St Bede’s Primary School in Red Hill swept up the awards at the recent Anglicare Pens against Poverty writing competition.
Year three students Tim Minogue and Arabella Krippner each won awards in the competition, with St Bede’s Primary School taking out an award as well. Judged by authors Jackie French and John Foulcher, Pens Against Poverty was entered by more than 20 schools in the Canberra region.
St Bede’s Assistant Principal and year three teacher Breen Fox says the competition was a great opportunity to encourage creative writing around a theme. The competition’s theme for this year was ‘on the edge’.
According to Ms Fox, the school entered the competition to encourage students “as young writers and give them a sense of purpose for their writing whilst promoting awareness of poverty in the local community”.
The Pens Against Poverty competition was created to “demonstrate the power of poetry and fiction to heighten empathy among readers and writers, through the imagination and shared experience”.
Every year three student, under the guidance of their teachers Ms Fox and Mrs Cathy Ryan, and some from other grades, entered the competition, requiring them to submit a short story or poem up to 500 words.
“They do journal writing every day,” Ms Fox says. “But this just gives them a purpose for their creative writing.”
Tim Minogue was awarded the top prize for his poetry, and received a highly commended for his short story, both in the year three and four categories. He was also awarded the overall junior prize (years three to six), and the Jackie French young writers development award.
Fellow student Arabella Krippner took out the award for the year three and four short story category.
Both students say they were “shocked” to find out they had won their awards.
“It was the best thing in the world,” says Arabella, who likes to write “scary and sad” stories.
“I was really shocked and happy,” adds Tim.
The pair plan to continue their writing, writing some scary and adventure stories.
Ms Fox says entering the competition has helped the students improve their creative writing skills.
“The quality of their writing and their descriptive writing has come ahead in leaps and bounds,” she says. “Mrs Ryan and I are just so proud of them.”