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Meeting Our Young Territory Authors

This week I had the pleasure of chatting to three emerging and successful young authors from our Junior School: Freya Galati (6M), Zara Pease (6G) and Pippa Wren (5M). In the recent 2022 Young Territory Author Awards, Freya and Zara took out the top two individual awards.

Freya was announced as the 2022 Young Territory Author of the Year and Zara won the CBCA NT WOW Award, which is given to a book the judges think has that special ‘wow’ factor.

Pippa received a Highly Commended citation for her book. All three girls were writing in the 9-to-12-year-old section of the competition.

To enter, the girls had to create and write their own book. Freya’s book was titled June Girls and she began writing it straight after winning an award in last year’s competition. She completed this year’s entry in August after many edits and redrafts.

The judges said the following about Freya’s story: ‘A beautifully written story of three characters and their intertwining lives. The prose is concise yet distinctive and every character has a distinct voice. The judges loved how the characters were slowly revealed through their perceptions of themselves and one another. Very impressive and mature writing with memorable phrases and engaging story line.’

Zara wrote and illustrated the children’s picture book, The Diggerbees, about a family of diggers and she was inspired by the funny antics of the local orange-footed scrub fowls.

The judges said the following about Zara’s story: ‘A local picture book with gorgeous illustrations. The relationship between the illustrations and text on each page was effective and enhanced the story. The plot was well paced and the use of age-appropriate literacy and numeracy elements to support various sections was a great idea. Nature is a wonderful treasure, and this picture book has become a new favourite.’

Pippa wrote a graphic novel called Chubby Budgie and, like Zara, did all the writing and illustration herself. The girls have been writing stories and books from a young age and credit their mothers for giving them lots of support and guidance.

Anyone aged between seven and 18 can enter so hopefully our girls inspire some more budding writers for 2023.

Freya’s and Zara’s books have now been placed in the Casuarina Library in Darwin, which is a great honour.

Andrew McGregor
Principal, Haileybury Rendall School