Congratulations to Tessa Lunney on the selection of her piece, “Those Ebola Burners Them,” for the 2016 Orlando Short Fiction Prize. “Those Ebola Burners Them,” will be published in Waves: A Confluence of Women’s Voices, Featuring Maxine Hong Kingston.
“Those Ebola Burners Them” takes us into a place of life and death, where heroic choices are made that will never be able to be brought back to the village. The ravages are told in a language stark and poetic, powerful enough to redefine heroism and redemption.—Diane Gilliam, Orlando Finalist Judge
We asked Tessa to talk about her piece and to tell us what publication means to her. She replied:
My main preoccupation is the nexus between silence, trauma, conflict and language; in particular, how language can utilise silences and gaps in order to express the otherwise inexpressible. A newspaper article inspired this story as its brief descriptions and few quotes contained worlds.
Each publication is important as each time an editor reads and understands my work, and sends it out to the public, I’m inspired and encouraged to write more, take more risks, work harder to reach for the essence of the piece. To win a prize such as this encourages me ten-fold, and I am very grateful.
Tessa Lunney is a novelist, poet, and academic. In 2013, she graduated from the Western Sydney University with a Doctorate of Creative Arts that explored silence in Australian war fiction. In 2014 she was the recipient of an Australia Council ArtStart grant for literature. Her poetry, short fiction, and reviews have been published in Southerly, Cordite, Mascara Review and Contrapasso, among others. She works as the Editorial Assistant for Southerly and as a casual academic at universities around Sydney. You can find more of her work at www.tessalunney.com.