We are pleased to announce the winners of the Library’s Creative Writing Competition 2021! With the theme of ‘Sunshine’, students and staff were invited to enter their poems and short stories and we were simply blown away by the quality of entries!
Congratulations to all of our winners and well done to all who took part. The winners are listed below. Please click on each one to view their winning literary masterpieces in full.
1st place - 'Sunshine' by Vanessa Ayotte
Find beauty in everything
Find it in the sun’s shadows casting upon your bedroom floor in the morning
Radiating a certain comfort, no central heating could
Find it in the flowers that bloom and blossom in the fields
They remind you that life is certainly real
But also find it in the flowers that have took a knife to the throat
And have been strangled with ribbon and paper for our viewing pleasure
How a decaying flower
Can prove how something
Such as dark as death
Can be so beautiful.
Find beauty in the giving to others
Find it on the ray of sunshine painted on someone’s face when they smile
Like a light you could see from a mile
And lights up the room when you haven’t seen them for a while
When they meet their eyes bright with you
And you can see and feel the appreciation in their soul
And your wars are greeted with the warming words
“Thank you, I hope you know”
Find beauty in your memories
How you can remember them so vividly
The yellow warmth of a summer’s afternoon, no matter how silly.
The only thing that mattered is that it made you happy.
You can bring them back to life
As if you were living them again
How quickly life went by when you were 10.
Find beauty in the people who are deemed not so beautiful
Appreciate each and every one of their flaws
As if you had just set your eyes on one of the most unique masterpieces
You’d never seen before
Remember you are also a work of art
Because you craft from your heart.
Find beauty in being alone
Where you can explore yourself whole
And can’t be judged
And indulge in things that you love
The things that you find so tough
To explain to others
They’ve just had enough
Find beauty in the air you breathe
It comes and leaves
Each breath than you take
Each movement you make
Because in this very minute
There are some that are taking their last
While you bask in the beams
Of your yellow sunlit path.
Joint 2nd place - 'Sunshine' by Scott Watson
Oh sun, oh sun, however could you be so fun?
Oh sun, oh sun, why do you have to leave, that’s dumb?
Oh sun, oh sun, why can’t you stay all day?
Oh sun, oh sun, please come back another day!
Oh sun, oh sun, why ever must you leave
Oh sun, oh sun, one more minute please?
Oh sun, oh sun, your rays feed the trees, the plants, the days
Oh sun, oh sun, we need your bright, and sudden gaze
Oh sun, oh sun, why ever must you leave, why ever must you fall, is there a real need for this at all?
One more day, one more week, I need your blaze, your gazing heat
Why not stay? Seize the day! Help me get through the day
Oh fine, okay, you can go later in the day
But promise me, only one thing, please rise tomorrow, the light helps me.
Joint 2nd place - 'Sunshine' by Ina Iacofano
I didn’t know where I was. I didn’t know how I got there or how I was going to get out. I was lost! I looked around. All I could see were the giant green trees surrounding me and the smell of the damp, dead leaves was making me delirious. Something slithered past my legs, hissing as it went. My heart was pounding like a drum playing in a band; it felt like it was going to explode out of my chest.
I closed my eyes, hoping and praying that whatever was making the horrific noise would soon disappear. Closer and closer the noise crept. Then suddenly and suspiciously the noise stopped. I turned myself around, but I didn’t dare open my eyes. Nothing happened! The noise had completely stopped. I cautiously opened my eyes; I couldn’t believe what I saw. Nothing. There was nothing there. My imagination was playing tricks on me.
As I looked up, the sky was baby blue with fluffy white clouds and the sunshine emerging out kissed my cold face. There were majestic mountains which looked like they were painted in snow. I felt a peaceful feeling overtaking me and my spirit seemed to be lifted just like the eagles circling overhead, mounting up with strength, courage, and beauty.
Joint 3rd place - 'Vampire Suntan' by Kieran King
It was a Summer afternoon, and Reece was ducked beneath his desk to finish his leftover bread. His workplace was a small pharmacist’s; with a larger medical centre just down the road, most people preferred getting what they needed from there. Unfortunately for him, his dad was adamant on keeping his little pharmacy business running, common sense be damned.
He heard someone clear his throat overhead, shooting up in shock and banging his head against the desk. “Ow!” he cried, falling back into his seat. He clutched his temple for a second, as he processed the customer before him. A tall figure, wearing a long, pseudo-leather coat covering all but his gaunt face. It did little to hide his svelte figure, but certainly made his appearance a little intimidating. “Greetings,” he said, his voice a resonant boom.
Reece blinked. “Uh, hi,” he said, still getting used to professional conduct. “Can I help you, sir?”
“I was wondering if you might have some suntan lotion,” he said. “Something thick enough to protect my frail skin against the toxic UV rays outside.” His lips parted, revealing a set of fangs on either side. “You see, I am what’s called a vampire.”
“Okay,” said Reece, wondering how shocked he should be by this vampire’s existence. “I’m not sure if we have anything that can protect vampires from the sun.” He glanced past the vampire, peering at the bottles of sun spray on display. It was a very small space, and he could see almost everything they had from there. “What’s your name, pardon?”
“Tristan,” said the vampire. “Tristan Foreman. British by blood, and altogether unused to these summer days.”
“Yeah,” Reece said nervously, “feels like it gets warmer every day.” He left his desk and examined the nearest sun spray bottle. “Uh, anything that can actually protect you lot from the sun?”
“Nothing I am aware of,” Tristan replied, with a hint of sadness, or possibly embarrassment. “All told, it was an ordeal simply getting inside your establishment.” He turned to look out the door, at the outside world. There wasn’t a cloud in sight when Reece opened the shutters, and it looked like that hadn’t changed.
“Then I can’t help,” said Reece sheepishly. “Sorry.”
Tristan sighed, as if trying not to get haughty. “Perhaps you might have some food, to bide time while the sun sets?”
“Oh, sure.” He leapt over his desk, grabbing a spare loaf of his bread, wrapped in tissue and handing it to Tristan. “Hope you like wheat.”
Tristan accepted it gracefully, throwing the tissue aside and eating the bread in a single bite. “Delightful,” he said, his voice showing joy for the first time that day. “Pray tell, what flavour is this?”
“Uh, garlic,” said Reece. “Like it?”
Tristan’s eyes drew closed, as if in anticipation. “Bollocks,” he sighed. Then, in a single puff, his body and clothes imploded in a pile of ash.
Ash watched Tristan’s demise with surprise. “Oops,” he said simply, reaching for the brush.
Joint 3rd place - 'The Tale of the Geode Dragon with the Diamond Birdwings' by Adem Turan
In a cave filled with beautifully bright geodes, a majestic geode dragon slumbers beneath the singing shards and above the smooth glass carpet which seems a bottomless pit where you cannot fall. At the rise of the golden sun the dragon hops to its feet, ready to meet the day. Beneath the watchful golden eye, the dragon stands as tall as a mountain dwarfing the heavens.
The great dragon spreads its diamond birdwings and takes to the skies. It’s crystal skin gleaming over the emerald sea and soaring above the azure fields. The dwellers of the sea speed away, trying to avoid being hunted but to no avail. The dragon always emerges triumphant and undefeated.
After a long day’s glorious hunt, the dragon returns home under the gaze of the silver moon to return to the beautiful serenity of its singing home to slumber once again and to meet the day once more.
Staff Winner - 'My Sunshine (Phoebe)' by Bobby Newlyn-Jones
I drove home in the rain,
A thousand tiny heartbeats
Dancing at the window.
The air seemed to sense my excitement,
The world willed me onwards.
I always wanted to be a parent.
Every fibre in my being wanted you
Since I myself was small.
Life got in the way, tried to
Prevent my deepest longing until it ached.
Your mum waited excitedly,
A white and blue prophecy
Greeted me in the kitchen,
Changing our lives like a turn of seasons.
I watched you grow from within,
A little personality
Already starting to shine
As you kicked and squirmed and reacted
To my voice.
Then you arrived in heavy snowfall.
We sledged down the road
In my old Renault
To the hospital
In a March blizzard.
Finally, stubborn screaming at 3 a.m.
The nurse said you were sassy.
I held you first.
“All I ever wanted,
All I ever needed,
Is here in my arms.”
Hands, balled into fists,
Emotions, lost in
You’re three years old now.
My life has changed and
All my days are brighter
Just for your existence.
Special Recognition - When Day Breaks by Toby Evans
We’d like to recognise Toby’s story as he certainly took the theme in an alternative direction and ran with it! Well done Toby!
It’s been a year since the sun turned hostile, and stole everything we knew. The electricity has long since gone and the backup generators are failing. It won’t be much longer now before they break in and show us the light. There’s not much time now and I don’t know if this will reach anyone, but if you’re reading this, beware. Whatever you do, don’t go into the sunlight.
If you want to survive more than a day, you need to be very well protected. Every inch of your body must be covered in clothing. It is the barrier that will protect you from turning into a living supe. I guess you’ve seen what happens to those who risk it. They run out of their shelters and start to melt and experience agonising pain. I remember my friend being grabbed by one of those things and violently dragged out of the shelter. He started to melt like wax, his limbs slowly deforming and twisting as he was bound to the other entities that had grabbed him. After that, he came for me and I barely escaped their oily grip. I managed to slam the door and lock it. I was lucky, but many others weren’t so much. They’re now part of the riving mass of wax that tries to kill us who remain.
When going out, don’t think you’re safe at night either, because the moon reflects sunlight back onto the Earth and anyway, they’re still out there. If you want to go to a different place to hide out, you’d better hope you’re a good runner and fighter, because you’ll be weighed down by the protective clothing, and also by them, trying to rip the protection off of you and expose you to to moonlight.
Another thing to watch out for is loved ones. Whilst cooped up in your hideout, you might hear your best friend asking you to “Come out into the light” and that “It’s safe now?” DON’T LISTEN TO THEM. They’re just one of those, trying to persuade you to join them for an unfortunate and gory end. Try and stay level-headed and ignore them at all costs. You’ll regret it if you don’t.
Another friend of mine kept on hearing his mum, who had been dead for the past twenty years, asking him to “Come out into the sunlight”. After three days, he started to tear his skin off strip by strip. He grabbed a knife and plucked his own eyes out, all the while screaming “No, No, NOOOOO”. Opening the door with a sudden crash, he was taken by a wave of riving wax and slowly, he met his bitter end.
I managed to get my protective gear on just in time, but by this point, it was just too late. They had broken in and I’m sitting here in the corner hoping that someone can get help.
If you’re reading this, please, Don’t Go Into The Sunlight…
The following students submitted work which was highly commended by Library staff, thank you for taking the time to enter and well done for creating such brilliant responses to the theme.