On Friday 4th of November author Zana Fraillon came to Kew High to congratulate the Junior Writing Competition winners, Ella Scott, James Koren and Daniel Geva. Students received a signed copy of Zana’s new book The Lost Soul Atlas.
Here is what Zana had to say about the winners and the competition:
Thank you all SO much for giving me the opportunity to read your short stories. They were all so wonderful, and it made my decision of choosing my three favourites particularly hard. I had to go back and read them all multiple times before I could decide.
For everyone who submitted a story, I hope you enjoyed writing them as much as I enjoyed reading them, and please remember that there are so many things that contribute to a story connecting with a reader at a particular time. There are books by very famous authors that I have just not been able to get into, and then coming back to them a year later, I have loved every word.
Reading is so subjective – I bet if you handed your stories to ten different authors to judge, you would get ten different opinions on which story was their favourite and why.
But for me, there were three stories that I couldn’t go past. So in third place, is Ella Scott’s story And The Candles Blow Out. I loved the way the reader is sucked in to believing where the story is headed, and then the big twist comes! I particularly loved the way the final scene is of the candle blowing out, reflecting the lights that had gone out at the beginning. In second place, is Best of Times, Worst of Times by James Koren. The two character perspectives were distinct, work so well with each other, and they carry the suspense all the way through. And in first place, is Jürgen Garin, by Daniel Geva. I loved this story. In particular, it was the final sentence – ‘What you just read was once my life, now it’s my story’ – that I thought was so brilliant, and that stuck with me for a long time after reading. This is the mark of a really good story, really well told.
Thank you all again, and all the best with your writing. I look forward to seeing your names on the spines in my local bookshop many years from now.
Year 7 students have just been completing their first text essay based on Zana’s novel ‘The Bone Sparrow.’ Many students took this opportunity to get their novels signed by the local Melbourne writer. A warm thank you to Zana for judging the junior school competition this year and for taking the time to meet with our students.