Print

Lionel Bowen Young Writers’ Award 2014 Winners Announced

Published Date
27/11/2014
News Topic
Children

Congratulations to all our winning entrants in the Lionel Bowen Young Writers' Award 2014!

The calibre of entries for 2014 has been outstanding, we have been so fortunate to see so many high quality submissions from the talented young writers in Randwick City.

We want to thank all of our entrants and award them with an official certificate of participation PDF, 342.97 KB.

Randwick City Library, Juvenilia Press and the University of NSW are proud to be involved in this celebration of young creative writers.

All winning entries have been published in a book by Juvenilia Press, which is available for purchase at any of our three library branches or the UNSW bookshop for $5.00.

Our winners and young writers featured in the publication are:

School years 10-12: 

Category

Place

Name

School years 10-12: Poem

First

Madeleine Wong

Second

Katherine Tjendana

Third

Isabel Fang

Highly commended

Maya Stempien

Category

Place

Name

School years 10-12: Prose

First

Isabella Brown

Second

Eloise Gibbs

Third

Kevin Semba

Highly commended

Andrew Kaploun

School years 7-9: 

Category

Place

Name

School years 7-9: Poem

First

Liam Wood

Second

Cindy Mititelu

Third

Eve Cogan

Highly commended

Jacqueline Lim

Category

Place

Name

School years 7-9: Prose

First

Jason Cleary-Gorton

Second

Jaysen Largent

Third

Shea Donohoe

Third

Delilah McArthur

School years 5-6: 

Category

Place

Name

School years 5-6: Poem

First

Pia Michalandos

Second

Dong Duong Nguyen

Third

Saxon Mendham

Highly commended

Nicole Chong

Highly commended

Georgia York

Category

Place

Name

School years 5-6: Prose

First

Logan Ingle

Second

Ruby Tuesday Cogan

School years 3-4: 

Category

Place

Name

School years 3-4: Poem

First

Dom Subota

Second

Ruby Thomasyu

Third

Zara Joseph

Category

Place

Name

School years 3-4: Prose

First

Rosie Johns

Second

Celeste Martin-Bygrave

Third

Xavier Waugh

Highly commended

Rebecca Colwell

School prize:

Congratulations to St Bridgids Coogee for winning this year's school prize with 37 entries!

Lionel Bowen Young Writers' Award 2014 winners with Cr Tony BowenRandwick City Library would like to share a piece of writing by Isabella Brown which judge Cath Ellis called "a truly stunning piece of work that is beautifully crafted", as an example of the superb work we received in the Lionel Bowen Young Writers Award 2014.

For the Best 

by Isabella Brown

When I was young I'd see her silhouette creeping out when she thought I was asleep, the milky darkness of the sky and glow of street lamps pouring into the room and the thin, sea blue curtains I'd watched my father hang, years ago, curling out into the night. I heard her exhale and the fall of her feet hitting the wet concrete outside. I heard the crash of the surf against the concrete breaker down by the shore. I saw the window close with a slight screech and a thud. I heard her shoes slapping the path as she walked toward the main road, and the skitter of her bicycle as she left.

I'd seen my sister sitting on low brick walls with her boyfriend. Daniel, I think his name was. He worked at the small theatre on the main road, selling popcorn and waving around a pocket torch. He'd sling his arm around her sweatered form while throwing shining purple grapes into his mouth, just to make her laugh. He snuck her into the movies for free and sometimes I would go too, see movies above my age range and sit three rows in front of the pair of them. He gave me popcorn and ribbons. He gave my sister cigarettes.

Winter came and rain reacquainted itself with the parched seaside, washing away the clinging salt and marking an end to lazy afternoons of sun and surf. As time wore on it became less of a rediscovered friend, and more of a once acquaintance who invites themselves over one time too many. The constant drizzle dampened our slice of the seaside incessantly. I guess that winter is when everything fell down. My sister cried as often as the sky, my big sister who grit her teeth when she fell off her bike and blood dripped from her fingers, who lay with dry eyes open while our parents fought and I choked on tears. This sister sat on her bed, pillow clutched to her chest, the fabric stained with tears and saliva where she'd bitten it to halt the sobs. I think she learnt that off me.

There was yelling but now she was the centre of debate. Her name was flung like sharp barbs around the living room, scratching the walls.

I didn't understand most of the shouted words. I was nine.

She grew bigger, my sister, and I guess somewhere in the back of my mind I must have associated her growing size with pregnancy. But the pregnancies I knew were coddled cooed over and bought presents for; revered. When the neighbour had a baby boy the street celebrated, their living room covered in blue gifts, presents and pillows and toys. The collection of motherly figures were crisp and caring, right out of sealed boxes and onto a stage which suited them. Their role was required and admired, and they played it well. The neighbour's round figure was coveted, a little envied, I think. My sister's was not. She was shunned, locked up; she left school four weeks from her final exams, and all her giggling friends vanished without anything so elegant as a puff of smoke.

When she was sent away my mother cried. I don't know why. She had agreed, insisted, sided with my fierce father, but more than that, she thought it was the right thing to do. I'm sure she did. I'm sure my sister knew she did. My father didn't speak anymore, he growled and he roared, he hissed. He turned into a dangerous, exotic animal, to be tiptoed around and watched with care. We have a tiger living in the kitchen, I'd whisper to my dolls, he eats boiled eggs and jam on toast.

We left her at the Salvation Army home.

Salvation; what a funny thought.

Her case was full and her coat mostly hid the bump. Her eyes were dry, but her lip bled. She hugged me before she walked up the stairs and through the wooden doors, with the stern matron who had forced her to farewell our parents. It's a tired cliché but she was a different person before she left. I think I knew she would be at the time; it felt very much like saying goodbye. Father's arm was wrapped around my mother, as though he was sad to see my sister go. He really might have been, after everything. When he reached for my hand I flinched. I don't think he noticed.

She came back six months later with dark eyes and messy hair. She looked so worn, her skin looked ready to blow away, like she would be caught by the ocean breeze and billowed towards far off shores, her hands were rough. She had a square of chipped blue nail polish on her thumb. The colour of the sea. She lay in bed until father forced her out to do something. Forget it, he'd say, move on with your life, leave this behind. She cried out in her sleep sometimes, whimpered, I don't think she knew. She called our parents by their first names, stood stiffly when they tried in vain to hug her, ate dinner alone until father got sick of her 'moping'. She pushed carrots around her plate like boats in the gravy. I made the peas my crew.

I was looking for mints in her sock draw once, that was where she kept them because she thought I didn't know. I found a pair of blue baby shoes. Never worn.

I think I put them on my doll. And tried to feed it mints.

Back to top