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Jun 19, 2018

The WriteStuff winners

Left to right, back row: Daisy Dorrity, Jacob Jones, Casper Bailey, Terry Waite and Jean-Luc Le Tocq. Centre: Naomi Miller, Elisha Horsepool, Max Guilbert and George Walker. Front row, Jack Snell, Gabriel Buchanan, Anton Le Poidevin and Bo Bennalick.
Left to right, back row: Daisy Dorrity, Jacob Jones, Casper Bailey, Terry Waite and Jean-Luc Le Tocq. Centre: Naomi Miller, Elisha Horsepool, Max Guilbert and George Walker. Front row, Jack Snell, Gabriel Buchanan, Anton Le Poidevin and Bo Bennalick.

There is probably no better person to make the presentation to winners of a writing competition on Conflict than Terry Waite.

The human rights campaigner and author, who was held in captivity in Beirut for five years from 1987, most of the time in solitary confinement, made the presentations to the winners of the Guernsey Literary Festival’s WriteStuff competition for young writers in the Festival Hub in Market Square.

Terry, who was in Guernsey as a speaker at the Festival – he is also Honorary Chairman – encouraged the young winners to continue writing and told them of the difficulties he had with writing at school. In fact his first book Taken on Trust, was written in his head during his captivity when he had no access to pen or paper.

There was a record number of entries in this year’s WriteStuff competition giving the judges some difficult choices to make.

The theme for the 2018 competition, which was sponsored by Julius Baer, was Conflict, something especially related to the 100th anniversary of the First World War this year. The idea came from judge and author Tony Booth’s son Hugo who thought it would be particularly apt.

The youngest class, for years 3-6, was won by Vauvert’s Anton Le Poidevin and the Intermediate class (years 7-9) was won by Naomi Miller of the Grammar School. Casper Bailey of Elizabeth College was the winner in the Senior class (years 10+)

Anton, whose story was described by the judges as ‘tender and emotional’, wrote about the problem of a family getting back together after years of separation through evacuation. He said:

I tried to think about how I would feel, it would be very difficult.

Year 8 student Naomi Miller, who said  ‘I really enjoy writing,’ was the Intermediate class winner with a story called Alliance. The idea just came to her, and the judges said, ‘The setting of this story turned an already dramatic scene into a truly haunting one.’

The senior class was won by Casper Bailey. His story Glycerine was described by the judges as  ‘an astonishing piece of writing, framing huge topics in light hearted chatter. The author really sets the tone in a few sentences. Chilling.’

Casper said that the idea came out of his participation in the musical ‘Oh, What a Lovely War’ and a conversation about the rumours of bodies being burned, and the conflict between rumour and the actual.

Jean-Luc Le Tocq of sponsors Julius Baer said that his organisation was keen to back the competition because ‘it gives the youth of the island the chance to show their creative ability.’

The judges were Mr Booth, Rachel Wyatt from the Guille-Alles Library and the children’s author Ross Montgomery. There was a cash prize of £50 and a trophy for the winner in each category, with £25 cash prizes for second and third places. In addition, each of the three winners in each category was awarded a certificate and had their entries illustrated on the website and the original illustration painted by artist Frances Lemon to keep.

Each school represented by entries will receive a copy of a book signed by the author Ross Montgomery for their library.

The winners in each category were:

Primary: Years 3-6

  • 1st place: A CHANGE IN EMOTION by Anton Le Poidevin (Year 3, Vauvert)
  • 2nd place:UNKNOWN ENEMY by Jack Snell (Year 6, Amherst)
  • 3rd place: FROM THE SEA by Gabriel Buchanan (Year 5, Notre Dame)
  • Highly Commended: EINE FEURIGE NACHT, by Bo Bennalick (Year 6, Vauvert)

Intermediate: Years 7-9

  • 1st place: ALLIANCE, by Naomi Miller (Year 8, Grammar School).
  • 2nd place: EVERYWHERE, by Max Guilbert (Year 9, Elizabeth College)
  • 3rd place: DAY 100, by Alex Falla (Year 8, Elizabeth College)
  • Highly Commended: WAR, by George Walker (Year 7, Elizabeth College)

Senior: Years 10 +

  • 1st place: GLYCERINE, by Casper Bailey (Elizabeth College)
  • 2nd place: IT’S HAPPENED AGAIN, by Daisy Dorrity (Grammar School)
  • 3rd place: A LIFETIME OF WAR, by Jacob Jones (Elizabeth College)
  • Highly Commended: I AM TROUBLED, by Elisha Horsepool (Grammar School)

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