Helen Lyne

writer, spoken word poet

Short Stories

From a grandmother behaving scandalously in a kindergarten classroom to a young woman receiving a marriage proposal while jumping off a chicken-laden bus in Algeria, my stories place ordinary people in extraordinary, sometimes ridiculous situations and show how they cope with their own and others’ frailties.

I don’t write autobiography, but I enjoy setting my stories in places that I know: schools, film sets, Paris, Luxor, Atlanta, GA, Manly Beach…

From a grandmother behaving scandalously in a kindergarten classroom to a young woman receiving a marriage proposal while jumping off a chicken-laden bus in Algeria, my stories place ordinary people in extraordinary, sometimes ridiculous situations and show how they cope with their own and others’ frailties.

I don’t write autobiography, but I enjoy setting my stories in places that I know: schools, film sets, Paris, Luxor, Atlanta, GA, Manly Beach…

Schools

The school settings of some of my stories reflect the bigger world outside.

A year 8 History class torments a teacher. A successful businessman gives a job interview to a man who bullied him when they were in primary school.

A Gentleman and a Scholar won first prize in The Stringybark Short Story Awards in 2017 and gave its title to the collection of award-winning stories.

Overseas places

An Australian tour leader takes a group, including a charming alcoholic, on a cruise down the Nile. In a story called Children’s Hands, a former school teacher slips away from her tour group in Luxor and is encircled by a crowd of menacing children. This story appears in the collection, Non Posso, Twenty-eight award-winning travel stories from the Stringybark Short Story Awards 2015,

Goodbye Atlanta, GA was commended in the 2017 Peter Cowan 600 Short Story Competition.

Film Sets

The Australian Taxation Office defines me as an actor. A polite film director would call me a background artist. A harassed third assistant director would call me an extra. As an extra, with no more required of me than to arrive on time and do what I’m told, I have the privileged position of being a fly on the wall.

Better off Dead is based on observation. It’s not autobiographical. On most shoots, the extras have to sign a confidentiality agreement.

Cats

Some of the great loves of my life have been cats. Please don’t stop reading if you’re not a cat lover. I like dogs too! Although not protagonists, cats often wander into my stories.

Manly NSW

My story, Your Last Winter, was chosen for publication in In the Depths of Winter: Better Read than Dead Winter Writing Competition 2018.

An Artist and his Models won first prize in the Short Story Section of the Eastwood/Hills Branch of the Fellowship of Australian Writers in August 2018.