WriteOn: Students’ creativity soars


Winners write on: Talented writers (from left) Katie Smith, Lilian Geddes-Korb, and Alexander Patterson at the 2015 WriteOn awards presentation.

Blooming writers from Sydney Catholic schools will become published authors after winning Gold certificates in the WriteOn competition.

The Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards’ (BOSTES) annual writing competition for primary students in Years 1 to 6 was held in partnership with the State Library of NSW.

The winning students were presented with their certificates at the venue on September 16. The library also provided the black-and-white photograph, of people standing on a beach below a hot air balloon circa 1910, that was the stimulus for each student’s story.

Their work will be published in the 2015 ‘Best of WriteOn’ anthology.

Sacred Heart Catholic Primary Mosman Year 4 student Katie Smith said she felt both excited and proud to receive the award, after being encouraged by her teacher to enter WriteOn.

“My teacher told us it would be good to write a story for an audience because it helps us improve on our writing,” she said. “I thought the picture of the Blimp looked a lot like a rugby ball, so that made me start thinking creatively about my idea for the story. My interest in writing comes from reading and drawing – I especially like drawing comics.”

Alexander Patterson, a Year 2 student at St Joan of Arc Catholic Primary Haberfield, said his story was about the three children standing beneath the hot air balloon in the photograph and about the balloon itself. He said he had always liked writing and enjoyed the narrative genre.

“I just like in free writing how you can write whatever you want,” Alex said. “I was really happy when I heard I had got a gold certificate. The presentation was really good. We got to go on a free tour of the library and there was a cephalopod fossil in the wall.”

Year 6 at St James Catholic Primary Glebe, Lilian Geddes-Korb, also received a gold certificate and read her work, written as a letter to a sister in England, to the students and educators present at the State Library presentation.

Education Officer at the Catholic Education Office Sydney, Franceyn O’Connor said the students had displayed great creativity in their response to the photograph.

“The quality of the writing that was judged was just exceptional,” she said. “Students showed true empathy with their writing.”

Read the stories by clicking on the links below.

Katie Smith, The Magic Rugby Ball

Alexander Patterson, The Adventure of 3

Lillian Geddes-Korb, I Am Thinking of You


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