THEY might be considered “little stories”, but the bigger picture behind the words often speaks volumes.
A fledgling writers’ competition is illuminating the importance of celebrating the imaginations and creativity of young writers. The first year of the local writers award section of Little Stories Big Ideas has unearthed talent that has enthralled adjudicators.
First prize for local best entry in the 2023 competition went to year seven Mount Eliza Secondary Student Sophia van Zanten, 13, who wrote an insightful and moving piece to the theme of Love earning praise from the judges for her creativity and symbolism.
The writers’ award was started by local writer Joe Novella as a way to encourage secondary school students across Australia to express their creativity. Novella said there were already a lot of sports-related awards for students as well as maths and science but very few, if any, for creative writing.
“I wanted to change that by providing a platform for our next generation of writers and thinkers,” he said.
As part of the competition, students in senior and junior categories were asked to write a 100-word or less story to a theme to be in the running to be judged Australia’s best young writer and win some prizes.
The competition runs every school term and has grown from 34 entries in term one of 2021 to 547 entries in this year’s first term.
Judge and writer Rebecca Fraser said van Zanten’s story “speaks to the transformational power of love, but also its bittersweet nature. … So beautifully written with strong imagery throughout”.
Van Zanten, who used to play piano and drew on her own experiences, extended that to combine reality and imagination and reality.
For more details on the Little Stories Big Ideas – Local Writers’ Award go to littlestoriesbigideas.com.au
First published in the Mornington News – 29th May 2023