Winning the Secondary School Category in the 2017 Sunday Star Times Short Story Awards for his story, Odds, was a big confidence boost for Year 13 student, Russell Boey. “Writing is one of those funny things, as it is so subjective. Winning the award has encouraged me to keep going and pursue my dreams of writing a novel.”
Russell says it was the ‘randomness of life’ which inspired him to write the story, described by Judge Paula Morris as ‘affected and persuasive with strong characters’. She said Russell’s work demonstrated a ‘dynamic sense of scene and conflict and a mature grasp of the shifting currents within friendships.’
The first draft of Odds only took Russell a few hours to write, but he spent a solid month editing and refining the work.
In addition to receiving $500 prize money and his story being published in the Sunday Star Times, Russell was delighted to receive an essay from Random House, which explored the story’s themes and provided him with valuable feedback. Russell’s impressive writing talents were identified at St Andrew’s in the Junior School. In Year 3 he took part in a creative writing course with Writer-in-residence, Kerrin Davidson, who is still a mentor. “Kerrin has always encouraged my work, given me lots of great advice, and convinced me to keep going.”
Russell is also a talented mathematician and scientist, and plans to study Science at university next year. “Although I don’t think I’ll study writing in the future, I am already working on a fantasy novel, which I definitely plan to complete.”