10 February 2010
Two pupils from Ss Peter and Paul’s, Lower Hutt, have won first and third prizes in the New Zealand Book Council’s regional ‘Speed-Date an Author’ writing competition last month. Aimee Penman took top prize in the Wellington region and Logan Byrne was third.
Equipped with the required six words to use in a 500-word short story, ‘the possibility of winning something’ and a passion for writing, around 60 young writers from schools in the region took part in the NZ Book Council’s ‘Speed-Date an Author’ competition.
Education manager and web editor Sarah Forster and chief executive Noel Murphy presented the prizes on Wednesday November 11. Noel explained the intention of the programme was to produce an excess of creativity and for the writers to ‘really get into the idea of writing for themselves’. The challenge was set for the writers to write a short story and he commented on the ‘really amazing creative work’ that was the result.
Aimee Penman said she wasn’t sure what inspired her piece titled ‘A treasure trunk of memories’. ‘I was just in the mood that day… It just came to me’. Aimee said that the complex characters in her books and in recent television shows ‘helped me create this story’. Seeing the love and grief of her Nana and Grandad was a great inspiration.
Logan Byrne wrote her story ‘Balloons’ in light of her personal experience. ‘My Mum was going to take me hot air ballooning for my birthday but we never went.’ Logan’s excited anticipation of this treat comes through her story which appears alongside Aimee’s on the NZ Book Council website www.bookcouncil.org.nz/
In presenting the prizes, Sarah Foster said it was an achievement that the school managed to produce both first and third place winners. Aimee won a $100 book voucher, novels by several authors that participated in ‘Narrative Writing’ week in the last week of Term Three, and her story was published in the Dominion Poston November 28.