Moruya High School student Bonnie Rouch has picked up the major prize in this year’s Mayor’s Writing Competition.
The finalists for the competition were celebrated at a special morning tea at the Eurobodalla Shire Council Chambers on Thursday.
Bonnie was the winning finalist in the 13-15 age category and also picked up the Syd Hayes Creative Writing Award for her thoughtful story told from the perspective of a turtle, who gets caught in a plastic bag.
She received a beautiful pen handcrafted from local coastal wood by Richard Turley and her name features on the award’s perpetual trophy, which now moves to its new home at Moruya High School.
The Mayor’s Writing Competition, in its 10th year this year, was initiated by former Mayor, the late Fergus Thomson OAM to encourage and celebrate the literary talents of Eurobodalla children and young adults.
On Thursday Mayor Liz Innes congratulated all the finalists, who were chosen from more than 200 entries across five age groups.
“To become a finalist is a huge achievement and I would like to congratulate all of the finalists here today - well done,” she said.
“This is an important competition that allows children and young adults the freedom and confidence to creatively express themselves through writing stories.
“We are looking forward to the competition continuing to grow and offering an opportunity for the children in the shire to exercise their creative literary talents.”
Entries were judged on creativity and their ability to captivate the reader. The judges noted the stories were entertaining, imaginative, insightful and thoughtful.
Judge Rosie Toth, from the Eurobodalla Writers Group, told the students writing was like a sport in which “we need to train by practising”.
“Writing isn’t always easy… the reward is there when it all comes together,” she said.
“Who doesn’t love a good story? All the cultures in the world have great stories. They allow us to use our imagination, but also to explore ideas about ourselves and the world around us.”
Each winner and runner-up received a certificate and book voucher. All finalists received a professionally-bound anthology that includes their own story and illustrations.
The 2018 Mayor’s Writing Competition Anthology is available for loan and purchase from Eurobodalla’s three libraries at Moruya, Narooma and Batemans Bay.
Mayor Writing Competition 2018 finalists
5-6 age group: Encouragement award Hudson Longstaff, runner-up Noah McCarthy, winner Ella Douros.
7-9 age group: Encouragement award Sean Peard, runner-up Fletcher Cobden, winner Iona Kelly.
10-12 age group: Encouragement award Samara Ellis, runner-up Zahlia Kelly, winner Tayah Boyd.
13-15 age group: Encouragement award Rosie Shorter, runner-up Teagan Moses, winner Bonnie Rouch.
16- 18 age group: Encouragement award Leora Kelly, runner-up Hugh Tuckwell, winner Pippi Sparrius
Winner of the Syd Hayes Award and the Eurobodalla Writers’ Perpetual Shield Trophy: Bonnie Rouch
Above: Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes with Mayor’s Writing Competition finalists and judges.
Above: Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes with Mayor’s Writing Competition winner of the Syd Hayes Creative Writing Award and the Eurobodalla Writers’ Perpetual Shield Trophy, Bonnie Rouch.