Nearly 40 entries were received for this year’s APW story competition, with entrants from across the Wellington region ranging in age from nine to 18.
This year’s theme was the City of the Wind. He asked the young people to examine the love-hate relationship people have with the forces of nature.
Poetry was not an official category, but the poems received were of such caliber that it was decided to award Emma Whitlow a Highly Commended for her poem, Today. Next year, poetry will be an official category.
Judge Laureen Keenan, herself an award-winning writer, was very complimentary.
“I was really impressed with the entries this year. Each of them showed imagination and talent. There were so many clever variations on the Wellington Wind theme, from a lone dog made of air, to a destructive spirit edge, to winds that push people together or pull them apart. All of these young writers should be proud – and should keep writing! she says.
Mayor Andy Foster launched the competition last year to encourage young people to write fiction or non-fiction stories that explore an aspect of the capital. Last year’s theme celebrated the 150th anniversary of Wellington City Council.
“Wellington has a proud literary heritage which is celebrated on the waterfront with the Writers Walk and the Verb Wellington Festival. This latest generation of amazing young writers reveals the depth of writing talent and imagination we have as they add another chapter to the city’s literary history.
“Thank you to everyone who entered the contest and thank you all for such wonderful literary creations. Congratulations to the winners,” Mayor Foster said.
Deputy Mayor Sarah Free says this year’s entries showed all that is good and not so good about “Windy Wellington”.
“Whether we love or hate the wind, it’s a part of our lives and it’s great to see these writers capture the essence of something that was a primary force in Wellington’s upbringing. They all did an amazing job,” Deputy Mayor Free said.
Winners receive a creative development session with judge Lauren Keenan, a signed certificate from the mayor and deputy mayor, and a $200 book voucher. A scheduled lunch with the Mayor and Deputy Mayor had to be canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions.
This year’s winners:
Best story: 9 to 12 years old, up to 1500 words
Meredith Williams, “Four Scenes in One Day”
Best Story: Ages 13-18, up to 3000 words
Sophie Ewens, “A letter, a lighthouse and the wind”
Best title of a story:
Tamara Nguyen, “A Whirlwind Romance”
Best premise of a story:
Bill Kelly, “The Titiwai and the Turbine”
Most imaginative story:
Keya Parekh, “The Innocence of the Pure”
Emma Whitlow, “Today”
Helena Riddell, “When Your Love Blew on the Breeze”
Ekaterine Zahariadis, “A collision, a moment, a breeze”