An Armidale teenager has won the New England division of The Sydney Morning Herald’s Young Writers competition.
Anna Kennedy from Presbyterian Ladies’ College will now proceed to the finals of the short story writing competition.
The Year 12 student, who was among thousands of Year 10-12 entrants across NSW and the ACT, said she was excited and surprised to hear last Friday that she had won the New England division.
“I’ve always loved reading and writing, and I try to write on a regular basis,” she said. “This result has certainly encouraged me to continue with my efforts.”
Anna said that the competition required all stories to use the trigger word “flight” in some way.
“I didn’t want to write about flight as in freedom or as in literally flying,” she said.
“The background of the story was that someone saw something, saw an incident, and instead of standing up and stopping it they ran away. They took flight, and because of that they can’t face up to the consequences, so they mentally block out what they did. So it’s a combination of mental escape, mental flight and physical flight.”
Anna said the events described in her story werecompletely fictional, but she had been inspired by news articles and research about the severity and mental trauma of bullying.
As a finalist, Anna will attend a presentation ceremony in Sydney on September 7, where The Sydney Morning Herald Young Writer 2012 will be announced.
Before then, she will need to write another two short stories, which will be judged alongside her original story.