Meet the Winners: CRC Melton - Hildegarde Literary Prize

The CRC Melton Student Writing Competition has long been a part of the College calendar, producing many excellent examples of student writing along the way.

Cyril Fox, a published author and valued member of the College EAL support team, was responsible for reintroducing the writing prize at the College in 2017.

“I was interested to discover the talent among our students and, at the same time, to put in place an incentive for all to turn their thoughts to creative writing.”

This year, we wanted to make the competition bigger and better and named it the Hildegarde Literary Prize.

Why Hildegarde?

  • St Hildegarde of Bingen was a remarkable woman who lived in the 12th century.
  • When women had little power, Hildegarde stood up to powerful men when she disapproved of their actions.
  • Her surviving works reflect her single-mindedness, independent spirit, and refusal to be intimidated by power or authority.

Famously, Hildegarde once wrote, “Because of doubt and low opinion of myself and because of diverse sayings of others, I refused for a long time the call to write, not out of stubbornness but out of humility…”

However, Hildegarde received a vision from God encouraging her to write. She answered the call and lived a life dedicated to writing poetry and other theological works.

We wanted the students to take inspiration from Hildegarde’s story, and in 2021, like Hildegarde, they responded to the challenge.

Out of the many poems and short stories our students contributed, four were chosen as prize winners.

First place in the senior division (Year 10-12) was awarded to Year 11 student Nathan Furtado with his short story, The Ballad of Milty Solarzest.

Nathan’s story follows a retired 1970s rock and roll star who is being interviewed by a local radio station, as he reminisces about the highs and lows of his career and his life.

Nathan wrote the piece as a tribute to iconic rock stars of the time, and he was inspired by the lives and hardships of Brian May, Prince, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, and others.

“I wanted to show the lesser-known side of rock stars, those who retire before they burn out, and how being at the top of the world impacts you in the long term.”

You can read Nathan’s short story here. The Ballad of Milty Solarzest

First place in the junior division (Year 7-9) was awarded to Year 9 student Ysabelle Aquino for her short story A Boy Named Spring.

Ysabelle’s story takes place on the day of the spring solstice when the Queen and young prince Eli go to the hilltops to watch the fireworks. As the night drifts by, Eli unexpectedly encounters a cheerful but mysterious boy named Haru. Together they run from the bustling crowd, free from their problems.

Ysabelle’s inspiration came from shows and movies like Banana Fish, Yuri On Ice and Luca, and she was also influenced by books such as The Song Of Achilles and authors like Soman Chainani.

She hopes to reach people who feel burdened by responsibilities and problems and offer a moment of escape through her work.

You can read Isabelle’s short story here. A Boy Named Spring

A huge congratulations also go to our runners-up:

Senior Runner-Up: Year 11 student Heidi Pardinas with her beautiful poem 1000 Cranes.

Read now 1000 Cranes

Junior Runner-Up: Year 8 student Marydina Kakinda with her intriguing short story Chasing Happiness.

Read now Chasing Happiness

Kezi Todd

English Domain Leader

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