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Gallery of Shortlisters for the Magic Oxygen Literary Prize

We are absolutely delighted to unveil a gallery with the shortlisters of the Magic Oxygen Literary Prize 2014-15.

They are a seriously talented bunch, do take a moment to read through their bios and perhaps even connect with them on social media.

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Casey Tonkin

As an avid gamer, listener of music, and internet user, Casey spends his time in front of two monitors. He has nearly completed his Bachelor of Media & Arts at the University of Adelaide and hopes to continue studying for as long as his girlfriend, his parents, and his government allow.

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Catherine Rolfe

Catherine is a Norfolk born writer living in Wales with her partner, wildling step-children and menagerie of animals. Completely fascinated by plants and healing from an early age, she studied Herbal Medicine at Middlesex University and humourously draws inspiration from everyday events, flora, fauna, family and anything in between.

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Christie Cluett

Christie Cluett is a writer from Bristol, currently procrastinating from finishing her first novel by writing short stories. She's been shortlisted and runner-up in short story competitions, a judge of the To Hull and Back Short Story Competition and is one of the founding members of Stokes Croft Writer's Group.

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Christopher Naylor

Chris Naylor is primarily a playwright and has written some short stories. A number of his shorter plays have been performed. He has also written a number of full length plays, his latest, Dancing Naked in the Backyard, was produced by Brave New Word Theatre Company.

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Corrinna Toop

Corrinna Toop has been writing for about six years and has had some success at it, much to her surprise, having had work published on line, in magazines and in anthologies. She works in the Financial Services industry and lives with her husband, two loud kids and a hairy dog.

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Eleonore Schönmaier

Eleonore Schönmaier's most recent book is Wavelengths of Your Song (McGill-Queen's University Press). She has won the Alfred G. Bailey Prize, the Earle Birney Prize, and the Sheldon Currie Fiction Award. Her poetry has been published in The Best Canadian Poetry in English, and has been translated into German and Dutch.

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Fiona McIlroy

Fiona McIlroy is a life coach, community developer, grandmother and poet. Her poetry collection: Taste of a poem (Ginninderra Press) was published in 2009. She won the HRAFF Poetry Prize in 2009, and has poems in several anthologies including Australian Love Poems 2013 (Inkerman & Blunt) and Poetry d’Amour 2014 & 2015. Fiona convened the train Canberra to Sydney Poetry in Motion 2010, 2012 & 2014.

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Fred Canavan

I am an exiled ( thank God!) Mancunian, and like the hero of my two novels, Funtime Freddie King, an ageing Sixties` relic. For us it is always 1968, Fleetwood Mac are still playing the deep shivering chords of Albatross, the Beatles eternally hallucinate through Lucy in the sky with diamonds and the Beach Boys are still driving their Little Deuce Coup across the sand-dunes of California.

I have been a market porter, labourer, tomato picker, barman, restaurateur, supermarket manager, florist, dee-jay, tourist guide, door-to-door salesman, security guard and and estate agent. could go on... I never really knew what I wanted to do - until Funtime Freddie shook my hand. Then I knew...

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Gordon Strong

Gordon has been writing for most of his life and has published numerous books. Primarily known for non-fiction studies of myth, legend, magic and sacred monuments, he has made many appearances on TV and radio in the UK and America. Recently deciding to concentrate solely on novels, Gordon remarks, ‘I observe, reflect and experiment. From all this, an awareness of how to create some kind of reality emerges.’ Humour is never far away in his writing and he draws comics with the same satirical spirit. The Empire Of Evil is significant, as it'll be his last in the genre.

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Graham Burchell

Graham Burchell was born in Canterbury and lives in South Devon. He has an M.A. in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University. His latest collection 'The Chongololo Club' was published by Pindrop Press in 2012. He is a Hawthornden fellow and was the 2012 Canterbury Festival Poet of the Year.

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Hannah Cooper-Smithson

Hannah is a postgraduate student pursuing an MA in Creative Writing at NTU. She lives in Nottingham with her husband and their ever-growing collection of books. 'Woman' will be her first published piece. She is currently working on a collection of poetry that explores feminism, mental health and the environment.

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Heather Combe

Heather was born in Edinburgh, and studied microbiology before moving to London, where she works for a university. She has written poetry since she was a teenager, and finds inspiration from people watching, reading about science, and documenting dead umbrellas. She enjoys photography, and playing the violin, ukulele, and bodhrán.

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James de Beresford

Writer, musician, filmmaker and fantasist- James was educated at the BRIT School for Performing Arts and taught English abroad for 9 years. He lives in Margate with his cordless kettle and is currently writing a novel about China and editing a film shot in the boondocks of Hohhot, Inner Mongolia.

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Kristina Pawliw

Whilst living in Port Moresby, PNG, Kristina Pawliw began capturing her vivid imagination in stories. Since then, Kristina’s story No match for a backpack has been published in the Creative Kids Tales anthology The Journey.

Now based in Australia, Kristina enjoys Icelandic music, running, singing and yoga.

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Michelle Wright

Michelle Wright lives in Melbourne, Australia and writes short stories and flash fiction. She’s won the Age, Alan Marshall and Grace Marion Wilson Short Story Prizes, come second in the Bridport prize and was awarded the 2013 Writers Victoria Templeberg Residential Writing Fellowship. She’s passionate about languages, literature, science and sanitation.

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Paul Sherman

Paul is a teacher of Chemistry and Drama, a strange combination but it has worked. He has published short stories on Amazon UK and US and also written plays which have been performed in various locations. 'The Arsehole at the end of the Universe' was produced at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh.

Paul is the author of horror stories 'The Jokers of Sarzuz'. 'Daemon Page' and 'Missed!'.

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Sarah Wallis

Sarah Wallis is a Yorkshire based Londoner, both a practicing poet and playwright. Her most recent publications were in Valve Journal, Turbulence and Dreamcatcher. Staged work has appeared at venues including Harrogate Theatre, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Theatre 503 and White Bear Theatre, London.

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Sharon Black

Sharon Black is originally from Glasgow but now lives in southern France. She has been published widely and won Ilkley Literature Festival Poetry Competition in 2013. Her first collection, To Know Bedrock, was published by Pindrop Press in 2011. Her second, The Art of Egg, is forthcoming from Two Ravens Press.

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Shirley Golden

My stories mostly wing their way back to the recesses of my laptop and await further coffee-fuelled sessions of juggling words. Some of my short fiction pieces have found homes in the pages of magazines and anthologies; a few have won prizes. I'm door-person and arbitrator to two wannabe tigers, and can sometimes be found on Twitter when I should be writing.

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Teresa Stenson

Teresa's short stories have been published in various places, including anthologies from The Bridport Prize, Leaf Books and The Willesden Herald. In 2011 her story 'Things Which Are Not True' featured as a Guardian Summer Read. She lives in York where she's working on a novel and a collection of shorter works.

Here are their shortlisted entries:


  • “Celia’s Shoes” by Sharon Black (FR)
  • “Modern” by Eleonore Schonmaier (NL)
  • “Of Ectoplasm And Mother” by Corrinna Toop (UK)
  • “Step-Mother” by Catherine Rolfe (UK)
  • “The Loneliness Of The Drunk Mathematician” by Heather Combe (UK)
  • “The Old House” by Paul Sherman (UK)
  • “The Song Of The Child That Wants To Come” by Graham Burchell (UK)
  • “The World Stands Still To Weep” by Sarah Wallis (UK)
  • “Unwinding” by Fiona McIlroy (AU)
  • “Woman” by Hannah Cooper-Smithson (UK)


  • “A Season For All People” by Shirley Golden (UK)
  • “Blurred Edges” by Michelle Wright (AU)
  • “Decisions, Decisions” by Christie Cluett (UK)
  • “Looking For Joey” by Fred Canavan (UK)
  • “Tears In Hailar” by James de Beresford (UK)
  • “The Blank Space” by Gordon Strong (UK)
  • “The Journalist” by Christopher Naylor (AU)
  • “The Lotus Shoes” by Kristina Pawliw (AU)
  • “Waking” by Teresa Stenson (UK)
  • “Weapon Of God” by Casey Tonkin (AU)

Don’t forget the winners will be announced on Saturday 14th February 2015. More on that soon.

The Team

2 thoughts on “Gallery of Shortlisters for the Magic Oxygen Literary Prize

  1. […] in the coop, the furries are snoozing on my feet – I switch on my computer to find that the Shortlist Gallery is up for the Magic Oxygen Literary Prize and as I add that to my list of reasons to be happy (and excited and amazed and overwhelmed!!) I […]

    1. Absolutely wonderful news, I couldn’t agree more!

      Fabulous to see you here – thanks for helping spread the message.

      The Team

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