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The EGGS Factor

Media release

Date 12 October 2006

The EGGS Factor

Epsom Girls’ Grammar School has once more proved it’s got the write stuff when it comes to producing literary talent.

This year it has again produced a winner in the Young Writer’s category of the Bank of New Zealand Katherine Mansfield Awards. The win makes it four out of the last seven in the national competition for the school.

Year 13 student Kirsti Whalen has taken out the top prize this year. She warded off 220 other entries to take the award. Students from 91 schools around the country competed for the award, which carries a prize of $1,500 for the student and the winning school.

Epsom Girls’ Grammar School director, English learning area, Catherine Kelly says competitions like the Bank of New Zealand Katherine Mansfield Award are of enormous benefit to the students. The competition supports the school’s aim of encouraging students to read and express themselves through writing, she explains.

‘Winning the Award gives confidence to the students and to the teachers. It says the emphasis we place on reading and writing at our school is working.’

The School is one of only a few around the country to offer a creative writing class. Offered initially at year 11, the class, called ‘writing for publication’ has expanded to years 12 and 13 due to demand from students.

In addition, the school has several writing groups. It also appoints senior students as ‘literary leaders’ who mentor juniors and it holds literary recitals for parents.

Bank of New Zealand general manager marketing, Shona Bishop says supporting secondary school students with the Katherine Mansfield Young Writer’s Award rewards the artistic leaders of tomorrow.

‘By encouraging young writers we are helping to build and develop expressions of our New Zealand identity.’

Bank of New Zealand has sponsored the awards - which aim to foster the country’s literature - for 47 years. They are New Zealand’s longest-running short story awards.

Katherine Mansfield’s father, Sir Harold Beauchamp, was a director of Bank of New Zealand, a position he held of 38 years. He was also the chairman of the board for 17 years.

The Awards were announced tonight by Kathryn Ryan at a ceremony at the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts in Wellington.


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