The Furphy Literary Award 2021






Last year The Furphy Literary Award went national. Over 800 entries were received. A long list was selected, and narrowed down to a short list, from which a winner, and second and third place-getters were announced. Ruby Todd’s story was the winner, with second place to Ya Reeves and third place to Cate Kennedy.


Sixteen of the stories were selected for The Furphy Anthology 2020 which was launched in Melbourne on March 30.


This year the competition is on again with entries closing on April 30. That’s TOMORROW!


More information follows in this recent media release:







The Furphy Foundation is thrilled to announce the launch of Australia’s premier short story literary competition, the 2021 Furphy Literary Award, with registration now open until 30 April.


Everyone can write at least one good story; that was the belief of J. F. Archibald the editor and founder of The Bulletin. His legacy and passion for encouraging readers to be contributors, was the spark which inspired Joseph Furphy to write his novel, Such Is Life, which is considered a classic in Australian literature.


During the First World War Australian soldiers congregated at the back of Furphy water carts manufactured by Joseph’s brother John to trade speculative and wild rumours and stories, with the ingenious fabrications becoming known as ‘furphies’ from that time onwards. Jointly honouring the author of Such is Life, and ‘the furphy’ that was born from water cart tales, the Furphy Literary Award promotes and extends the tradition of story-telling that is entrenched in Australian life.


One year on since the inaugural national award, the competition is predicting an equally enthusiastic response. With over 850 stories submitted in 2020, all relating to the topic of Australian Life, the Furphy Literary Award will soon launch The Furphy Anthology 2020. The book will feature sixteen highly-commended short stories from last year’s award submissions.


“We were absolutely thrilled with the response we received to last year’s inaugural competition and we are so excited to present the 2021 Furphy Literary Award.  Whilst largely the same format as last year we are very pleased to have increased the prize pool and provide the opportunity for selected stories to be published in the annual Furphy Anthology”, said Sam Furphy, Managing Director of Furphy Foundry, and great, great, great nephew of Joseph Furphy.


“We are calling all writers to compete in an annual award for a prose work, either fiction or non-fiction, by a writer aged 18 years or more at the time of submission”, said Adam Furphy, Managing Director of J. Furphy & Sons and Joseph Furphy’s other great, great, great nephew.


Judges will include novelist Anson Cameron, historian Clare Wright and journalist John Harms. The open competition will run from 1 February 2021 until 30 April 2021. Following the judging there will be an award ceremony in July 2021. Made possible by the support from sponsors, the Furphy Literary Award continues to spread joy and share ‘furphies’ thanks to Furphy Refreshing Ale, Furphy Foundation, La Trobe University, City of Greater Shepparton and Goulburn Valley Libraries.


For further information regarding the competition, or to enter the award,

please visit:


Theme: Australian Life (in all its diversity)


Maximum Length: 5,000 words


First Prize: $15,000, Second Prize $3000, Third prize $2000, a LaTrobe University Residency and publication in the 2021 Furphy Anthology.



Junior & Youth short story & poetry competition


The Furphy Literary award also encompasses and continues a 27-year-old literary award for young writers in the Goulburn Valley. Previously Known as the Joseph Furphy Literary Award, this competition invites juniors and youth to compete in both short story and poetry categories. This competition will run concurrently with the national open short story category and be awardded in the same week in July 2021.


Adam Furphy said: “We have been so proud to have provided this platform for young writers and poets in the Goulburn Valley over nearly three decades and we are happy to see it continue. We are thrilled to see many schools within the Goulburn Valley embracing the competition and encouraging their students to enter.


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