Young Achievers: Julie’s winning words
A young writer with dreams of a byline in The Royal Gazette got her wish after she won a Christmas essay competition.
Julie Elliott, 12, got her name in the paper after she took first place in the middle school category of the Pembroke Rotary Club’s holiday competition.
The Mount Saint Agnes pupil said: “I think I would like to write for the newspaper when I get older.
“Maybe as a side thing, like as a hobby.”
She was speaking after her essay, The Magic of Christmas, won her cash and a certificate.
Julie, an M2 pupil, said that she signed up for the competition as part of an assignment for her English language arts class.
She added that she thought the essay was another school assignment until her teacher told her about the contest.
Julie explained: “People tell me I’m pretty good at writing.
“I just went home and I started writing and when I showed it to my dad he said ‘wow, this is really good’, so I thought that I might actually have a shot at winning.”
Julie said that she had been interested in creative writing since she was at primary school.
She added that she kept her literary skills sharp by writing stories about her day-to-day life.
Julie said that she enjoyed writing because it was a direct form of self-expression.
She explained: “When you’re saying what you say, nobody can change your words.
“It could be interpreted in different ways, but if you write something down then that’s what you mean.”
Julie said that her essay focused on how the spirit of Christmas reflected many of the beliefs of the Rotary movement, including fairness, honesty and generosity.
She wrote in her essay: “At a young age, we learn what fair means, but only when we grow older do we learn how to truly be fair.
“Fairness is a huge part of Christmas and if people can learn to be just a little more fair, you can enhance your Christmas.”
Julie explained: “It was kind of like a guide to having a wonderful Christmas.” She added: “I love Christmastime — it’s probably my favourite holiday.
“The rest of the year everybody’s all sad and nobody’s smiling but then Christmas time comes along and everybody’s joyful and happy.”
Julie said that she learnt of her success in mid-December when her English language arts teacher announced the results to the class.
She added she was asked to read her essay to her 19 classmates and admitted it was something she was not keen to do.
Julie said: “I don’t really like reading out loud, so I was kind of nervous.”
But Julie said that the event helped her to overcome her fear of public speaking.
She added that it even prepared her for reading her essay at the Pembroke Rotary Club’s breakfast for those who won the essay competition last Thursday.
Julie said: “When I was speaking, I didn’t stutter on any words or anything, and I just thought, ‘That wasn’t so bad. If I can speak to these people, I can speak to my class during presentations’.”
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