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Mayor’s Writing Competition, winners announced

Zahlia Kelly has won the Syd Hayes Creative Writing Award with an evocative story that captures perfectly the exhilaration any surfer feels when catching a wave.

The Syd Hayes Creative Writing Award is the main prize for the Mayor’s Writing Competition, set up to encourage and celebrate the literary talents of Eurobodalla’s young people. The competition has grown over eleven years, with more than 2,500 entries during that time.

Being accepted as a finalist is a mark of achievement for any young local writer.

The Syd Hayes award winner, Zhalia Kelly from St Peter’s Anglican College, will be presented with a beautiful ironbark pen and case, crafted by Richard Turley. Each age-group winner and runner up will be given book vouchers from Moruya Books.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions this year’s finalist were announced online with four judges tasked with deciding the winners from a strong field of entries. Judge Lynne Babbage said she was pleased to see so many stories written from personal experience.

“I encourage all the entrants to keep practicing their craft,” Ms Babbage said.

“The very best writers have bottom drawers full of unpublished drafts but they just keep writing.”

Other judges for the 2020 Mayor’s Writing Competition were Stafford Ray and Eileen Dillon-Smith of Eurobodalla Writers and Rachel Blass who represented Eurobodalla Libraries.

The 2020 Mayor’s Writing Competition anthology is available to view online, browse for it in the library catalogue at the following link. Then click (Download) for an interactive .pdf


5-6 years:  Winner Noah Lloyd, runner up Avalon Wehner, encouragement Abigail Piper.

7-8 years: Winner Charles Boardman, runner up Mabel Ladmore, encouragement Moss Smith.

9-10 years: Winner Siena White, runner up Sean Peard, encouragement Quade Ryan.

11-12 years: Winner Iona Kelly, runner up Charlie Hough, encouragement Indiana Sale.

13-14 years: Winner Zahlia Kelly, runner up Emelia Whitla, encouragement Sarah Tuckwell.

15-18 years: Winner Antoinette McManus, runner up Mattea Kelly, encouragement Teagan Moses.

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