Young minds sparkle with fresh stories

JUDGES: Vicki Stewart, Sally Codyre and Teresa Siminska.

JUDGES: Vicki Stewart, Sally Codyre and Teresa Siminska.

The inaugural Great Lakes Advocate Tell Me a Story writing competition has been hailed a fantastic success with 57 primary and secondary school students from throughout the region showcasing their creative writing skills, and submitting a little piece of their imagination to the competition. 

Entries were submitted from Forster, Tuncurry, Taree, Nabiac, Bulahdelah, Bungwahl, Barrington Tops and Hallidays Point.

The Tell Me a Story judging panel included writers, school teachers, journalists and one very passionate member of the community who decided there needed to be more recognition of young creativity in the region, and thus breathed life into the venture.

The excellent standard and variation of styles and genres of stories submitted was such the judging panel agreed to present a number of excellence awards, rather than first, second and third prizes in each of the age categories. 

As a result, six stories were chosen for excellence awards in the Years 5-6 and four in the Years 7, 8 and 9.  

A number of entries also have been selected to receive highly commended and merit recognition from each group. These will be announced later.

In the Year 5 and 6 category, stories presented excellence awards included:

  • Lolly Land, by Selina Denyer, Year 5, Barrington Public School;
  • The Old Days, by Kaitlyn Commons, Year 6, Barrington;
  • The Unknown, by Lucas Guiney, Year 5, Forster Public School; 
  • Sleep Over, by Lachlan Castle,  Year 6 at Hallidays Point Public School; 
  • The tiny crab that saves the Turtle, Amber Kunzli, Year 6, Holy Name Primary School,  Forster; and
  • Broken, by Ruby Parker, Year 6, Holy Name.

In the Years 7, 8 and 9 category, the following stories were selected for excellence awards:

  • Heart of the Wild Cat, by Ellie-May Lang, Year 7, Great Lakes College, Forster;
  • Abyss, by Grace Atkinson, Year 9,  Great Lakes College, Tuncurry;
  • Home, by Bridie O'Connell, Year 8, St Clare’s High School, Taree; and
  • I’ll Be Dead Long Before You Wake Up, by Yolanta Guthridge, Year 8, St Clare’s.

Judge, Sally Codyre said while reviewing the entries, she was blown away with the standard of not only writing, but creativity.

“There is so much young talent in this community,” she said.

“To all those who entered, please keep writing, there were so many fantastic stories it was a real challenge narrowing them down.”

“Reviewing the entries has been both a pleasure and a daunting task. The creativity, imagination, and maturity of the writers made for some difficult decisions on our part. Well done to all the young writers. Keep  writing,” fellow judge, Vicki Stewart said.

The GLA, has been tickled pink to be involved in this brilliant initiative, and we encourage all students to enter the competition next year. Watch out for announcements in February, and keep an eye out for the prize winning stories, to be featured in the coming weeks in print and on the Advocate’s website.