Gilli Fryzer - Short Story Competition 2020 winner

Gilli Fyzer, ‘A Kindness’


What did the judge say?

‘A Kindness’ manages that most serious topic, death, with a clear eye and a steady hand. It has a particular tone and flavour, a knowingness and confidence in its subject and wording that propels the reading. Its brutality is kept in check, though it is a story about brutality, about suffering, fear, causality and human exchange – the ways, irrational and physical, that we make sense of ourselves and survive.

The small gestures – of the family, of an outcast, even of the dead – resonate well beyond their acts. As with all good stories, there are layers of meaning: under the surface, on a woman’s body, in the rituals and social ranking of the scapegoat. Finally, the significance of salt thrown into the fire does not need to be explained. It seems to perfectly summarise our need to control what we often can’t: human behaviour, and our fate.


Congratulations to our finalists!

  • Freda Churches, Another Combination
  • Mai Le Dinh, Mee Goreng
  • Amy O’Neil, Waves
Excited to have my flash selected for this month's Little Ms Flashcard. Thanks Mslexia.
Kerrin Leeb