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The 2004 Short Story Competition

The Wharram Website Short Story Competition judging has concluded. Due to the very high standard of most of the entries submitted, the three finalists were very close in the final scores. Therefore, after much deliberation, we have decided to award prizes to all three finalists for their excellent stories. The winner's prize is being awarded to the two entries that tied for first place and a 'runner up' prize to the story that scored so close to the winners.


Winner #1 - Thomas Hembroff, Canada

For his outstanding story:

'Stick To The Plans'

Boat drawing

Congratulations, Tom you have awarded one of two winner's prizes: a set of Tiki 21 Building Plans and a Winner's Award Certificate signed by Ruth Wharram.

Tom's story 'Stick to the Plans', is set in the 1970's during the 'shakedown' voyage of the ARIKI 'Piggy'. Tom and his brother Don, after having completed the building of their boat they set off on a voyage around the world. All goes well and they pick up a hitchhiker, an artist, who wants a ride to their next destination, New Zealand. The voyage to New Zealand is a very dramatic and dangerous leg of their journey. The fact that their fate hangs on a knife edge is revealed through the reactions of their artistic passenger. Read this well-crafted story to share the excitement of this harrowing voyage.


Winner #2 - Loretta M. Thwaite, Australia

For her outstanding story:

'The Wharram Hunt'

Boat drawing

Congratulations Loretta, you have been awarded the other winner's prize: a set of Tiki 21 Building PlansTiki 21 Building Plans and a Winner's Award Certificate signed by Ruth Wharram.

Loretta's story The Wharram Hunt is a set in a small coastal town on tropical Queensland, Australia. The story is told in an amusing and sensitive way of a woman, who having settled in this town, is invited out for a cruise by a middle-aged friend and his two buddies. She is not overly impressed by the comfortable cruise on the pleasure craft, but is subsequently introduced to a new perspective on boats by another friend who dreams of building a Wharram. The intriguing story then unfolds of the 'hunt' for a glimpse of a finished Wharram so that the dream can be distilled into the purchase of a set of plans and the commencement of the building of a Polynesian catamaran. On the way friendship blossoms into something much deeper as the two go about fulfilling the shared ideal of a life together with a future vision of a sailing life aboard their very own Tangaroa.


Winner #3 - Rhisiart Gwilym, USA

The judges have decided to award a further 'Runner Up' prize for the excellent story:

'The Ice Bears And The Bees'

Outrigger canoe drawing

Congratulations Rhisiart, you have been awarded the runner up prize: a set of Melanesia Outrigger Building Plans and an Award Certificate signed by Ruth Wharram.

Rhisiart's story The Ice-Bears and the Bees is a set sometime in the future in a post oil-energy based world. The writer cleverly weaves the story of the coastal sailing community of the future into the story, narrated by an older member of the clan, about a trading voyage to lands where the clan has negotiated treaties for bee hive farms and the trading partners take their share of the harvest to trade for other goods. The tale of a young visionary member of the clan and his revolutionary new craft is woven into the main story. The voyage culminates in the visit to the land of the magical ice bears where the species is being nutured back from extinction under the custodianship of a myserious hermit. The theme of the revitalising of the natural world is symbolised by two events: the birth of a child to the young man's lover in the land of the ice bears and the release of bears back into the lands of the world. A good read.


There were ten entries received for the competition most of a very high standard. Thanks very much to all those that sent in their stories. We will be publishing some of these other entries during the coming weeks.

The judges for this competition were: Ruth Wharram, Steve Goodman (former JWD Webmaster) and Jennifer Weissel (Author of Running Down Rawana).