Writing Wins Give Santa Maria Student Confidence to Express Opinions

14 June 2018

Year 12 Santa Maria student Eva Cocks (Year 12) has been awarded first and second place in the Verse and Short Story competition at the Henry Lawson Festival.

Eva entered two stories in the secondary school section in the annual festival which takes place in Grenfell, New South Wales, the namesake poet’s birthplace.

The Verse and Short Story competition is a literary element of the festival and is judged by highly regarded authors and performers.

Eva’s first story ‘The White Run’, is about a lonely fisherman’s battle with grief after he loses his wife.

“It is set in southern Western Australia against the backdrop of the annual, famed ‘White Run’ – a period in the crayfish season when the crays shed their shells and migrate out to deeper water, making them easy for fisherman to catch,” Eva said.

The second story, ‘Bruises’, was written for an English assignment earlier in the year.

“It contains a magical realist element in that Josie (the main character) has the ability to physically bruise from people’s words,” Eva said.

“The story follows Josie’s battle with her uncanny ability in a harsh school setting.”

Eva said winning the competition meant a lot and had given her confidence to pursue her talent.

“I haven’t entered a national competition before so I was nervous about sending my work off. I never expected to do this well and still can’t fully believe it,” she said.

“I love the freedom that writing affords me as I am able to express my opinion, observations and creativity in a medium that is effectively limitless and abides to the sole rule that indeed every rule can be broken.

Eva said that as a quiet person she had a soft spot for writing because it wasn’t spoken.

“Instead it is written, and so the art speaks louder than the writer ever could, giving me confidence in both my work and myself,” she said.

Eva is not sure about what the future holds for her writing beyond school, however at the very least she will keep it as a pastime as she plans to take a gap year after Santa Maria to work and travel.

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