Happy Stories, Mostly by ReelOzInd! 2022 jury member Norman Erikson Pasaribu has won the Republic of Consciousness Prize for Small Presses 2022.


Written by Norman, translated by Tiffany Tsao and published by Tilted Axis, Happy Stories, Mostly is a collection of short stories that challenge the heteronormative world. Queer characters replace hetero characters in tales that draw upon Batak and Christian cultural elements.

“A blend of science fiction, absurdism and alternative-historical realism, Happy Stories, Mostly is a powerful puff of fresh air, aimed at destabilising the heteronormative world and exposing its underlying absences,” the Republic of Consciousness said, detailing the work.

“A number of submissions were loved, but none quite so much or as immediately as Happy Stories, Mostly,” added prize founder, Neil Griffiths. “It wasn’t an easy decision but it was a unanimous one. [Publisher] Tilted Axis [is] doing such great and much needed work.”

Norman has joined the ReelOzInd! family as a first-time jury member in our 2022 festival.

“A huge and heartfelt congratulations to Norman and their colleagues for this win,” said festival director Jemma Purdey. “This year’s ReelOzInd! has the theme of voice/suara, and Norman’s work is a stellar example of a creative work giving expression to the experiences and lives of a diversity of people across all of society.”

The Republic of Consciousness Prize for Small Presses 2022 is awarded in partnership with Wasafiri and recognises excellence in fiction from small presses across the UK and Ireland. This year’s prize pool distributed a total of £12,500 to shortlisted and winning publishers, writers, translators and presses.