Kill Your Darlings is delighted to announce the winners of the inaugural KYD School Writing Prize, which invited entries from secondary school students responding to a current social or political issue. The quality of the entries was very high, with students from across the country ambitiously tackling subjects ranging from migration and refugees, to mental health, to sexism and misogyny, to environmental destruction and voluntary assisted dying. KYD and the judges congratulate all the students who submitted their work, and thank the teachers who supported their students in entering.

Normal by Bryce Groves (Year 10, Quakers Hill High School, NSW) is the winner of the non-fiction prize. Bryce receives a $500 cash prize, an editorial mentorship with KYD staff, and publication in KYD. Bryce’s memoir piece details his experiences growing up in foster care and a gentle exoneration of the things many children take for granted.

Ovals, Ovals by Faye Velasquez (Year 10, Footscray City College, VIC) is the winner of the fiction prize. Faye also receives a $500 cash prize, an editorial mentorship with KYD staff, and publication in KYD. Faye’s story is a compelling, confident work of lyrical, experimental prose that explores themes of migration, displacement, friendship, family and community ties.

The judges of this year’s School Writing Prize were Maxine Beneba Clarke and KYD’s publishing director Rebecca Starford. To read their full report, click here.

We’d also like to make special mention of five highly commended entries in the prize. These writers, in alphabetical order, are:

  • Changing Mark’s Mind by Tantan Guo (Year 11, Balwyn High School)
  • Just a Girl by Zoe Hammond (Year 8, Santa Maria College Northcote)
  • Under All That Fire by Theresa Ngodinhson (Year 12, Balwyn High School)
  • Empty Words by Charlie O’Reagan (Year 10, Footscray City College)
  • One Last Wish by Fraser Penfound (Year 8, Richmond High School)

The winning entries will be published by Kill Your Darlings in October. The KYD School Prize will return next year, stay tuned for more details!