The Trouble With Flying, from the 2014 Margaret River Short Story Competition, edited by Richard Rossiter, Published by Margaret River Press, 2014 Review first published by Margaret River Press

he-trouble-with-flying This was the third year of the Western Australia Margaret River Story Competition; 24 stories were chosen from 218 entries from all over Australia and one from New Zealand for the collection. Most stories focus on character, combined with social issues, making this an engaging and an insightful read. Themes such as new motherhood, love relationships, marital breakdown, ageing, and facing death can be classified within an overall category of Life Stages. Eccentric characters feature also, like the young woman in the winning entry “The Trouble with Flying”, who will never make it through TAFE studies. I’d like to preface this review by suggesting some of the reasons why a reader might be drawn to a particular story. Often it is quite subjective. The four stories I’ve chosen to review attracted me by their themes, their emotional impact and, for two of them, by their humour. Other elements I looked for in selecting my favourites were fascinating story lines, authentic voice and vibrant language.