Creative Writing Results
Glenalmond Junior Schools Creative Writing Competition – Finals
The newly-minted St. Mary’s creative writing club has been a veritable hive of industry during activities time this term, and I was thrilled at half-term when Mr Harvey excitedly let me know that this buzz had converted into four finalists and three commendations in the Glenalmond Creative Writing Competition. Our club believes that creative writing can be a team game; every session, ideas bounce around the room, advice is given by peers, writing buddies and myself, and final products are critiqued. Still, the individual achievements of four writers – Ava, Sophie, Georgina and Annabel – clearly stood out from the pack.
I met the finalists in Glenalmond’s Front Quad on a beautiful, crisp afternoon, which showed off the Perthshire countryside to great advantage. We mingled for a while in the Conference Centre, talking to our new friend, lecture judge Mr Wright, and preparing the stories for reading. Mr Watson, Head of English at Glenalmond, addressed all the assembled competitors and supporters, before sending us off to our separate rooms to perform the pieces.
The junior competition, which featured Annabel, Georgina and Sophie, was held in the ground floor library room – all those famous authors peeking out at us from the shelves provided much inspiration. The girls’ stories were very well-received, with the audience particularly enjoying the wonderful expression Sophie put into her characters’ direct speech. With two Simpsons at the back of the room listening, the sense of competition was fierce but friendly.
Ava, meanwhile, was performing in the library’s reading room, a fantastic, imposing space, perfect for the spinning of yarns. As the groups ran at the same time, I was very disappointed to have missed this set of readers, but my informers tell me it was an extremely creative and unique field, and so I offer congratulations once again to Ava for standing up boldly before strangers to show off her formidable talents.
Once the reading was done, we re-convened in the Conference Centre to hear the judgement of Kenneth Steven, a Scottish poet. He re-stated how impressed the judging panel, which also included the Glenalmond English Department, had been with all entries received, and even went as far as to say he had to pinch himself to remember how young our authors are.
In the end, Sophie received a finalist’s commendation, Georgina and Ava were awarded bronze certificates, and Annabel, our youngest entrant to the competition, was given the silver position in her group – what a star! We had the opportunity to hear the three gold prize stories (junior, intermediate and senior). The work of Jamie from Craigclowan, who won the senior prize, was particularly inspiring, and I’m sure it has given the girls a lot to think about with regards to their future writing.
This was a very proud day for me – seeing our green uniforms against that familiar backdrop, and having my old (sorry, former!) English teachers hear my pupils read were both weird and wonderful. The girls were outstanding ambassadors for St. Mary’s; chirpy, friendly, well-prepared, confident and gracious. Many commented both on their stories and their personalities.
Our supporters, too, were brilliant, making the long hike up to Perth and encouraging the girls at every step. I know this reflects an even greater amount of work at home when the latest 20-page opus comes back for parental inspection, so a heart-felt thanks from me for all the family support!