#almanac280 writing competition ends – “Finals”

Last week we asked the you to send us short stories that made the most of Twitter’s 280 character limit – inspired by the theme Finals.


We had some great entries. Check them all out here: https://www.footyalmanac.com.au/almanac-writing-competition-almanac280-finals/


Last week we also said that:
Almanac membership for 2020 and two books from the Almanac Shop will go to the author of our favourite story; in the spirit of the Almanac.
The winning entry will be announced on Friday 20 September (day of the first AFL Preliminary Final).

Thanks to everyone who entered.
We hope you enjoyed reading such a variety of voices and we hope you enjoyed creating some writing.

Here are some of our favourites:




John Donegan (@John_Donegan)

She told him that she dreamed about escaping. That was all she dreamed about: escape. She saw herself at night running naked down the wing, running across the painted fifty, running towards goal, always running.”
#Almanac280 with apologies to Sam Shepard; Paris, Texas (1984)




Swish Schwerdt (@swishtter)

Coach:Today is really important. If we beat the Gazelles by 12 and the Budgies lose, we might make finals. So some of you might only play one quarter.

Emily:But Coach, we’ve only scored four goals all season.

Katie:Can I please have another snake?

Sarah:Me too





Tony Corke (@MatterOfStats)

My Dad died in the same hospital I was born in, a stone’s throw from the home ground of the Canterbury Bulldogs, a team he reluctantly adopted, and next door to the park where I scored 39 run out, still my top score

Now, I kinda love Aussie Rules

Life’s complicated





Tim Boyce (@BoyceTim)

The smell of jonquils, and freshly cut grass. A touch of warmth in the sun. And that once lost, but now familiar September knot in the stomach. I want it to end, but I don’t. ‘Carn the Tiges’ I get from the car at the lights. I nod, wink and smile. How good.





Dave Brown (@diogenesbrown)

I go for a walk through the streets, the lounge room no longer capable of containing the rage. The barracking escaping neighbourhood windows and doorways remains joyless, nothing good inside. I keep walking, bloody football.





Steiny (@steiny71)

Exhausted, dirty, covered in sweat. I look at him, my son. The lips, downturned, the eyes, red and misty. They look at me now, pleading, hoping for an answer to the aching hurt. I have nothing for him. His first Grand Final loss.
“Next year” and a hug is all I’ve got.





Peter_B (@PBauldy)

The grevillea overrun like the midfield. The retic leaking like the defence. Leaves dropped in piles like forward opportunities. The coach’s icy stare. “Season’s over buster. Run out of excuses.” Consigned to a long pre-season in the garden. #almanac280




Meredith Schier (@mezmusings)

Senior cousins, eight and nine decades young settle into their seats at the G. Share the recent family and team news – more interested in the latest baby update than their own health challenges. Stalwarts’ hearts beat true for their Melbourne FC team; in finals or not.





Peter Guley (@peteguley)

I sensed this was a huge footy season.
New coach. He usually coached the older boys. This was special.
GF 3/4 time. We gathered around the coach’s chair as he could no longer walk.
With his encouragement we tried our best but couldn’t win.
That was Dad’s last game.





Chris (@cweaver1983)

Up the gravel slope, Football Record in hand. Dad goes to the wrong turnstile, but they let us in. Homemade Demons streamer in hand, we climb the steps to the wing. The greensward VFL Park sits below and a new footy supporting life begins. Thanks, Dad – I love you.




We couldn’t split it. We give equal first place to Meredith and to Steiny. Membership each and a book each. Well done and thanks to everyone involved.


Check out previous #almanac280 competitions:

#almanac280: Sport. Write from the Heart
#almanac280: Adelaide
#almanac280: Tigers 2017




Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


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  1. Congrats to all. I left it too late. Was going to say:
    No pain, no joy
    No tears, no glory,
    Now Swans this year
    End of story!

  2. Oops, should read No Swans this year, not Now

  3. Done in another Prelim. Know how the Cats and Giants will feel. Back to the mulching.

  4. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Abbreviated literature was the winner. Congrats to all who entered.

  5. Agreed, Swish.
    How good is creativity?

  6. Well done to all. Terrific fun. Swish- don’t you mean abbrev. lit?

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