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Monthly Top 5

23rd November 2016

GUEST POST by Charne Saljiu

Hello, I’m Charne Saljiu.

I’m a Year 10 student at Epping Secondary College and I’m currently undertaking work experience at Melbourne Books. Melbourne Books is about to publish the anthology Award Winning Australian Writing 2016 and I had the opportunity to read four pieces from this book earlier this week, written by young up-and-coming writers.

My favourite piece to read was ‘A Different World’ by Freya Cox. I liked the way she described certain actions and emotions to make it really heartfelt and dramatic. I also liked how she chose to involve my favourite children’s book to relate to the situation. My least favourite piece was ‘The Sphinx’s Family’ by Jason Cleary-Gorton, which I found quite interesting but struggled to follow the timeline of occasionally, as the story moves between a number of situations quite quickly at certain points. Other pieces I read were ‘Boy Trouble’ by Jessica Yu and ‘Lines Before Falling Asleep #36’ by Dominic Symes. These pieces were also enjoyable, though ‘Boy Trouble’ I had some difficulty getting into. 


Individual Responses 

Freya Cox, ‘A Different World’

I enjoyed this short story. I liked how it got straight to the point, and the author’s use of words made it really dramatic. Stories like these really engage me because similar heart-warming situations probably occurred during WWII but the horrors overwhelm them. I like that Fraulein Muller was determined to find the children and give them a book, although it made me quite sad that she gave them ‘Peter Pan’, a story about children who never grew up, because unfortunately those children will also never grow up.


Jason Cleary-Gorton, ‘The Sphinx’s Family’

This story was quite long and there was a lot of information you had to take in straight away. Some parts got confusing, such as how the story moved quickly between different times and started with the end before coming back to it later. Although some of the time jumps and plot twists got me quite confused, it was still an interesting story.


Dominic Symes, ‘Lines Before Falling Asleep #36’

I like the author’s describing words. Reading this poem made it seem as though you were there yourself. Even though I didn’t really understand the main message of this poem, I quite liked it. 


Jessica Yu, ‘Boy Trouble’

I wasn’t sure about this short story, though I did enjoy it. I felt as if it went on for a long time, and it took me a while to really get into. When reading the title I wouldn’t have guessed that the ‘boy trouble’ was about a mathematics teacher. The way Rabbit Girl explains what happened was quite casual and I would’ve liked to learn about what happened to Rabbit Girl’s teacher in the end after he goes on leave.


Overall Impression 

If I could choose a theme for a writing competition, it would be ‘romantic horror’.

My overall impression of young Australian writers and their work is that they’re extremely creative and have so much to offer readers to enjoy. After reading work by other young writers, I would certainly encourage my friends who are really good writers to enter these competitions. Who knows, they could end up in AWAW 2017