Story comp judge seeks wow factor

ACCLAIMED Australian author and GP Dr Peter Goldsworthy has a simple criteria he plans to use as the judge of this year’s MO short story competition.

“It’s the wow factor,” he said.

“Every story is different, but the best ones make you laugh or make the hair stand up on the back of your neck. They provoke a reaction because they are something you haven’t seen before; they can be funny or difficult to read or challenging, but they leave a residue that makes you think about them the next day.”

Dr Goldsworthy, who has been writing since he was a boy, first left his mark on Australian literature with his debut novel Maestro. Published in 1989, the book tells the story of the teenager Paul Crabbe who arrives in Darwin from the south and learns the piano from a Viennese refugee with a shadowy past.

Since then, his novels have included the acclaimed Honk If You Are Jesus and Three Dog Night.