The Umbrella's Shade and Other Award-winning Stories from the Stringybark Short Story Award

Rated 4.57/5 based on 15 reviews
This unique anthology brings together 27 short stories from established and first-time writers. The themes are many and varied. They are united by a common passion and curiosity for exploring the Australian character and how Australia’s big, broad land affects those who live here. Dip your toe in and sample the very best entries in the Stringybark Short Story Award. More
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Price: Free! USD
About David Vernon

I am a freelance writer and editor. I am father of two boys. For the last few years I have focussed my writing interest on chronicling women and men’s experience of childbirth and promoting better support for pregnant women and their partners. Recently, for a change of pace, I am writing two Australian history books. In 2014 I was elected Chair of the ACT Writers Centre.

In 2010 I established the Stringybark Short Story Awards to promote the short story as a literary form.

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Reviews

Review by: Tenza on Aug. 07, 2012 :
I believe that this is the first of many Stringybark anthologies. I've now read a few of them now and it's beaut mate! There is a certain charm about some of these tales that make them quite unforgettable. Kerry Cameron's story, "Black and White" is just wonderful. Jeanette Fegan's story, "Violet and the Opera" will raise issues that are so familiar to many of us but still gets us to see the familiar in a different light. And remember to speak to your lettuce, Raymond Southwell. You need to read the book to understand the last point - its very funny. A great book and I look forward to reading more.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Ernest Winchester on July 25, 2012 :
I’ve only read three so far, but to paraphrase the old movie, ‘short stories are like a box of chocolates…’ you know the rest. They should be savored, not gulped down on Christmas morning. But in the three, I’ve gotten my money’s worth, which is not an aside, considering I downloaded it when it was free. Story one was touching, showing that life moves on. I sure would like to know what ‘wares’ were in the box George bought in story two, but maybe some things are better left to the readers’ imaginations. Story three is ‘Twilight Zone’ quality, very well written.
I did have a little trouble with some of the Australian vernacular. I see they use ‘leant’ like the English do, and I’ve no idea what kind of dog a ‘healer’ is. ‘Gully Trap?’ Maybe I’ll come back after I’ve read more.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Mike McG on July 10, 2012 :
A friend suggested I try some of the Stringybark anthologies as I had complained about the poor quality of many Smashwords offerings. For $1.99 I couldn't ask for better. Well written, entertaining, poignant and pretty funny (at times). A great entertaining anthology.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Em Brister on April 23, 2012 :
Great value anthology. Clever stories dominate this collection of stories relating to Australia. I don't think any of these stories was a 'fizzer.' I just love Kerry Cameron's story, "Black and White." Fantastic ending. Encore!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Jack A Benson on April 16, 2012 :
One of my big bugbears has been the difficulty in finding quality contemporary short stories for e-books. I seemingly don't have to look any further. This is a beaut anthology of excellent stories. Well laid out with nary a typo to be found. Like Sean Lee (below), I now have a completely new relationship with salad greens!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Clarissa White on April 11, 2012 :
These are delightful stories. Each one is very different but all give an insight into Australia. I was sorry when it was over. I am very impressed with the quality of this production - it's nice to see proper books on Smashwords.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Sean Q Lee on March 09, 2012 :
A great compilation of work. I especially liked Raymond Southwell's "The End is Nigh". I will never look at a lettuce the same way again!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Gabion on Feb. 28, 2012 :
Quality Australian writing features in this little book. Only 36000 words but what a good read. 27 stories that are ALL different and all interesting in their own way. The language used in Joanna Capelle's story "Last Post" is just beautiful. The cleverness of "Black and White" by Kerry Cameronw will stay with me for a long time and "The End is Nigh" by Raymond Southwell had me in stitches. These are only three of the terrific stories in this anthology. A great read. Five stars.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Jane Doilly on Oct. 24, 2011 :
Delightful! More please.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: V.S. Daley on Sep. 15, 2011 :
When you find a satisfactory e-book publisher you stick with them. This is apparently the first Stringybark Publishing effort and it is good. The stories are clever, entertaining, thought provoking and generally a good reflection of contemporary Australia. I'm sticking with this publisher. Oh, I agree with Bronnie Wu, "Black and White" is fantastic. I'm not so keen on the winning story, but even it has some charm.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Sandra Black on Sep. 04, 2011 :
This is a terrific anthology of mostly gentle (although there are one or two really thought-provoking stories) stories about Australia or Australians. I've bought two paperbacks to send to my OS friends and give them idea of the nature of Australia. A great buy. Thanks.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Bronnie Wu on Aug. 23, 2011 :
This is my second book of Stringybark Stories I have read. I think this is the first in the collection. I am once again delighted by the breadth and depth of these stories. Make sure you read "Black and White" It's very clever. I think this one should have won! More please!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: rebecca raisin on July 17, 2011 : (no rating)
I am honoured to be included in this book. I love the scope and the differences in each story. The stand out to me is "Black and White." It's vivid and visual and has a killer twist and I just loved it. I am going to keep my eye out for Kerry's writing. A big statement, but the book is worth it, just for her story! (P.s, we don't know each other!)
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Daniel Vane on May 17, 2011 :
This is a collection of wonderful Australian short stories. The selection is eclectic but reflects the Australia that I know. I am surprised at the winning story. It's very good, but not as good as some of the others. I guess this is the vagaries of judging. What is your good story may be my brilliant one. Perhaps I should become a judge! This book is highly recommended for anyone after a selection of clever, intriguing and delightful stories.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Peter Thompson on May 01, 2011 :
What a splendid book of short stories! Buying multi-author anthologies can be tricky but I am delighted with this purchase. While I don't like all the stories, I can say that all the stories are interesting and I am left with something to think about after reading each one. There are some real gems here too. For a great collection of contemporary Australian writing from both emerging and seasoned writers, I can recommend this book. It is well laid out and the stories are well balanced. Good work judges!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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