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Middle School Creative Writing Competition winner

We are pleased to announce Year 7 student Laetitia Bachler as the winner of the annual Middle 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 Laetitia’s piece as a “spooky, fascinating piece of writing.”

“This felt like just the beginning of a great story, I really wanted to know what happened next.”

Year 7 student Divya Srinivasa and Year 8 student Florence Bartram tied for second place.

Hannah described Divya’s piece ‘Ayana’ as “very moving, empathetic writing and important topics (war, refugees, grief) to explore.”

She described Florence’s ‘There was the wind’ as a “beautiful scene-setting in this poem. This was my favourite part:

Fighting over the



Year 9 student Fotene Yiappos came third.

Hannah described Fotene’s piece, ‘Magic Money Machine’ as a “curious and unique story, left me wanting more.”

Read Laetitia’s winning piece, ‘The Sappire-Eyed Cat’ below.

The Sapphire-Eyed Cat by Laetitia Bachler

The rain washed silently against the window. The stairs and doors of the old, wooden building creaked under the cover of darkness and the old grandfather clock down the hallway stirred and chimed. In the eerie darkness, a young girl lay in bed and stared blankly at her ceiling. She sat up on her bed and took her candle from its position on her bedside table. She held it up and swung the light around the room, just so that she could see everything. On the other side of the room lay another, much younger, girl. The other girl glanced out the window, and making certain that no one was watching, she slipped the candle onto the windowsill and got out a thick, blue notebook and pen. She started writing.

Dear Lucida,

So much has changed since the last time I talked to you. Mysterious things have been happening all around the boarding school. Ms. Dove’s quills and scrolls have gone missing again. Becca Walterson has vanished this morning, and I fear the most for Matilda, for she is weak and would not be able to call for help if such an intruder grabbed her. Or creature. Nobody really knows who (or what) is doing this.

At this, the girl put down her pen down and turned to look at her younger sleeping sister. She walked over to her side of the room and stood over her. The girls’ eyes then swept to a single object on her bedside table. It was a delicate golden pin, entangled and twisted into the shape of a cat. It had pretty, blue, almost sapphire-like eyes and a small metallic face. It had been a gift from their aunt. The girl sighed. “Oh, Matilda,” she thought silently to herself. “If only you got better, then we might stand a chance of going back home!” She could already feel the thick oak floor beneath her feet, the musty smells of the attic. Oh, how wonderful it would feel to be home!

She walked back to the windowsill and was just about to sign off her letter when a shadow flickered out of the corner of her eye. She could hear a faint scuttling noise coming from the corner of the room. At first, she suspected it was a spider (they weren’t uncommon at this time of the night), but it began to sound more like clanking noises. Her eyes instinctively diverted back to her sister and, ever so suddenly, she could feel something on her leg. She slowly looked down and let out a faint shriek. It was the cat. It was the pin. She actually didn’t quite know what it was, or what to make of it. Its tiny legs clanked and clattered as they moved clumsily. The sapphire-like eyes darted uneasily from side to side. The golden carved ears pricked up and swiveled this way and that. Just as she thought she was going to faint, the cat jumped up onto her face and hissed into her ear. “Charlotte Bennet-Russell, pull yourself together! You better start packing while you’re at it, because it’s a long trip where we’re headed. Also, I need your help.”