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Meriden girls scoop the awards in WriteOn competition

Kaitlyn Xi, Clarice Zhong and Juliet Maroun

All three entries by Meriden Junior School students have received awards in WriteOn 2022. The competition winners were announced at a presentation ceremony at the State Library of NSW on Monday evening, 12 September 2022.

Clarice Zhong in Year 1 and Kaitlyn Xi in Year 4 won Gold Awards in the Stage 1 and Stage 2 divisions respectively, and Year 6 student, Juliet Maroun, won a Bronze Award in the Stage 3 division.

Clarice, Kaitlyn and Juliet were among 500 entries from 264 primary schools across NSW. Open to students in Years 1 to 6, the competition recognises the creativity and literary talent of budding young writers. Using a photo supplied to schools by the State Library, students were asked to write up to 500 words as a narrative, poem, journal entry or letter. The same photo is used as the stimulus in each of the three divisions in the competition.

The colourful photo of children playing a carnival game inspired Clarice to write a poem titled I Look up. They Look down. “The photo reminded me of all my beautiful soft toys and I decided to write a poem where I could give each toy a unique character trait and bring it to life,” Clarice said. “It was a lot of fun to write about the toys with their different characters inviting me to play.”

A recent visit to the Royal Easter Show gave Kaitlyn the inspiration to write her poem, Carnival of Wonders.

“The games that the children were playing in the photo reminded me of the amusements at the Easter Show. It was the first time I had been to the Show in three years because of COVID-19, and I was swept off my feet by all the vibrant colours and sounds. I took in every minuscule detail and the next day, I wrote down all my memories. It was thrilling to relive the experience and while writing the poem, I pictured myself in every line of every stanza until I pressed the last full stop on my keyboard,” Kaitlyn said.

In Juliet’s story, Playtime, the protagonist, Pandy, whom we surmise is a toy panda, tells the story of being won as a prize by a little girl named Audrey. Pandy and Audrey spend the summer sharing tea parties, playing in the garden and doing everything together until one day, while Audrey is away at school, events take a turn.

Juliet is an avid writer who has participated in WriteOn every year since she was in Year 1. This is her second Bronze Award in the competition.

“I look forward to writing a story for WriteOn each year. English is definitely my favourite subject and I love writing. The teachers at school encourage us to explore different genres and styles. I also like learning about grammar as I find it really helps me get all my creative ideas across in a clear way,” Juliet said.

The award-winning works by Clarice, Kaitlyn and Juliet have been published in The Best of WriteOn 2022 anthology which can be purchased here.

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