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Winning Writing!

Well done to Layla who was announced as the winner of the Touchdown School Magazine Writing competition today! Last term, students created a 150 story starter using a collection of words from the magazine. It was very exciting to have one of our amazing writers win! Layla’s entry will be published in the October issue of Touchdown. 

Write On!

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Congratulations to Chelsea whose short story Just Memories has been selected by our class to represent our school in this year’s NESA Write On competition for Stage 3. Well done to all of our students who created an entry for this year’s photo prompt below.

       

 

 

 

 

 

Just Memories

15/7/2022
It was the first time people had been let into our country. They came in and we stayed in. I wondered why people would want to come to North Korea? Of course I kept these thoughts to myself; I cheered at the parades, I bowed at the memorials. Naturally, the foreign guests had just been a cause for our ruler to show off. The fake weapons were paraded, people were scared, people left. But the ones with the cameras stayed, and now they stood on the footpath smiling and talking to no one in particular. These were the tourists. They left too… then the bombs started. This is my country, this is my story. This is our time.

“We have made a decision… to let the foreigners into our country! They will abide by our laws, they will be crucial in the battle against America, they will scare the rest of the world with their cameras and news reports and most importantly, they will help us win. You may not leave. You may not talk to them. You may not look at them in the street.” The small TV screen we huddled around every night went black and silent. Our electricity had been terminated for the remainder of the night. Yet news was still circulated in the form of photos. Illegal photos from the tourists. We had one. It was a black and white shot of a parade. You couldn’t see the parade coming, only the people. I remembered that parade so vividly. They had paraded a fake weapon that day.

The excitement strung between the foreigners had been electric. They actually cheered because they wanted to. But their voices were drowned out when we heard the planes. They had been real, of course. I don’t know how many people died when the bombs fell. We were all meant to die, I know that. That night I lay on the cold, blood stained concrete, shaking, the corpses surrounding me, staring at me, lifeless. Were they with someone they loved when they died? I hope so. I don’t know where my family went, but it doesn’t matter because now because I am abandoned.

17/4/2033
Dr Garamond shut the notebook with a slam. He was the only one who could shut small books with slams. He slouched in his chair, his large bulk filling it and making it look like it was a small fold-up chair at a cheap cinema. His large brown eyes stared across the table and right at me. “So…” I said. “Will you publish it?” His reply wasn’t what I had hoped for.
“This young girl in the story deserves privacy. No one will read a story this short, but I will keep the diary just in case. It could help me immensely with my research.”
I had come all this way, from North Korea, to be turned down. And now the diary, my diary, my only remaining possession that I salvaged from the ruins of our small cottage was no longer mine. I guess, at the end of the day, there are just memories.

ICAS Writing

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Congratulations to all of our wonderful writers who took part in this year’s ICAS Writing. Their amazing results are below. Well done!

Participation: Eliza, Eleanor, Griffin, Duncan, Amie and Ellen

Credits: Edie (top 35%), Fin (top 23%),  Oscar (top 35%), William (top 13%), Ty (top 24%), Ember (top 24%), Blade (top 24%), Noah K (top 15%) and Sam (top 15%)

Distinctions: Mika (top 7%), Chelsea (top 7%), Layla (top 9%), Chloe (top 9 %), Grayson (top 7%) and Raquel (top 7%)

High Distinctions: Emma (top 1%), Noah G (top 1%), Celeste (top 1%) and winner of the Principal’s Award for the highest achiever.

FABO Writing!

Congratulations to Mika who has won the recent FABO Writing competition by children’s author Sue Copsey (author of The Ghosts of Young Nick’s Head, and The Ghosts Of Tarawera). Using Sue’s story starter below, Mika created an ending that “had it all – superb descriptive writing, really creepy, and a great twist at the end.” Well done, Mika!

 

 

 

 

Sue’s Story Starter

I wasn’t in the slightest bit happy when Mum said I was going to stay with Aunt Jules for the Easter holidays. Aunt Jules lives in a town Mum calls ‘quirky’ and I call weird. It’s not even a town, really. It’s just a place on the way to somewhere else. There’s a petrol station and a couple of cafes that Mum says are just like the ones she grew up with (which means only pies), and … nope. Can’t think of anything else.

So here I am, sitting on Aunt Jules’ sofa, coming to terms with dial-up internet. One good thing, though. Aunt Jules says there’s a toy shop, and she’ll give me money. She says the shop’s ‘curious’.

The bell dings as I open the toy shop door. It’s dark in here, so I get a bit of a fright when a little old lady pops up from behind the counter. She’s got frizzy grey hair and round glasses that twinkle.

“I bet you think this town is boring, eh?” she says. “You’d rather be somewhere else?”

I think this is a strange way to greet your customers. I told you this town’s weird. But before I can answer, she takes out something from under the counter. It’s a globe – an old-fashioned one with brownish land and sea, and scary looking sea serpents in the oceans.

“Spin it!” she says. So I do.

 

Mika’s story

The light was inexplicable. It tore away everything, blocking out all sound and vision. My throat was raw, my limbs paralyzed. Terror took hold of me, gripping my heart with icy fingers. I screamed, willing my legs to move, but nothing would come.

Nothing.

Something solidified under my feet. Solid ground. The earth beneath me was hard like rock, and had a strange, foreign feeling underfoot, almost bouncy.

As the vision returns to my eyes, I hear a raspy, terrifying voice choke out a feeble sentence, “But… Where… no…” My hand flies to my throat as I realize the voice was my own.

The scene around me is both horrifying and stunning. The land is perfectly flat, covered in long, wavy grass that goes up to my waist. To my left the land slopes downwards and meets the waterline. The waves soar above my head, crashing just metres away from me. I catch the salty spray on my tongue and pull away, scrambling into the grass. Briefly I remember the strange creatures that roamed the water on the globe. The sun suddenly becomes unbearable. The heat pelts down on the land. Sweat breaks out on my brow and I cringe. I raised my head and stared upwards. My heart skips a beat.

Above me, the sky is curved upwards, forming a glassy dome above me.

And behind the dome is the face of the store owner. Her grey hair surrounds her laughing face like a hood, her eyes peeking out from under her fringe of curls.
I am trapped, gone.

Nothing.

150 Word Challenge!

Well done to everyone who took part in the Touchdown school magazine 150 word challenge this month. Students created a beginning to an imaginative story using the opening sentence – The wind whipped through the trees as I climbed the path to the old, abandoned cathedral. They also had to use the following list of words: bloodthirsty, branches, crushed, island, legend, perfect, shadows, snails, wooden and work. Have a read of their creative efforts by clicking on the links below… 

Blood By Sam      Bloodthirsty Snails by Noah K    Dark Falls by Blade     Dead Legend by Liana    Death by the Bloodthirsty by Noah G     Snails by Duncan    Alive One Minute by Emma     Ghosts by Fin    Goodbye Child by Ember   Legend by Chelsea    Island of Legends by Chloe    Perfect Little Liars by Celeste   Perfect Shadows by Oscar    Should’ve Listened by Layla    Snow by Griffin   The Island by Dexter    The Wooden Curse By Amie    Waiting For You by Mika   Island of Death by Will

Wonderful Writers

Well done to our wonderful writers who received a letter from the Write4Fun competition today about making it into the second round of judging. It was great to have so many students receive an Achievement Award and a Certificate of Excellence for our school. Fingers crossed for when the winners are announced later this month. 

Write4Fun!

Well done to all of our students who submitted a free choice short story in the Write4Fun competition this term. Have a read of their terrific work below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chelsea – Beyond               Celeste – The Orphan             Jules – Chained             Eleanor – Fire, Smoke            Ellen – Unfortunate Parents          Ember – Capture It, Fight It, Protect It!                        Emma – The Fear In Your Head               Layla – Freaks       Hamish – The Hidden Temple                 Noah G – Loucara      Mika – Purple Gloves             Noah K – The Monster Under the Bed                 Oscar – Vain              Chloe – The Good Forgive              William – My World            Amie – Fishy         Fin – Your Worst Nightmare     Blade – Locked Up In Chains

Newcastle Writer’s Festival

The OC had a terrific time attending the Newcastle Writer’s Festival today. We enjoyed author presentations from writers Michael Wagner and George Ivanoff, who were both incredibly entertaining and inspiring. It was great to see students purchasing some new books! As part of the Festival there’s also a Free Family Fun Day taking place on Saturday 8th April between 10am-2pm at Wheeler Place. There will be lots of great activities including author appearances from Jackie French and Richard Roxburgh.

Free Family Fun Day