Eliana’s Crossing

I’m excited to share my good news that my story Coming up Roses has won the Newcastle Herald Summer Short Story Prize. I am thrilled with this achievement, and really haven’t come back down to earth yet. I’ll be receiving fifty new release books as my prize, the prospect of which has me drooling, plus a subscription to the Herald. Congratulations to all the finalists, whose stories were published in the Herald during January.

The competition required a response to a photo prompt, so I’m sure that my Friday Fiction involvement has helped me to remember “it’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see”. Thank you, Rochelle, and  Friday Fictioneers for your wonderful examples and helpful feedback each week.

My story for FriFic this week follows, and it isn’t at all what I thought I’d write when I learned of my success. I was all ready to lead off here into a 100 worder about winning a prize, and that would be such a nice connection, but this week’s prompt led me off in a different direction. Here it is, and here’s where you can read the other stories for this week.


Eliana’s Crossing


Copyright – Erin Leary

Eliana was a dreamer, the youngest and prettiest of five sisters.

One day, her sisters whispered of a shy admirer across the channel. Their tales of the magic that follows a girl’s first kiss set her heart a-flutter.

At dusk, they rowed her to Marsh Island, exhorting her: “Search carefully. He wants to be found.”

In gathering darkness, Eliana swirled and splashed, confused. Which one? Which lily pad concealed her prince?

The sisters laughed so much they nearly overturned their boat, as the marsh erupted with the frogs’ throaty guffaws, and the seabirds’ echoing caw-caw filled the sky.


Here’s a happier ending, if you’re feeling cheated. Maybe this will suffice for my nod to Valentine’s Day, coming up soon. In addition, my husband and I are about to celebrate a BIG wedding anniversary (5th Feb), and I’m certainly glad I found him under a lily pad somewhere once upon a time, long, long ago.

48 thoughts on “Eliana’s Crossing

  1. Happy anniversary and congratulations on the prize. I liked this story – I’m sure there are far, far more frogs than princes on the lily pads 😉 But dream on, Eliana, dream on.


  2. What a fun story! I bet many years from now the sisters will all laugh together. A bit of teasing won’t hurt as long as it doesn’t evolve into bullying. And congrats on your well-deserved win. Your short story is wonderful.


  3. Lovely story! It has a real magical feel to it. Congrats on your story!!! Yay, I’m so thrilled for you. Wow, two wins this week by our community. I’m so proud to be a part of it. 🙂


  4. Why oh why do sisters have to be so mean to each other? Good story!

    Congrats on your “Coming Up Roses” winning first prize. It was a wonderful read though so sad to me. I, like Miriam, am the positive one. Always disheartening to be inundated with negative all the time…


  5. Congratulations on taking the prize–you may interpret that to mean the Newcastle Herald award or the charming frog prince anniversary. Either sentiment would be heartfelt and true.


  6. Congratulation on your “Coming Up Roses” winning first prize. It was a very subtle story that conveyed so much in what was left unsaid.
    Eliana will survive, siblings harden you up too 🙂


  7. Congratulations, Margaret! That’s just great. All those books! Good story. Poor Eliana. She might laugh last though when she grows up and really meets her prince. Congratulations also on your wedding anniversary. You had a couple reasons to celebrate. Well done. 🙂 — Suzanne


    • Thank you, Suzanne, for all of your lovely comments. I have been celebrating. We spent the weekend in Sydney to celebrate our anniversary, actually, and saw a wonderful production of ‘The Barber of Seville’ at the Sydney Opera House. Fantastic. I have to come back down to earth pretty soon, however.


  8. Those are horrid sisters. And I hope the dreaming girl finds her prince, anyway!
    A very well-narrated, perfectly-paced story, Margaret.
    And congratulations on your first prize! I went straightaway to read it, and was deeply moved by it — a very powerful story of a marriage that will sooner or later sink, unless both of them talk, without one being too complain-y, and the other being overly positive!


    • Thank you for your kind words, Dreamer. I’m glad you liked my stories, and I appreciate your congratulations. You’re right about the marriage in the ‘Coming Up Roses’ story -their future look bleak.


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