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Junior School Creative Writing Competition winner

We are pleased to announce Year 4 student Arshiya Tuli, as the winner of the annual Junior School Creative Writing Competition.

The competition was judged by writer Hannah Tunnicliffe. Hannah is the author of three published novels and one picture book. The Colour of Tea, her debut novel, was a national bestseller in Canada and her books have been published in over nine different languages. Her picture book, Marjory and the Mouse, was completed as a charitable project for The Cradle of Hope, a children’s home based in Macau, China.

Hannah has previously lived in Canada, Australia, England, Macau and, while travelling Europe, a campervan named Fred. She currently lives in Auckland, New Zealand with her husband and three daughters and is hard at work on her next book. Aside from writing she is also an eating disorder survivor and body positivity advocate.

Hannah described Arshiya’s concept as “the most bold and unique of all the entries. I found it terrifying but also mesmerizing, the entry I wanted to keep re-reading. Arshiya’s use of language is incredible.”

Year 4 student Kitty Grotrian and Year 6 student Chantal Chin tied for second place.

Hannah described Kitty’s piece, ‘Storms’, as “a truly lovely, clear and thoughtful poem with great metaphors, probably the piece of writing I enjoyed reading the most in this section.”

She described Chantal’s piece, ‘Seasons’, as a “beautiful imagery of snow and blossoms, an emotive and captivating poem.”

Third place went to Year 5 student Gloria Tay.

Hannah decribed Gloria’s ‘My Favourite Place’ as “beautifully described and “captured”. A perfect afternoon so succinctly described.”

Read Arshiya’s winning entry, ‘The Red Secret’ below.

The Red Secret by Arshiya Tuli

We think that the blood moon is just a phase of the moon. The holder of this ancient legend will be granted the knowledge of knowing the secrets that have been locked away for centuries, wrapped in the destroyed memories of the past.

Long ago, the moon ruled all, killing anyone who dared to confront his evil will. Each of his victims transforming into ghosts of the past. The citizens of the choked, dull earth lived in fear of these deadly creations. In the dead of night, the ghosts and ghouls appeared out of nowhere, tempted by the smell of hopes, leaving the depressed remains of the person to die. Fairies, goblins, gnomes, witches and wizards hid under cover, deep in the mantle of the cool, icy earth. The old, forgotten rulers of the word, volcanoes, frosted to the core, to cold and weak to let out their deadly magma, sent their son out on the journey of his lifetime.

One by one, the gods trickled in, doubtful of the young leaders hope. Locked away in a cavern for many years had influenced him. He was now thirsty for revenge. The dingy valley around him urged him on to propose his victory. His mind was ticking. The others stared in silence, he was unpredictable, they knew. His frown was fading into a broad smile. Gesturing for the others to sit down, he presented a brightly lit beacon. The light was overcoming the darkness, turning good into bad, weakness into power. His eyes were flaming now, he glided in and disappeared. Morphing into a ball of fire, he ejected into the night sky.

This may have been the end of evil, but the moon remained. In jealousy, the moon reflects the blinding lights our sun. Though Te Ra is strong, with the immense power of the gods running through his veins, he may only sustain the lights he casts for so long. Therefore, one day we will lose our beloved Sun. One day, our moon will regain power, more than before. But until this sad time, our woes extent further. A blood moon. This is his sign. The sign of anger. Our moon will come again.

So watch out, because every blood moon, the dark creatures of the night will once again come to haunt the descendants of the humans who betrayed their dark lord.