Congratulations to Amelia Kendall, a winner of the Sunday Star-Times Short Story Awards.
Amelia’s story, The Rose Garden, won the secondary school division ahead of more than 250 entries from all over New Zealand.
Judge Emily Perkins said Amelia’s story was “funny and observant, with some terrific use of language, textural details, images, contrasts and unexpected character revelations”.
“The central characters, the narrator’s grandparents, are drawn through their warring obsessions, which in turn are evoked with concrete things – the story shows the bizarre way in which hobbies generate stuff, and the personal investment that can become attached to little things like beer coasters or a gardening catalogue.
“The grandmother loves roses; the grandfather, pit bulls and motorbikes. This odd couple have lived together long enough to be grandparents, but in this short piece the silent battle between their interests seems to come to a head. A lot of the story lies in what is not said. The story progresses subtly, so you hardly notice the 180-degree change in one of the central characters until it is upon you and the homely has become unheimlich. Well done.”