Media and News

Alex's Write of Passage

Release Date: 01-Jun-2016 | Go Back

Roseville College Year 11 student, Alex Turner-Cohen, is receiving accolades in two premier writing competitions this year, ranking 1st in NSW and in Australia's top three in the Somerset National Novella Writing Competition, and winning the Henry Lawson Festival of Arts Short Story and Verse competition.

Alex remembers a turning point in Year 7, when she won her first ever writing competition. Since then, she has prioritised writing and consistently done well in school and youth writing competitions. In 2013, she won second prize in the Junior Secondary Prose section of the Mosman Youth Awards in Literature, and in 2014, her team placed third in NSW in the Write-a-Book-in-a-Day competition.

"I look forward to the moment when I can sit at my desk with a blank page in front of me", says Alex, who cannot recall a time when she didn't aspire to be an author, writing her first story when she was in Year 4.

"I enjoy historical fiction, and like studying a topic or theme before writing about it. Then, I feel immersed in the characters as I write their stories. I also add authentic life experiences to enrich the story or a character," she explains, saying that the writing process comes very naturally to her. "I love creating something from nothing, it's like creating a whole world. A writer has so much power at their fingertips,"

Alex says that writing competitions giver her focus and purpose when writing; but are also excellent opportunities to meet publishers and editors who are supportive of emerging talent and keen to give feedback. She says a draft of her first major novel, targetted at the young adult reader, has received constructive appraisals from industry experts to help her refine and polish it. She is already looking forward to the next stage of the publication process.

Approaching her HSC in 2017, will Alex put her writing on hold? "Never, she smiles. "While I need to balance writing with my school work, I love getting up really early in the morning to make time,"

The Somerset National Novella Writing Competition is open to all Australian high school students and aims to help serious student writers develop their literary skill. See 2016 winners and Alex's winning entry at http://www.somerset.qld.edu.au/celebration-of-literature/competitions/novella-writing/. The Henry Lawson Festival of Arts Short Story and Verse competition is a national, annual event, visit http://www.henrylawsonfestival.com.au/events-and-entertainment/exhibitions/verse-short-story. Alex's is the third win in this category by a Roseville College student; it was also won by Sejung Park in both 2009 and 2011.

Photo: Year 11 student, Alex Turner- Cohen