Another excellent selection of award winning short stories from the Sisters in Crime Australia's annual Scarlet Stiletto Awards. For the past 18 years the Australian Sisters in Crime have been awarding a range of prizes for short stories (the categories have shifted around over the years), and THE SECOND CUT is the (not all that surprisingly!) the second time that many of the prize winners have been compiled into a single volume and published.
Again, you'll find an interesting combination of known and published authors, and new and upcoming (hopefully to be published) authors. One of the things that's particularly interesting about this collection is the authors have stepped outside what they are normally known for writing, heading into different territory completely. The other thing that's particularly interesting is that this time there are multiple entries in the Verse category. This particularly category was setup and is still sponsored by the estate of the wonderful Dorothy Porter, much missed Sister in Crime, and as anyone who ever came near me when her book EL DORADO was published, would know a huge writing hero of mine. Because of the effect of that book I was particularly keen to read these entries in this collection - and there were no disappointments.
There are some fantastic entries in this book, and it was personally heartening to come across some with a decidedly rural bent, and whilst I can't really single out any stories, let's just say I've been a bit leery of handmade candle stalls at the local markets since reading TALLOW, and I have to confess to absolutely crying with laughter over COLD COMFORT (okay, so I grew up on a farm with a little grey Fergie and a rather "unpredictable" grandfather myself...).
As with the first collection, THE SECOND CUT covers a huge range of subject matters, contexts and styles. The Scarlet Stiletto Awards are such a fantastic initiative and these publications are not just a logical extension, but a perfect adjunct. They encourage our female writers (including up and coming junior writers), and they consistently unearth some incredibly clever story telling.
THE SECOND CUT is available in paperback, ebook and Amazon format via Clan Destine Press - http://www.clandestinepress.com.au