Today, in ceremonies held in Sydney and Perth, winners of the 2018 national Write a Book in a Day competition were announced.
The annual contest inspires teams of writers and illustrators to collaboratively create a storybook for children undergoing treatment in hospital. The philanthropic angle doesn’t stop there. Entrants are also encouraged to generate sponsorship with proceeds going to The Kids’ Cancer Project for childhood cancer research.
So wide is the appeal of the event, that it continues to spread across Australia with teams competing from Christmas Island in the north west to Launceston in the south east in 2018.
But in a surprise coup, all Open Division winners came from writing groups in Western Australia while Schools Division national award recipients were from Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
Discover: All the 2018 winners revealed.
Attending the awards function at The Children’s Hospital in Sydney’s Westmead, Owen Finegan, The Kids’ Cancer Project CEO, said he was impressed with the quality of writing and illustrations in a year that saw the competition grow in popularity.
“Write a Book in a Day really is the most wonderful, fun, team building and writing experience,” he said. “There were more than a thousand teams involved this year. Participation in the Open Division tripled in growth while the School Division was up 38 per cent year-to-year.”
More than $245,000 was raised through the event, notably New South Wales and the ACT contributing 50 per cent of that total.
The SkyBlue Collective from The King’s School, NSW took out the top gong for raising the most sponsorship over $2,000 and were given the honour to hand the cheque to Professor Jennifer Byrne, Head of the Children’s Cancer Research Unit at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.
Abbotsleigh students attended the 2018 Write a Book in a Day awards and dressed for the occasion.
In Professor Byrne’s short acceptance speech, she spoke about how the money is used to fund vital research to aid the discovery of better (kinder more effective) treatments to help children with many different types of cancer. She highlighted the comparison between teamwork that is fostered in the Write a Book in a Day
competition with the type of collaboration that takes place in the hospital between clinicians and scientists.
She also spoke directly to the school students who attended the function and encouraged them to continue their work as kids helping other kids.
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The Ink Farm from Elwood Primary, Victoria won the fundraising title in their state while in NSW, Turramurra Public School’s Turra Ten Pens were Highly Commended for their efforts.
Ailsa Ritchie, Teacher at Turramurra Public School explained how her students were motivated after attending the 2017 awards ceremony.
“Last year our team received a Highly Commended for their book,” she said. “When two of the students were accepting their award they realised the main goal of the competition was to raise money.”
“They were extremely passionate in communicating the importance of raising funds to the rest of the team. This year they held a gold coin mufti day and from there the kids took the initiative to ask their family members to donate to the cause raising $1,842!,” said Ms Ritchie.
Students from Turramurra Primary School were Highly Commended for their fundraising efforts.
Pip Aitken, the competition coordinator at The Kids’ Cancer Project, is thrilled with the response.
“I have the pleasure of reading the books every year and am amazed by the creativity it sparks,” she said. “It is very inspiring to see so many young people involved. Not only are they learning valuable skills, they’re having a lot fun while they’re doing it.”
“But most importantly, they’re learning to be community spirited; helping sick children by creating beautiful books they can read in hospital and raising money to end suffering for kids with cancer.”
National winners of 2018 Write a Book in a Day
Open Division Best Book: “Heatwave in the Doghouse” by The Yart Class, WA
Schools Division National Winners:
Primary: “The Dolphin’s Gift” by The Write Stuff, Serpell Primary School, Victoria
Middle School: “Test Subject” by Ocean’s V11, St Luke’s Grammar School, NSW
Upper School: “Entrapped” by Benowa Writing Club, Benowa State High School, Queensland
The Kids’ Cancer Project would like to thank the Write a Book in a Day volunteer committee, judges, readers, staff and intern whose commitment has helped to make this such a successful competition.
Donate to research and help find more effective treatments for kids with cancer.