Ms Danielle Cooper
Acting Dean of English
Once again, this year’s
showcases the best of Ruyton’s
talented writers. The English Department takes immense pride in
encouraging students to write creatively and to share their ideas
and diverse styles. This year’s exceptional stories reveal the
willingness of students to take risks with language and techniques,
and the ability to embrace the new. Authors such as Dickens,
Shakespeare and Harper Lee critique, and expose, the values of the
world in which they live. Much of the student writing this year has
similarly reflected the issues facing our world, and this has been
handled with maturity and courage.
Ruyton’s long-established tradition of the Isobelle Carmody
Award continues to inspire student writing. This year’s topic
resulted in a vast array of approaches, topics and themes.
We were fortunate to have published author, Ms Sue Lawson, judge
the collection. Sue’s advice to our budding authors was to write
stories which were compelling and had the capacity to move readers.
She noted that the best stories had attention grabbing starts that set
the mood for the story and introduced characters and setting quickly.
Short stories do not allow for elaborate set ups so an engaging
beginning is critical. Strong writing also contains fresh imagery, as
these examples from students’ stories reveal: ‘waves reached up
towards her like monsters’, ‘the sky gleamed like a pearl’ and ‘a
forest of trees with dilapidated bricks’. Dialogue is also necessary
as it brings stories and characters to life. Sue also advised students
to edit carefully as this is what makes a good story become great. If
students accept that as much time needs to be given to editing as
writing, their writing will be enhanced. This goes beyond the
technical aspects of writing but also to considering whether
descriptions could be stronger or imagery more precise.
The collection of writing in this eighth edition of Scripsi
includes students’ writing from all levels in the Senior School –
fictional narratives, poetry, speeches and personal memoirs. Some
are recipients of awards such as the Boroondara Literary Awards,
Isobelle Carmody Awards and Orator of the Year Awards; while
others are representative of the fine quality of writing in our