Grafton High student Georgia Patterson, 17 receives the Sheila Mears award from Oeter Mears at the Grafton Regional Gallery. The award is annual and this year was awarded for literature. Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner
Grafton High student Georgia Patterson, 17 receives the Sheila Mears award from Oeter Mears at the Grafton Regional Gallery. The award is annual and this year was awarded for literature. Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner Adam Hourigan

Prestigious award shows Georgia's story hit the write spot

A STORY of inner realisation has given Grafton High student Georgia Patterson an unexpected happy ending.

Georgia's untitled short story was named the winner of the annual Sheila Mears Memorial Prize.

The award, which has been running for 21 years, alternates between being awarded for art and literature, and is awarded to a Year 11 or 12 student from Grafton High School.

Peter Mears, who presented the award at the Grafton Regional Gallery last Wednesday, said his late wife Sheila was passionate about the arts and writing.

"She believed that it was a very important part of life for the students," Mr Mears said.

And it was Miss Patterson's use of words in a short work that attracted the judge, Peter's daughter Karin.

"The use of words and metaphor, especially in the opening was quite strong," said Mr Mears.

Miss Patterson was encouraged to enter the competition by her mother, herself an English teacher at Grafton High School.

"I wasn't expecting to win at all," Miss Patterson said.

"But I thought it would be good practice for the HSC creative writing, and mum said it would be worthwhile putting an entry in."

The story is about a girl at a funeral meeting a man that she realises she has a greater connection to.

"It's about an inner realisation of the impact that we all have on other people," Miss Patterson said.

Despite the win, Miss Patterson has her sights set not on writing, but following in her mum's footsteps.

"I'm not planning on doing anything serious with the writing, I've got a goal to become a primary school teacher," she said.

"I guess I just enjoy it; it's a great form of expression."



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