Announcing the SHORTCUTS Novella Competition Winners

By Marie Hodgkinson, Paper Road Press

First things first: huge thanks to SpecFicNZ for hosting this competition, and to everyone who sent in a story. It is fantastic to see such a high level of support for a new publishing venture such as SHORTCUTS.

The first series of SHORTCUTS launches early next year and I am pleased to announce that the three stories below, the winners of the SpecFicNZ SHORTCUTS novella competition, will feature in the inaugural line-up:

In 1st place …


Lee Murray and Piper Mejia – Mika

Mika Tāura arrives in New York in the middle of a storm, accidentally kills a motorist, and lands herself with an injured child. What’s more, she’s missed her rendezvous, forcing her to go to Las Vegas in search of a man who claims to have the information she needs to save her sister’s life.

Stan promises to help Mika, but he has troubles of his own. On the run, Mika, Stan and the girl flee across the country to Stan’s reservation home, where they encounter a couple who could be the key to Mika’s sister’s recovery. But time is running out …

 In 2nd place …


 AC Buchanan – Bree’s Dinosaur

Cam’s ambitions are straightforward: study Business English in Wellington for six months, then return to Vietnam to build a promising career. She doesn’t need any complications, least of all those created by Bree, her host family’s secretive, troubled teenage daughter. But when a dinosaur is being (very noisily) built in the bedroom next to yours, and a meteor strike is threatening, it’s not always possible to avoid being sucked in – especially when the dinosaur isn’t the first extinct animal to make ripples in your life.

Then, one winter night in Karori, Bree’s own past resurfaces as well.

And in third place …


Grant Stone – The Last

Rachel Mackenzie travels to New Zealand to interview the reclusive musician Katherine St John about her first album in nearly thirty years. But strange things are happening at St John’s farm and soon Rachel finds herself caught up in something far larger than the world of music. An orange moon has risen. Has the dancing man returned?


Congratulations again to Lee, Piper, AC, and Grant.

About the SHORTCUTS series

SHORTCUTS is a digital-first imprint publishing novellas between 10,000 and 20,000 words long, on all major platforms. The theme for the first series is science fiction and fantasy of and about Aotearoa New Zealand.

The submissions period has been extended until 1 December 2014. Please see this page on the Paper Road Press website for submissions guidelines.

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