“My mum works for the school and she asked if I wanted to enter a short story/poem competition and I said ‘Yes! I would love to’, so I just went along with it.”
A few months later a parcel arrived at Lyla McMahon’s door. Inside the heavy package was a book containing her story along with two certificates, one of achievement and the other for excellence in writing.
“I felt very excited when I found out and very proud of myself,” Lyla said when she opened the book to find her story within the first few pages.
“I’ve never written anything for a competition, but I love writing stories so I write a lot.”
Starting off as an assignment for English, the year 4 student said her inspiration for the story — The First Fleet — actually came from a history lesson.
“It’s a journal entry from a girl about her journey on the First Fleet,” Lyla said. “I just expressed what she was doing and tried to make it realistic in my mind.”
When she isn’t turning the pages of her favourite Roald Dahl novel, Danny the Champion of the World, Lyla enjoys crunching the numbers in her maths class and letting her creative juices flow through art.
“I write about anything that comes to mind or anything that gives me an idea,” the budding author said.
“I like to make sure the person reading it has a great description of how the character feels or what they are doing.”
Making it as a finalist among 10,000 other entries in the 2017 Spread the Word Poetry and Short Story Competition, Lyla’s family were understandably thrilled with her achievement.
Lyla dedicated her story to all of her teachers at Augusta Park Primary who she said have taught her how to write great stories.