Celebrating Middle School Writers – Introducing our Year 5 Winning Competition Entry

Forty talented Middle School writers recently attended a Literary Lunch in Jackson Hall with special guest authors, Bec Cavanagh, Lili Wilkinson and Leanne Hall.


The authors with Ms Padgett

As well as being treated to a sumptuous lunch courtesy of Chef and the Hospitality Team, the Braemar College students had the opportunity to listen to the authors talk about writing.

Hospitality Students hard at work

Hospitality Students hard at work

Leanne Hall spoke about her first success at aged 9 and the thrill of sending off something and finding that someone liked her writing.

Our Middle School writers

Our Middle School writers


Leanne said, “I’m always thinking about what my main character is feeling, and hope that the reader can relate.” She also said that characters must have a strong purpose.

Both Leanne and Lili get their ideas from ‘everywhere’, from reading and observing the world around them.

Lili’s big tip was, “When you don’t know what to write next, write a list of 15 possible things that could happen – they can be as ridiculous as you like. You usually find one that works.”

The discussions were moderated by Bec Kavanagh, and our Middle School students asked lots of great questions.

Two important messages that came from the author’s experiences.
1.  To  write, you need to plan.
2.  To  be a writer requires a lot of perseverance.


The students who attended the lunch were the creators of the shortlisted entries in our Middle School Writing Competition based on the theme of ‘The Fateful Phone Call’.

Thanks to Julia Padgett, Head of Middle School Curriculum and our Middle School staff for their enthusiastic support and hard work in running this competition.

Congratulations to the winners announced at today’s Principal’s Assembly.

They are:

  •  Bonnie Farrell – Year 5
  • Heather Sutherland – Year 6
  • Tom Sinclair – Year 7
  • Darcy Kappel – Year 8

Congratulations also to our shortlisted entries and to everyone who entered.

We are pleased to bring you the first of our winning entries by Bonnie Farrell in Year 5.

Our other winning stories will be published on the College blog over the next few days.

Winning story by Bonnie Farrell – Year 5

It was the night before my finals at the 2016 Rio Olympics gymnastics competition. Tomorrow I would compete in a range of intense gymnastics events for Australia including floor, vault, uneven bars and balance beam.

Sitting in my tiny, humid apartment at the Olympic village I began mentally preparing for the next day. I decided to practice my floor routine. After moving as much furniture out of the way as possible I switched on the music for my floor routine. As I got into position I was startled by my ringing phone.

I picked it up off the smooth sofa and answered. “Is this Bonnie Farrell?” inquired a deep, unrecognisable voice.

“Yes, who is this?” I answered. Something about his tone made me intrigued but nervous.

“That’s not important, what is important is that I am about to make you a lucrative offer.” The stranger mumbled secretively.

“If you stumble in your floor routine then I will give you $5000,” he continued.

I didn’t know what to say. When he heard silence coming from me he said “I will give you until tomorrow to make your FINAL decision.”

Click… The phone went dead and I was left standing still in disbelief.

I sat on my hard, unfamiliar bed and thought.

How could this offer benefit my family? It would mean no more long, cold Winters without enough money to buy a milky, steamy, hot chocolate to warm us and make us feel fuzzy inside. On the next boiling Summer day we could afford to go and buy a refreshing, sugary ice cream in a sweet waffle cone so it could melt in our hands in the heat of the sun. My family had made so many sacrifices for me…

I decided to message my friend Larrissa Miller who is also competing in gymnastics for Australia. She will know what to do!

“Hey Larrissa, I just got a call from a guy offering me $5000 to purposefully muck up my routine.”

“Me too! I said no and hung up.”

“I don’t know what to do, it could really benefit my family,” I said.

“That’s crazy Bonnie!! Your family would want you to do your best! You’ve trained so hard”.

“Yeah, I guess…”


I didn’t sleep well that night. The mysterious offer and Larrissa’s words were rushing hysterically around my brain and jumping off the walls of my head. I woke to the buzzing of my phone. It was the call I’d been dreading. I gave the man my answer and got ready for my floor routine.

I turned up at the impressive Rio Olympic Arena and went side stage ready to compete. It was time.

Once in my starting position I looked at my parents in the audience and then at Larrissa side stage. When I saw their smiling faces I was proud of the decision I made. It didn’t matter what happened next, in my opinion I had already won.



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