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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

The Building

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

talented students.