The WCBA has great pleasure in announcing the winner of the Jack Lasenby Award for 2010:
Train Ride by Raewyn Murray, Karori
The judges have also awarded two Highly Commended Certificates:
Chickenpox and Aubergine by Sarah Bainbridge, Paekakariki
Darth Vader and the Wimp by Robyn Cooper, Days Bay
Entries were judged anonymously, and discussion between the two judges over their own particular favourites was robust. Judge William Taylor reports:
Naturally, in a competition of this nature, the individual authors of the twenty-six entries demonstrated a wide range of ability. The rules governing entries, notably the necessity for a Wellington setting, meant that quite a few needed to adopt a degree of artifice; e.g. take out 'Lyall Bay' and insert 'Herne Bay' or 'Sumner' and the entry could well be set in Christchurch or Auckland! However, this is in no way true of the winning entry - 'Train Ride'.
'Train Ride', a rollicking short tale, moves at excellent pace with crisp characterisation, good dialogue - and all set in an undeniably greater-Wellington setting. The suburban train ride of the story brought back very many memories to this reader who, in years well gone, made the same trip on countless occasions. I am relatively certain that the patron of your association, and in whose name the award is given, would enjoy this story!
We selected two additional stories for commendation; 'Darth Vader and the Wimp', and 'Chickenpox and Aubergine'. Both stories are good sound efforts that could possibly be slightly improved with a dose of judicious editing and tweaking here and there. Both have a domestic base and explore relationships within families; two cousins in the first story, sister/brother in the second. The elements of conflict in both are neatly explored and exploited.
Raewyn Murray will be presented with her trophy and cheque at the WCBA Quiz Night on December 9. You can read an extract from her winning story here.
About the judges:
William Taylor, author and ex school principal, has received many accolades for his work, including the Montana New Zealand Esther Glen Award. In 2004 he was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to children's literature and the community.
Johanna Knox is a Wellington writer, editor and book reviewer, and a long-standing member of the WCBA committee.