Powerful Learning

23 November 2020

Isobelle Carmody Creative Writing Awards 2020

Isobelle Carmody Creative Writing Awards 2020

We congratulate all Ruyton students who participated in the 2020 Isobelle Carmody Creative Writing Awards. The awards celebrate the creativity and craftsmanship demonstrated by students in creative writing. 
In 2020 students experienced a context for their writing like no other. Many were writing alone at home, their connection to classmates and teachers occurring online. Almost all had in the back of their minds, memories and concerns of the difficulties of 2020. In spite of this, Ruyton girls demonstrated their overwhelming capacity for resilience and creativity, as they wrote beautiful stories, letters, poems, monologues and scripts. 
Our girls demonstrated a powerful capacity to empathise with the experiences of those from different times and places, transporting themselves and their readers through carefully chosen words and images. They crafted their writing in response to literary works by writers from this generation and generations prior. Students wrote in iambic pentameter; they used gorgeous imagery; they adopted a Southern vernacular, and they adopted the voice of the marginalised. And they did so beautifully, capturing the imagination of their teachers and peers and sparking curiosity and wonder about where these voices might take them next. 
George Orwell, the famous writer of 1984 said that the desire to write comes in part, from wanting to make a ‘story of oneself’‘a diary existing only in the mind.’ Perhaps this explains part of why storytelling has been so powerful and important for many of us this year as our part in the world, and what we might contribute to it, has changed and evolved. Stories help us define that experience, explain it, and in turn, shape the way we respond to it. 
I know from talking with some of our girls and reading their work, they felt joy and pain in trying to find just the right words, and delighted when they found them. We congratulate and thank all Ruyton girls who wrote creatively this year, for the time they took to capture that experience, to speak that truth, and to strive to create beauty in their work. 

Isobelle Carmody Award winners were announced in our virtual Assembly by Nova Weetman, esteemed writer of adult and middle ages fiction and winner of multiple literary prizes, who said, ‘I have read the shortlisted entries multiple times and they are surprising, exciting, daring and remarkable. The standard of work is high and the writing impressive … Your writing has challenged me, engaged me and left me wanting more.’

Overall winner – Mia A (Year 9), A Stitch in Time
Year 11 winner – Emma H, Five Years
Year 10 winner – Erica T, 1938. Mt Gambier
Year 9 winner – Mia A, A Stitch in Time
Year 8 winner – Elise C, The Seed
Year 7 winner – Lucy D, Some Secrets 

Joanna Boer

Learning Leader, English
Ruyton Girls' School
November 2020