Writing competition winners announced

Look out, there are new published authors in town!

Mayor’s Writing Competition winners were announced at an awards presentation at the Moruya RSL Hall on Wednesday 25 October.

The Mayor’s Writing Competition has run for 15 years, and this year’s finalists were selected from 540 entries.

The audience giggled in awe as younger kids ran up to the stage to receive their awards. Eurobodalla Mayor Mathew Hatcher chose this year’s theme, Change.

“This annual competition is a highlight of my work as Mayor – encouraging our young talent is so important,” Mayor Hatcher said.

“Stories were powerful, emotional and thought-provoking. I congratulate students for taking on the challenge and participating.”

Entries came from students across the shire and were judged on creativity and entertainment to the reader. Judges Eileen Dillon-Smith, Sharon Halliday, Carol Dawson, Lynne Babbage, Toni Cary-Starr and Alice Johnson took on the mammoth task. Long-time judge Ms Dillon-Smith said it was tough competition.

“The whole process is enjoyable but difficult because they are all so delightful,” she said.

Eurobodalla Mayor Mathew Hatcher presented winners and runners up with vouchers donated by Moruya Books, Mogo Wildlife Park and Bay Office Supplies.

Each finalist received a hardcopy of their work published in the 2023 Mayor’s Writing Competition anthology, which is available to view in the Eurobodalla Libraries online catalogue.

The prestigious Syd Hayes Creative Writing Award went to Moruya High student Ashley Bell. Richard Turley again donated a handcrafted pen to accompany the award.

Ashley’s story was cleverly narrated from the perspective of a tree and touched the hearts of the judges. Creative writing has been a new challenge for Ashley since attending creative writing classes at school.

From reading a novel front to back in four-hours, to now being a published author, Ashley Bell is bound to do great things.

“I love murder mysteries and can read a whole book in four hours,” Ashley said.

“I hope to go to uni and study English and theatre when I finish high school.”

To see the full list of award winners in each age category, visit the Mayor’s Writing Competition webpage on Council’s website.

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