For clarification, the annual awards night is Tuesday 25 November 2014. Details on bookings and sessions will be released shortly.
The 2014 finalists
for the Sydney Youth Writing Competition are now available
. All finalists on this list will be published in our annual book, Drop.Wind.Keep. Winning entries from the 2014 Sydney Youth Writing Competition.
Please note, it is vital that all details are checked for any errors by 22 October 2014. In particular, please check the year of the finalist. It should be the actual year not composite classes eg Year 3 not 3/4. Many entrants did not put their names and years on the entry and so there may well be errors that need to be corrected before the book goes to the printer. Please also check school, and of course the spelling of finalist's names as this will be the version printed in the book and on certificates unless we hear from you by 22 October.
We received over 3,000 entries from schools all over the world and the judging panel has been hard at work for 3 months reading every one. It's been a very enjoyable task to judge these entries and I know the judging panel wants to pass on their thanks at your fantastic efforts.
We have seen a big change in entries this year. We limited the number of entries per category to 3 per finalist and this has seen a big improvement in quality over quantity. There has been a marked improvement in the short stories section which is very encouraging. Students and teachers have worked hard on their use of tense, on complete stories and in presenting the children's voice (as opposed to a tutor, parent or teacher!) There are many more Highly Commended awards this year in this category. Interestingly, the other categories - poetry, free choice and plays were not as strong this year. and so you will find there are less finalists in these categories.
If your name is not on the finalist list this year - don't despair. The main aim of the competition is to encourage writing. Make sure you buy a copy of the new book and see what was valued this year by the judges. Writing is highly subjective. What one person or judge likes may well not be the taste of another. Sometimes an entry may be chosen because the idea was so different. You'll also see some extra short stories which displayed a great level of sophistication in expression. However, many entries were overwritten, using too many adjectives and adverbs which made them flowery and hard to read. It's important not to 'tell' your reader everything - let them imagine some things. Also, we found that many entries just imitated finalists from last year so we had a repeat of the same plots and ideas. This was particularly evident in Free Choice.Finding an original idea is the hardest thing - but it is worth the extra work.
The book will be launched at our annual awards night on Tuesday 25 November 2014 at NSW Parliament House in Macquarie St Sydney. All winners, Highly Commended, Commended and Encouragement awards will be announced on the night.
Anna Carmody and Meredith Melville-Jones
Sydney Youth Writing Competition, Inc