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Young Territory Author Awards

Creative minds were out in force at the 2019 Young Territory Author Awards, with hundreds of entries submitted to the annual writing competition.

12-year-old Jethro Pollock took out three gongs – including the overall winner – with his book, Nathanial. We asked the young writer a few questions.

Congratulations! First of all, how did you get in to writing?
Writing has always been a hobby of mine. I’ve written a few things here and there over the last few years, but this is the first time I’ve entered anything in the awards.

What is Nathaniel about?
Nathaniel is a fictional eight-year-old boy who lives on a small, remote bush property. My story is a snapshot in time of his life as he asks the people around him about life and the meaning of it, and tries to understand the bush and what might be beyond.

What was the moment like when they read out your name as the winner?
I was surprised when my name was called out as the winner of the 9-12 category, and was surprised again when I suddenly found myself standing on the stage with the Palmerston Regional award, and it felt amazing when I won the whole thing.

I wasn’t really expecting to win all three. I knew there was a $500 prize for the overall winner, but the main reason I entered my story in the awards was to have some fun and have a go.

Who are your favourite authors? 
I’ve read heaps of books by lots of different authors. I’d say some of my favourite authors are James Dashner (Maze Runner), Trent Dalton (Boy Swallows Universe), Jonathan Stroud (Bartimaeus), Barry Jonsberg (The Whole Business with Kiffo and The Pitbull) and Phillip Pullman (His Dark Materials and The Book of Dust).

Do you hope to be a professional writer one day?
Becoming a professional writer in the future is definitely a possibility. I like writing and I suppose I’d like to have it as a job one day.

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