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Short story writing competition 2019: A daring rescue and a refugee tale win top prizes

Toni Hetherington, December 1, 2019 7:44PM Kids News

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Short Story Competition THE WINNERS artwork media_cameraShort Story Competition THE WINNERS artwork

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Congratulations to Rose Pullinger of Tasmania and Amaeh Reed of Queensland for winning first prize in their age groups in the Kids News short story writing competition.

The entries from Rose (10 and under) and Amaeh (11 and over) were among the 1900 wonderful stories sent in from across Australia for the competition, proudly supported by HarperCollins.

Rose wrote a gripping story called Emily to the Rescue about a delicate rescue operation to save family members.

Amaeh considered the plight of refugees hoping for a better life in Australia and the risks they are willing to take to get here in her realistic story called A New Beginning.

You can find links to read their winning entries further below in this story.

Other topics including the drought, friendship, ninjas, bullying, unicorns and the environment proved popular with kids.

Award-winning children’s author Jackie French, who was on the judging panel, said it was a tough job choosing the first prize winners and the other finalists from so many good entries.

“Judging the best entry in a short-story competition like this one seemed impossible. There were so many great stories, all wonderful in different ways,” Ms French said.

“Some had gloriously original ideas; some had vivid description that trapped you in the story from the first sentence; and some had both … but not all the way through.

“Luckily, we three judges agreed on the winners and highly commended. The more times we read the stories, the more those pieces of writing felt best,” she said.

Ms French encouraged all students to enter again next year for the 2020 Kids News Short Story Writing Competition in August.

Rose Pullinger, winner of the short story competition for Kids News. (10 and under) media_cameraRose Pullinger.


First prize winner
Rose Pullinger, aged 9, from Hobart, Tasmania
Rose wrote an engaging story set in rural Australia about a family preparing for a wedding. But when things start going wrong, it’s a race against time to complete a daring rescue and make it to the church on time.

Judges remarks: Really fresh and clever. Excellent pacing and tension with a satisfying ending.

Read her award-winning story here: EMILY TO THE RESCUE

2. Bridie Rogers, of Essendon North, Victoria, for The Fairy Tale Police

Judges remarks: Funny and fresh and a clever way to reinterpret a well-known genre (of fairy tales).

Highly Commended:
3. Summer Keightley, of Innes Park, Queensland, for The Good, the Bad and the Dusty
Judges remarks: There is some lovely use of language in this nicely told and observed piece.

4. Hallie Bennett, of Wayville, South Australia, for As The Seasons Go By
Judges remarks: Lovely lyrical writing and I only wish the ending had been stronger.

5. Alice Dux, of Coogee, NSW, for A Child’s Destiny
Judges remarks: A fresh and interesting idea, but needed more work in crafting and general story telling.

6. Charlotte Woodhouse, of Watson, ACT, for Above the Sun
Judges remarks: Wonderfully distinctive voice and good use of dialogue.

7. Michael Heenan, of Torquay, Victoria, for Bob the Mouse
Judges remarks: A really funny, original and charming story.

Amaeh Reed is the winner of the Kids News short story writing competition (11 and over) media_cameraAmaeh Reed.


First prize winner: Amaeh Reed, aged 12, of Cairns, Queensland
Amaeh wrote an interesting story about a refugee and his family trying to flee war-torn Afghanistan to Australia in an old, decaying boat with people smugglers they don’t trust

Judges remarks: Loved this tale of fluctuating emotions. It was so realistic that I could imagine being on the boat. Descriptive writing with a great ending. Very true to life.

Read her award-winning story here: A NEW BEGINNING

Runner up:
2. Arianne Bannister, of North Ryde, NSW for Benevolence
Judges remarks: Colourful writing. Original storyline and one that makes you think. Nice ending. 

Highly Commended: 
3. Jessica Cash, of Buderim, Queensland, for Empty Sounds
Judges remarks: Love the start and power of realising the writer may be the only child left in the world. The notion of silence and aloneness is well portrayed. Strong ending

4. Lee Crawford-Raby, of Caboolture, Queensland, for My Grandmother’s Secret
Judges remarks: Loved the freshness and overall zaniness of this story, and the transformation of the granny into a special agent. Good storyline that needed some more work on the ending. 

5. Cormac Lee, of Clapham, South Australia, for Flesh Masks
Judges remarks: Well thought out, good pace and a good ending. Original and relatable for kids in the fun park setting. 

Congratulations artwork for kids news 2 media_cameraCongratulations to all our winners


OTHER FINALISTS : 10 and under

8. Hannah Moore, of Berowra, NSW, for The Garden

9. Celeste Johnsdorfer, of Brighton, Victoria, for The Hidden World

10. Viva McGillvray, of Box Hill North, Victoria, for Pickle

11. Chloe Toogood, of Lynton, South Australia, for Playground Detective Series–- Book 1: The Case of the Missing Lunchbox

12. Leo Spent of Tasmania, for A Day in the Life

13. Adele Mewett, of Duffy, ACT, for The Big Adventure

14. Rafa Siemer, of Walgett, NSW, for Blu Roo

15. Audrey Reinhardt, of Middle Ridge, Queensland for The Sausage With Problems

16. Rachael Zigomanis, of Heidelberb, Victoria, for Bouncing Back

17. Archer Reyne, of St Arnaud, Victoria, for Grandma’s House

18. Harriet Grigg, of Redfern, NSW, for Super Pups

19. Sybella Newman, of Bexley, NSW, for The Magic Map

20. Jade Summer Walker, of Dingley Village, Victoria, for Polly’s Plants

21. Audrey Cole, of Malvern East, Victoria, for Heart of the Ocean

22. Austin Su, of Glen Waverley, Victoria, for E = Murder C2

23. Rose Hyde, of Newstead, Victoria, for The Dog from Quintia

24. Oscar Hetteling, of Everton Park, Queensland, for The Boy Who Knew Just Enough

25. Salih Sheriffdeen, of Newport, Victoria, for The Best Shot

OTHER FINALISTS: 11 and above

6. Jacinta Mentiplay, of Narre Warren South, for Citron the Lemon

7. Ella Glen, of Reedy Creek, Queensland, for The Final Stage of Grief

8. Jasleen Kaur of Cranbourne East, for Pluto

9. Jasmine Tran, of St Ives, NSW, for Mother Earth’s Lesson

10. Hannah Cunningham, of St Kilda, Victoria, for Hopes and Dreams

11. Jensen Spencer, of Greensborough, Victoria, for Dragon’s Peak

12. Charlie McCann, of Kirwan, Queensland, for Quinting

13. Georgie Zarkovich of Eli Waters, Queensland, for The Great Aussie Barbie Explosion

14. Hannah Croft, of Drumborg, Victoria, for For the Next Three Months

15. Patrick Dixon, of Blackburn, Victoria, for Illuminated

16. Clover Charlton, of Edmonton, Queensland, for Difference

17. Sarah Cowburn, of Gawler South, South Australia, for Depression

18. Archisha Sarath, of Ivanhoe, Victoria, for Albidaya (The Beginning)

19. Finn Molloy-Drum, of Banyena, Victoria, for Immune

20. Scarlett Round, of Mount Compass, South Australia, for A Lady of Colour

21. Alexander Young, of Wemley Downs, Western Australia, for Tempestate

22. Naomi Kuhle, of Edmonton, Queensland, for Celestian Mirror

23. Katherine Pan, of Carlingford, NSW, for Beetroot Soup

24. Anais McColl, of Newport, Melbourne, for The Art of Regret

25. Zoey Dix, of Riverhills, Queensland, for Book Boy and Device Dude

Print out a certificate for students here:CERTIFICATE

MORE STORIES NEXT WEEK: A storybook with more of the winning entries will be published here on Kids News next week. Keep an eye out for it!

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