Almost 40 entries were received for this year’s APW story competition, with entrants from around the Wellington region ranging in age from nine to 18 years.
This year’s theme was the City of Wind. It asked young people to look at the love-hate relationship people have with the forces of nature.
Poetry was not an official category, but the poems received were of such a high calibre it was decided to award Emma Whitlow with a Highly Commended for her poem, Today. Next year poetry will be an official category.
Judge Laureen Keenan, herself an award-winning writer, was very complimentary.
“I was really impressed by the entries this year. Every one of them showed lots of imagination and talent. There were so many clever variations on the theme of Wellington Wind, from a lonely dog made of air, to a destructive spirit edge, to winds pushing people together or driving them apart. All these young writers should be proud – and should keep writing!” she says.
Mayor Andy Foster launched the competition last year to encourage young people to write either fiction or non-fiction stories which explore an aspect of the capital. Last year’s theme celebrated the 150th anniversary of Wellington City Council.
“Wellington has a proud literary heritage which is celebrated on the waterfront with the Writers Walk and Verb Wellington Festival. This latest crop of amazing young writers reveals the depth of writing talent and imagination we have as they add another chapter to the city’s literary story.
“Thank you to all of you who entered the competition and thank you all for such wonderful creative writing. Congratulations to the winners,” Mayor Foster says.
Deputy Mayor Sarah Free says this year’s entries showcased all that is good and not so good about ‘Windy Wellington.’
“Whether we love or loathe the wind it is part of our lives and it is great to see these writers capturing the essence of something that has been a primal force in shaping Wellington. They all did an amazing job,” Deputy Mayor Free says.
Winners receive a creative development session with judge Lauren Keenan, a signed certificate from the Mayor and Deputy Mayor and a $200 book voucher. A planned lunch with the Mayor and Deputy Mayor had to be cancelled because of COVID-19 restrictions.
This year’s winners:
Best Story: 9 – 12 year old, up to 1500 words
Meredith Williams, “Four Scenes in One Day”
Best Story: 13-18 year old, up to 3000 words
Sophie Ewens, “A Letter, a Lighthouse and the Wind”
Best Title of a Story:
Tamara Nguyen, “A Whirlwind Romance”
Best Premise of a Story:
Bill Kelly, “The Titiwai and the Turbine”
Most Imaginative Story:
Keya Parekh, “Innocence of the Pure”
Emma Whitlow, “Today”
Helena Riddell, “When your love blew in on the breeze”
Ekaterine Zahariadis, “A Collision, A Moment, A Breeze”