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Talented students place third in SAETA Young Writers Award

By Emily Underwood Vision in Action, Home, News 21/10/2021

Words by Megan Thorpe

SAETA organises two competitions for young writers annually, The Young Writers Award and the Spring Poetry Festival.

Our talented students recently won awards in the Young Writers Award competition!  The choice of topic was entirely free. The aim was to encourage creative writing on any subject.

Congratulations to:

  • Jackson H, Year 4 Poem – 3rd Place
  • Elliott G, Year 6 Prose – 3rd Place
  • William T, Year 8 Prose – 3rd Place

Read their fantastic work below

Student wins writing award

BIRDWOOD

By Jackson H

Down the country road
Driving on the bitumen track
We reach our destination: BIRDWOOD

All the cool sites
Things to see
We stop at a bakery
Lunch outside
In the bright sun

We drive a little further
And go to the motor museum
We walk inside
And see all sorts of things
Old cars
Motorbikes
Lots of old things
A few games
Old sheds and houses

Time to go
We meet our car
Seatbelts on
Off we go
Driving on bitumen track

Student holding writing award

WINGS

By Elliott G

Smoke poured out of the engine and the plane plummeted towards the ground.

1 Hour Earlier

Walter Collins walked towards his small plane, his dog Tally beside him. Tally was an Australian Shepherd who flew with Walter on every one of his flights. Walter was an officer in the RAAF he was a scout for the air force mapping out new areas and land. Walter leapt up into the cockpit and Tally hopped up beside him thumping his tail loudly on the seat, Walter closed the screen and taxied off onto the runway and off into the open sky.

Present Time

CRASH!! The plane rammed into the ground and exploded sending wreckage flying everywhere and then with a loud WUMPH the fuel tank exploded, and the wreck was engulfed with flames. Walter pulled himself from the wreckage and then everything went black.

1 Hour Later

Walter awoke to something licking his face, it was Tally. He pulled himself into a sitting position and felt his face, the blood had congealed making long red lines on his face and body. His limbs were stiff and sore and his throat was dry. He pulled himself towards the blackened wreckage and among the smouldering pieces he found what he was looking for, the emergency supplies box, it had survived the flames. He pulled a bottle of water out and took a long drink. The water cleared his fuzzy mind and he could think more clearly. He weighed up his options, he could stay with the plane and wait for help but his supplies might run out before he was found, or he could make his way into the forest and try and find food and water till he was found or came to the edge of the forest. In the end he went with the second option and packed as much food and water into the pack as he could and trudged off into the forest.

3 Hours later Back at HQ

“Flight Lieutenant Collins has not yet returned from his scouting mission,” said an officer to the sergeant. “He left three hours ago and hasn’t been seen since,” the officer continued.

“We’ll wait till tomorrow and if he’s still not back by 10:00 in the morning we’ll start sending out search parties.”

The night was getting dark and Walter still hadn’t found a shelter for the night. Up ahead he saw a small clearing with an overhang of rock from a cliff face. As he moved towards it something black leapt from the scrub and flew at Tally. It was a wolf! Tally gripped the wolf by its neck and held on. They wrestled for a few minutes on the ground, but the wolf finally went limp and Tally dropped it at his master’s feet.
”Thanks for dinner Tally,” Said Walter in an amused voice.

Later that night Walter was lying on a small tarpaulin sheet from the supplies, Tally was on guard at the front of the cave watching for any dangerous animals. Walter lay there thinking about things wondering whether HQ would send out search parties or not. He finally drifted off to sleep.

“We found the wreckage but no man,” said an SES worker into the radio, “He seems to have left the wreck,” There was a pause on the other end, but the reply finally came, ”continue searching”.

Walter woke up thirsty, he pulled the bottle from the pack, but it was empty. He groaned in despair. He pulled himself up and set off into the forest to look for water.

After hours of searching he heard the noise of running water he ran towards it. As he burst through the trees he saw the river up ahead and fell on his knees and started drinking, Tally dropped down beside him and started slurping the water. Suddenly Walter slipped on the muddy bank and fell into the water. It was a fast-moving river and he was quickly carried away from the bank. He tried to grab the sides, but they were to slippery. Suddenly he heard a roar up ahead. The sound grew louder and louder until he all he could hear was the roar. He suddenly realised what it was, it was a waterfall. He tried to get away, swimming to the sides and backwards but to no avail, the waterfall came closer and closer. Then he fell, down, down, down towards the rocks below. THUD! Walter lay there not on the ground but on a small tree sticking out of the waterfall about 50 metres above the ground. Slowly Walter opened his eyes and stared about with wide scared eyes and saw he was still alive. He gripped the tree and hung there suspended in the air.

An SES helicopter searching the forest spotted something standing out against the blue and white water of the waterfall. The helicopter came in closer and the men inside realised it was a man hanging by a tree, and he was slipping. The helicopter flew towards the water and positioned itself above the waterfall. Suddenly Walter slipped he was hanging on by two hands. A winch was slowly lowered towards Walter with a rescuer on it. Walter slipped again and was hanging on by one hand. The man dropped onto the tree and just as Walter fell, he grabbed his hand and hauled him back onto the tree. The winch rose into the air and back up towards safety. Suddenly something threw itself from the banks of the river at the top of the waterfall and landed on the shoulders of the men it was Tally.
As the helicopter flew back to the SES camp the pilots radioed their leader, ”we have the man, safe and sound.”

A Few Months Later

Walter Collins walked towards his small plane his dog Tally beside him. Walter and Tally leaped in and taxied off onto the runway and off into the open sky. And so, the story ends as it begins.

Student award for writing

THE SECRET ADVENTURES OF BUDDY

By William T

It’s great being me. I wouldn’t want my life any other way. Freedom, adventure, action! What’s not to love? well except for that one time…

Each day begins the same. The humans come out, pat my head, I run in circles wagging my tail and everyone is happy. Blah, blah, blah. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy catching up with my humans, but the real fun begins when they go to work.

My life was perfect until last Wednesday when Benny the Beagle moved in. Benny is no fun, well so I thought.

Last Wednesday, all was going as normal. I had just finished saying a friendly good morning to the chickens and had started my usual trek across the paddock to greet the neighbour’s sheep. The grass was frosty underneath my paws and there was a cold wind blowing through my fur. The chickens are always pleased to have fun with me. Well, mostly.

I had just slipped under the fence when I smelt something unusual. Before I even had time to think, out of nowhere like a bullet, came this ferocious barking! How absurd! My new neighbour didn’t even begin with a ‘hello’ or a ‘nice to meet you’. No! He just started nipping at my butt. Well, I was out of there. No way was I hanging around to hang out with this nasty mutt. I scampered home to nurse my sore behind.

That afternoon, camouflaged in a bush, I watched perfect Benny as he paraded around his new territory. Benny was your typical Beagle. He had short brown, black and white fur which covered his slim but short body. His eyes darted as if he was trying to memorise the smallest details. I knew I was never going to outsmart this dog by talking to him. So, I needed a plan and fast!

The next day after many hours of thinking, I finally had my plan sorted out. I was going to prank Benny so that his owners thought he was responsible for the damage hanging from the clothesline. My usual trip to the neighbours to enjoy a whizzy on the clothesline was not going to be interrupted by my new and annoying neighbour.
My plan was to distract Benny and then double back to enjoy the spinning while hanging on to anything sturdy that would hold my weight. It was foolproof.

Heading straight towards the sheep’s paddock with a quick eye out for Benny, I barked ferociously to lure my victim. As soon as I saw his familiar streak across the hillside, I double backed around the thick trees to the other side of the house. I ran and leapt high to grasp the crisp, clean, white sheets that flapped in the breeze. The clothesline zoomed forward as my weight moved it. What a spin it was! That was when that familiar fabric ripping sound came to my ears. Time to take another leap and spin. Oh, the joy of zooming around and around. Just as I was enjoying my fourth spin, I felt a needle like pain in my buttock followed by that annoying growling sound. I dropped from the clothesline and darted away with Benny hot on my tail.

Later that afternoon, from my hilltop lookout, I watched my plan succeed. When Benny’s owners got home and saw the state of the washing on their clothesline, they told Benny off good and proper. Finally! I could see that they didn’t like Benny either. It was back to the pet store for him! Wait. What was that they were doing? Patting him and feeding him dog treats? Oh, how unfair! It was time to come up with another plan.

The next morning, I decided that it was time to unleash the Master Plan. I needed to rid my life of Benny forever. The only way to do this was to introduce Benny to Grotty, the ferocious Rottweiler that lived across the valley. Grotty and I met last summer for the first time. I was having a sniff about across the valley when I met death face to face. In that moment, I imagined my body being sliced up like a loaf of bread by his powerful jaws. I had never run so fast in all my life. Rottweilers are dangerous. Never underestimate their power.

My plan was to lure Benny across the valley and leave him for Grotty to play with. I know mean right! He deserved it though, definitely!

All was going well, I had Benny hot on my tail again as I raced down through the valley and under Grotty’s fence. I darted back and forth amongst the rustling branches until I caught sight of the big, black silhouette of Grotty. I froze and Benny froze just behind me.

I darted quickly back under the fence when I heard the most explosive sound of my life. The gun shot flew past my skull and ricocheted off a nearby rock. Before I could think there was another gun shot and then another and another. Each one only just missing me. I panicked knowing that I was trapped and going to die.

Suddenly Benny started barking as if to draw attention to himself. Was he trying to distract the crazy gunman so that I could make my getaway? I took no time in racing through the hole in the fence and disappearing through a thick grove of trees to safety. As I raced on a knew I couldn’t leave Benny to die alone. I double backed up at a safe distance and began barking to distract the gunman again. Hoping that Benny could also make his escape, then I disappeared back the way I came.

That evening, as I nursed my bruises and scratches, I limped across the paddock to see if Benny had made it home. As I rounded the corner, I could see Benny zooming around and around on the clothesline! What! He had made it out alive! In that moment, I knew we had lots of fun before us.

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