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Toowoomba student takes top prize in Literary Competition

Independent Education Union - Queensland and Northern Territory (IEU-QNT) 2 mins read

A local Toowoomba student was honoured with an award last night at the Independent Education Union – Queensland and Northern Territory (IEU-QNT) annual Literary Competition presentation.

Lawson Plumbe from Toowoomba East State School topped the Year 5 and 6 poetry category with a poem, titled “Dragon”.

Dr Sherilyn Lennon, who judged the entries said Lawson’s poem was delightfully wicked and playful.

“Dragon told the story of a fire breathing teacher who ‘chased all the staff away’ so that now all the children do ‘is play’,” Dr Lennon said.

“What made this poem a standout was its capacity for merging humour, clever word choices and exemplary rhyme and rhythm in a highly polished and enjoyable read.

“The author had an extraordinary grasp of timing for someone so young and did not miss a beat,” she said.

The Literary Competition was established by the IEU-QNT’s antecedent union in 1959 to encourage literary development and freedom of expression in young people.

Over 900 submissions of poetry, short stories and non-fiction prose were entered into the 2023 event, which is run in conjunction with the English Teachers’ Association of Queensland (ETAQ).

Now in its 64th year, the Literary Competition remains the longest continuing writing competition in Queensland and is open to students and staff in both state and non-government schools.

IEU-QNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke said the Literary Competition was a great opportunity for students to hone their writing skills and creativity.

“The Literary Competition judges were impressed with the exceptional talent on display this year, with a diverse range of entries submitted from across the state,” Mr Burke said.

“I congratulate those outstanding writers who were awarded prizes and thank all those who entered the 2023 Literary Competition,” he said.



About us:

The Independent Education Union – Queensland and Northern Territory (IEU-QNT) represents more than 17,000 teachers, school support staff, principals and early childhood education employees across Queensland and the Northern Territory.


Contact details:

Emily Campbell, IEU-QNT Communications Officer: / 0400 746 175

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