In The Mystery of the Lynne Grove House Dyuthi Alla has cleverly taken a real life setting, and recreated it in the historic past while also creating a credible story with fictional characters. Attention has been paid to features of the past such as the accurate description of clothing and transport. Elements of suspense are introduced with the disappearance of one of the characters, a small child. As with many historical fiction stories, some factual information about the setting has also been provided. This story was very enjoyable to read and was rendered the more fascinating by its connection to our Brisbane community. A very high standard of technical accuracy was displayed in the punctuation, spelling and grammar. Dyuthi has drawn on a wide range of vocabulary to tell the story and has deftly employed variety in sentence construction.
As mentioned earlier, this year we had an unprecedented 195 entries which drew on a range of genres including chilling ghost stories, wild fantasy tales and even some punny humour (Baa Wars by Eve Archer). A dystopian future in the environmentally challenged future was creatively presented by Elisa Duncan (The Town on Stilts). We were pleased to read some stories based on Australian poetry and one story was even based on a piece of classical music (The Swan by Naomi Darlison).
The standard of writing was very high this year but as all writers are aged around 9-12 years, a few technical errors here and there were forgiven. As usual, creativity was valued more highly than grammatical accuracy – after all, grammar can always be corrected but original ideas are rare! One aspect of writing that aspiring authors could consider is control of tense – if you are writing in the present, stay in the present. If writing with the past tense, be consistent. It is confusing for the reader if you suddenly switch from one to the other without warning.
Congratulations again to Dyuthi Alla, and all the participants in this year’s competition. We hope to have the opportunity to read some of your new stories next year!