Writing Competition, a success once more

The annual Churchill & District News writing competition attracted 224 entries over nine categories ranging from seven and under to adult.
Our biggest support, as always, came from our primary schools of Boolarra, Churchill, Lumen Christi, and Hazelwood North, and for the first time St Paul’s Grammar in Traralgon.
At the presentation of awards night, a big thank you was expressed to Principals, teaching and support staff for ensuring the children’s entries reach us on time, and to mentors who support and very importantly encourage the children and adults as writers.
Our wonderful sponsors and supporters enable us to award many smaller value prizes, especially for our younger writers. Some of the sponsors were able to attend and helped to give out the awards.
Russell Northe our local MP, an ongoing supporter of our paper and a contributor of a regular column, provided a letter of congratulations to all the award winners.
Darrell White OAM, Latrobe City Council, a mayor ongoing sponsor and who contributes a regular column. Thanks go to LCC for our annual grant.
Peter Gray from AMPWORKS, an annual sponsor of the Writing Competition and the provider of our P A System for the Junior Fishing Day. A regular contributor to the paper through the Churchill Town Safety Group column.
Bob Lowick from Churchill Lions Club, a great supporter of the paper and its activities
Lauren Carey ENGIE Hazelwood Power, ENGIE is an annual sponsor of our paper.
Ian Combridge, Chairperson of the Co-Operating Churches in Churchill.
The church is very supportive of Churchill & District News and is indeed the origin of the paper.
Other sponsors/supporters are
The Rotary Club of Hazelwood and District, an annual sponsor which designates part of its sponsorship to the Writing Competition.
Allen and Unwin Publishers which supplies us with books.
Reader’s Emporium which donates vouchers each year.
Sally of Glamour Puss and Alley Cat, some lovely soft Book Worm toys.
Marion Ireland for books, postcards and bookmarks.
Gippsland Trade Printers, which contributed notepads for our participants. 

Gippsland Water for items for goody bags and prizes.
All these contribute to make the competition possible so they are greatly appreciated.
Churchill & District News packed goody bags and produced magnificent participation certificates for the primary age entrants so everyone would feel encouraged to keep writing. All winners received a laminated certificate along with their prize.
Before the prize giving, Marion Ireland, who is an author of stories and phonic books and who has been a teacher for many years, and is passionate about encouraging children to write, was invited to say a few words to help writers know how to improve their writing.
Following is the advice she gave -
1. Read ! Read ! Read ! Reading goes hand in hand with writing. The more reading you do the better your writing becomes.
2. Thinking time is important. Think about your audience. You want them to enjoy and appreciate what you have written.
3. Plan your writing. For example, if you are writing a narrative, think about what form it will take and the sequence of events. Make sure you have an introduction, main body of story with a complication and a solution with your conclusion.
4. Jot down a rough draft in note form if that helps. Ideas are important too. Use your imagination. Try to be original unless you are narrating an event.
5. After you have written your story, proof-read it carefully paying special attention to punctuation and spelling. Computers are very useful with things like ‘spellcheck’.
The awards were then given out