THE theme of On the Edge has been announced for this year’s OUTstanding LGBTI short story competition.

OUTstanding chair Gail Hewison said budding Jeanette Wintersons and Christos Tsiolkas’ should submit their stories by September 1.

“The competition provides a safe and supportive environment for both emerging and established writers to share their stories,” she said.

“Other than a set length of 750 words and a different theme each year there are no restrictions; entries might express the triumph and joy of alternate sexuality, or the pain and difficulty.

“They might be funny or sad, sweet or bitter, outrageous or introspective.”

For a time known as the Mardi Gras short story competition, the contest was rechristened OUTstanding last year.

Sydney state independent MP Alex Greenwich attended Sunday’s launch at Stonewall Hotel alongside last year’s winner Cameron Bayley and previous finalist Christian Baines whose debut novel, The Beast Without, was published last year.

Greenwich said the short story competition continued a tradition of repressed communities finding creative outlets to find a voice.

“There are people across the country who don’t have the same ability to express themselves as we may and this competition gives people that opportunity to talk about their stories,” he said.

The winning story will be announced in late September.

Bayley’s 2013 competition winning story, Make it Work, was published in the Star Observer in April.

More information on the OUTstanding short story competition can be found by clicking here

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