Elaine Forrestal

2016 Tim Winton Awards

Young writers developing their story ideas with Elaine Forrestal.

It’s that time of year again. The time when our talented young writers settle down at their desks or keyboards and write, write, write.

Once they have a story – a first draft – they will read it, then re-write it. Not just once but many times as they find the voices of their characters, make adjustments to their plots and polish up their spelling, grammar and punctuation. They will think about a title for their work and about how best to present it. If they are typing their story they may add different fonts and decorations – although that is not what the judges of the competition will be looking for. The judges will focus on originality, control of language and whether or not the story is convincing enough to transport them to that other time and place – the world of the story. Judges are sometimes heavy. The story has to be strong enough to lift them. A strong story requires a lot of thoughtful concentration, patience and determination. But a prize winning story will definitely be worth the effort.

Sadly, here in WA, we no longer have the Young Writer’s Competition. Until two years ago it was the longest running competition of its kind in Australia. However we do still have the Tim Winton Awards which have recently expanded to cover the whole State and have been going from strength to strength.

Entries for the annual Tim Winton Awards close on the 4th July so hurry up and get your story into the best possible shape. When you are happy with it, ask your school, or Community Librarian for an entry form, fill it out and attach it to your story. Then send the whole lot in to the Subiaco Library. Who knows? With imagination and hard work you might one day become as famous, and successful, as Tim Winton himself.

Happy writing!