THE City of Subiaco recently announced the winners of the 2016 Tim Winton Award for Young Writers and Sacred Heart Primary School student Isabella Crean (10) took out the top prize.
Isabella, of Chidlow, was awarded the overall prize for outstanding achievement.
The Sacred Heart Primary School, Mundaring, student consolidated her performance from last year, when she came first in the middle primary category by going on to win the upper primary category this year.
The Long Way Home, Isabella’s story described as clever and original story, documents the life of an old park bench in the Perth’s Hills.
According to the judges, the piece shows exceptional character development, judicious use of dialogue, a strong plot and a satisfying ending.
“It is a very accomplished piece of writing; tightly written and beautifully expressive, moving and poetic,” the judges wrote.
Isabella was one of fifteen finalists, aged seven to 17, to converge on Subiaco Library last month for the ceremony announcing the winners across all age categories.
More than 1500 young wordsmiths from across the state entered their short stories in the creative writing competition, co-ordinated by Subiaco.
The finalists were congratulated on stage by Tim Winton , who gave a short speech impressing upon the young writers the importance of storytelling to humankind.
“Everything has a story, whether a rock or a tree, and the oldest stories in the world are here,” he said.
“What makes us human is not only telling these stories but also hearing them; we become more human as we hear them.”
Subiaco Mayor Heather Henderson said the City was thrilled to support the awards using Tim Winton’s name.
“The award aims to encourage imagination and creativity in school students from across the state and this year we were especially delighted that 14 per cent of entries came from regional WA,” she said.
The stories were judged by a panel of local authors, educators and librarians who awarded marks for originality of theme, story development and quality of writing.
The judges commented on the broad range of themes covered, from refugees and LGBT families, to bullying and Indigenous issues.
They said that such topics reflected a keen awareness of current social issues and, when combined with the quality of the stories, reassured them that “good literacy could still be found among young people”.
The finalists’ stories can be read online at www.subiaco.wa.gov.au/timwintonaward.