away, taking those who believed an enemy must exist out there somewhere.


Read the whole story here.