The Centre for Children’s Literature

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Book Links QLD Inc

Winners of Book Links Mentorship

The winners of the Book Links Mentorship were announced during the AGM by Dr Robyn Sheahan-Bright on Saturday 9 October 2021

BOOK LINKS MENTORSHIP 2021 BRIEF REPORT

by Dr Robyn Sheahan-Bright
General Comment: In its third year, the Book Links (Qld) Mentorship competition has again attracted excellent submissions. Picture books entered included those with environmental themes, family stories, animal stories, challenges to gender stereotypes and stories about character development. Inventive writing styles and the use of rhyme and rhythm were notable. Junior fiction submitted included mystery, adventure and fantasies. Once again, the writers were willing to stretch the boundaries of format to arrive at something distinctive, sometimes using metafictional techniques. One work for young adult readers was entered, and was highly commended. I have selected a winner, second prize, and four highly commended works. As well as a mentorship to the winner, a manuscript consultation will be offered to the second prize recipient.

(Kirsten Ealand – Picture credit Abbey Lane)

WINNER: Kirsten Ealand for Periweather Pemberton and In the Wild
Periweather Pemberton: This is a very charming short piece of writing about a dog and cat not getting on – until they do. The spare use of words, use of rhythm, and cunning alliteration is extremely precise, and quite lovely: ‘Dog likes barking. Dog likes begging. Dog wants to play.’ Pre-schoolers would relish this. An illustrator would have great fun with it. And the ending is ‘pitch perfect’.

In the Wild’: This story really has a ‘voice’. Written inventively in second person, it details the thoughts of a child protagonist in whimsical fashion. The child driving home up Koala Hill Drive is encouraged by the mother to keep looking, looking, looking for a koala, even though the child sometimes wishes to be at home playing, and is sometimes too sleepy to look. But then, one day the child actually sees a koala. Once again the ending of this story is perfectly conceived. There is a subtle environmental message but the author is most interested in the tone and pitch of her stories for young readers. This is a highly accomplished work.

 

(Louis Decrevel – Picture credit Abbey Lane)

SECOND PRIZE: Louis Decrevel for Out-of-this-world Things I Saw in Strangerwood
Max Turner prefers playing games on his phone to playing baseball. When his teammates gang up on him and break his phone, he runs off into Strangerwood to escape. This is a complex fantasy manuscript using the signs of the Zodiac as a frame of reference. It is engagingly written, fast-paced, inventive and very humorous. The author has a commanding voice and his work demonstrates great potential.

 

HIGHLY COMMENDED:
Ben Boland for Charlie’s Nest and Stampede
Annaleise Byrd for How to Save a Soft Drink Factory
Aly Kenna for No Dogs Allowed and Counting Cats
Tyrion Perkins for The Cutter

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