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

Rated 4.57/5 based on 14 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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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.

Learn more about David Vernon

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Reviews of The Umbrella's Shade and Other Award-winning Stories from the Stringybark Short Story Award by David Vernon

Tenza reviewed on Aug. 7, 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 30 days after purchase)
Ernest Winchester reviewed 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 15 days after purchase)
Mike McG reviewed 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 58 days after purchase)
Em Brister reviewed 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 33 days after purchase)
Jack A Benson reviewed 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 19 days after purchase)
Clarissa White reviewed 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 21 days after purchase)
Sean Q Lee reviewed on March 9, 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 29 days after purchase)
Gabion reviewed 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 4 months after purchase)
Jane Doilly reviewed on Oct. 24, 2011

Delightful! More please.
(reviewed 39 days after purchase)
V.S. Daley reviewed 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 15 days after purchase)

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