Congratulations to Ella Hill-Smith in Year 12

One of our talented English Extension Year 12 students won the main prize at the Byron Bay Writers Festival for the Susie Warrick High School Writer’s prize.

Ella’s piece is described below. We are proud of her efforts. Ella won second prize last year (another CBRSS student, Mackenzie Stephan, came first) and took out first prize this year.

Ella is a very talented writer and I expect to be asking her to sign copies of her books in the future when she becomes a famous writer.

Winner: One Thousand Paper Cranes (Gabrielle Hill-Smith – Cape Byron Rudolf Steiner School)

Judges comments: This is restrained, elegant and layered writing that packs a powerful emotional punch and made at least one judge cry. The writer invokes the emotional heft of Hiroshima, and the looming fear and unknown of climate change, without melodrama or overstatement. The mature and masterful narrative deftly spanned decades and collected histories without feeling abstract or disjointed. We loved how the writer was aware of the tension between hope (as symbolised by the thousands and thousands of paper cranes) and almost certain disappointment, and yet could tap into the very human tendency to grip tenaciously to hope regardless. An accomplished story that left us moved and impressed.

As 1st Prize winner Ella is the recipient of the following;

– $500 cash

– 1 x Byron Writers Festival Pass for Sunday 4 August

– Publication of her winning story in the Spring northerly, the quarterly magazine of the Byron Writers Festival.

– Publication of her winning story in the Susie Warrick Award Anthology to be published later in the year

– A one and a half hour mentoring session with Author Jesse Blackadder.

Ella with judges Jesse Blackadder and Sarah Armstrong