Pupils at Ross Intermediate are writing with a purpose this term, with a short story competition firmly in their sights and the chance of publication spurring them on.
The New Zealand Society of Authors is holding its annual short story competition and pupils from teacher Keith Butler's gifted and talented class are all getting involved, with an intermediate category being offered for the first time.
"Short stories are a great way to show the kids the importance of being sensitive to words. Short stories are like fishing: a fish takes the line and if you are not sensitive to the line, then it goes flat. It's the same with words."
Butler is also an author, whose first novel is to be published next month, and he said he used his writing experience as an example for his students.
"I am a role model for them and it helps with them trusting me, knowing that I write too."
Pupil Caleb Scott, 12, said literature was his thing and he had found his teacher's knowledge of writing to be really helpful.
"He respects what we might want to do. He has taught us about writing tools and my story is about a criminal and his life of crime."
Butler's class enters various competitions throughout the year and has had many successes with students' stories being published in school journals.
Madeleine Williams, 12, is looking forward to seeing a poem she wrote for a competition in print soon. "It will be a book called Poetry Box and I am excited to see what it looks like. Mr Butler has helped us on how to plan the story and create voice."
The judges for the competition are respected New Zealand authors and the intermediate category will be judged by Sue McCauley.
The competition opens on August 1. For details go to facebook.com/NZsAuthors CentralDistrictsBranch.
- Manawatu Standard
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