Star storyteller at Dongara DHS

Star storyteller at Dongara DHS

25 July 2022

Reward and recognition

A Year 6 student from Dongara District High School has done her school proud at the national STORYATHON competition.

Tahlia Morton was one of the top 10 students in the upper-primary category, and the only Western Australian student in this group.

STORYATHON is an online event for students from Year 3 to Year 8, from Australia and New Zealand. Students are challenged to write a story that is exactly 100 words.

Year 6 Dongara District High School student Tahlia Morton with her story.

An avid reader and writer, Tahlia’s creativity has been nurtured by her teacher at Dongara District High School, Mrs Melanie Mark. Mrs Mark and another teacher entered their students in the STORYATHON competition, seeing it as a great opportunity to encourage the school’s talented young writers.

“Dongara District High School has a school-wide approach to writing using Seven Steps for Successful Writing,” principal Janine Calver said. “Part of this is ‘Sizzling Starts’, which fit in perfectly with the criteria for the competition, which is to eliminate the unnecessary, and focus on the power of words by crafting a paragraph for a story using only 100 words. 

“This was an incredibly challenging task and required great skill and deliberation from Tahlia.”

Inspired by a video game called “The Back Rooms”, Tahlia’s story used a thriller genre and was about a contorted mannequin. Tahlia wrote in the first person and was confused as to why she was in the story. Tahlia went on to describe the mannequin and her emotions, only to discover that she was the mannequin.

Tahlia and two of her peers from Dongara District High School were shortlisted via a class peer voting system. Stories were shared and the class decided on the three stories to progress to the STORYATHON competition; Tahlia went on to place in the top 10.

“We are so proud of Tahlia and know that she will be a star writer of the future,” Ms Calver said.