Maegan’s piece “Anna” won first prize for Senior Secondary Prize at the Mosman Youth Awards for Literature. It’s an awesome piece and I thought I’d find out a little more from Maegan about what inspired her to write this piece and her answer was super interesting! So read on…
When did you start writing?
I started writing when I was little. I loved to make up these really elaborate stories in my head but when I wrote them down they never sounded right. Anna is my first serious writing piece.
What do you like to write about?
I like to focus on people in my writing, I like to think someone up and then give them a life to go with the image in my head.
What inspires you to write?
I don’t think anything in particular really inspires me to write. I think it’s more small ideas or visuals that spark an image or idea in my head, and when I sit down to write those ideas come back and I write about them.
How do you handle writer’s block?
Basically, I procrastinate. If I have some kind of deadline that I have to write for, like say a school assignment, I procrastinate and wait till the last minute and then force myself to write, which doesn’t always produce good quality writing. But if I am stuck I might sit down with a blank piece of paper and play some music and it seems to help.
What inspired “Anna”?
Nothing in particular inspired “Anna”, which isn’t really a good answer to the question but it’s true. I sat down with a blank piece of paper on a Sunday afternoon, listened to Bright Eyes and, for the most part, wrote the whole piece.
How did you feel winning first place?
I was ecstatic to win, as I really hadn’t expected it, and it was the first time I had ever won a competition for a piece of writing. It also just made me really happy to know that someone liked my writing, I mean my family had said they liked it but it’s not quite the same.
What would you like to say to all the young budding authors out there?
Perseverance is the key. If you don’t succeed the first time keep trying, because you will get better. Also keep showing your family your work as they are the best encouragement you can get.
Winner – First Place
Senior Secondary Prose
Anna was born on a rainy day in the middle of July. Her parents were so happy. Her father cried tears of joy that he didn’t feel the need to explain away and her mother’s beam could have powered New South Wales for 6 months.
When Anna was five, her parents were divorced. The joy of having a child had worn off years before and they stopped pretending that they loved each other. Anna was left with her father. Her mother didn’t come to her first day of school.
When Anna was seven, her mother remarried. Anna hadn’t seen her mother since she was left with her father. She wasn’t invited to the wedding. Her father said “It’s okay, Anna.” And took her out for ice-cream instead. She got strawberry.
When Anna was ten she liked a boy for the first time. She still hadn’t seen her mother but that was okay because her father was dating a lady called Lisa, so she told Lisa about the boy. Lisa said, “Well then, let’s make some muffins.” So they made muffins to give to the boy. Anna liked Lisa.
When Anna was thirteen, her father and Lisa were married. Anna was invited to the wedding. She also got to be a bridesmaid. She was happy that they got to be married. Anna had a mum that she saw now.
When Anna was sixteen a boy told her he liked her. She told him she liked him too because she thought she was meant to. They kissed behind the gym but she didn’t want to do more. He didn’t talk to her after that. Anna cried and her father said to her. “It’s okay Anna.” He took her out for ice-cream. She got strawberry.
When Anna was nineteen she started university. She wanted to become a teacher. She made friends at uni and met a boy. His name was Henry and he never stopped talking to her. She liked Henry.
When Anna was twenty-six she went to a wedding. It was her wedding. She married Henry. Her father and Lisa were there. Anna wore a white dress and ate strawberry cake. She still hadn’t seen her mother but that was okay because she didn’t need to.
When Anna was twenty-nine she and Henry had a daughter. She named her Fiona. Henry cried tears of joy and looked at Fiona like she was the most precious thing in the world. Anna couldn’t help agreeing. Her father said, “I’m proud of you,” and brought her strawberry ice-cream.
When Anna was thirty-eight her father died. Anna felt like life would not go on. She went to the funeral with Henry, Fiona and Jude, their son. She cried for what felt like forever. After the funeral Henry took them out for ice-cream. She got strawberry.
When Anna was fifty-two Jude joined the military. She didn’t want him to but he did anyway. Henry said “We have to let him make his own decisions.” Anna wished her father was still alive. She took herself out for ice-cream. She got strawberry.
When Anna was seventy-nine she won seventy-two dollars in the lottery. She took Henry to the cinema. Anna loved the film. They had strawberry choc-tops so she bought one each for herself and Henry.
On a rainy day in the middle of June at the age of ninety-five Anna died. Henry had died ten years before. Her two children were there. Anna told them she loved them like nothing else in this world and told them that strawberry ice-cream was the best thing to eat when you were feeling sad. After they left the hospital, Fiona and Jude listened to their mother and went out for ice-cream. They got strawberry.