September 16 1940

“Good morning mam, we are here to inform your husband and two sons on their departure “
I remember the solemn look that fell upon my mother’s face as she fell to her knees in utter despair. My older brothers and my father were out hunting. I remember when they came home that evening, so proud of the animals they had slaughtered, Father ruffled my hair as he walked past on a quest to find mother. I explained to him that these two men in well-respected uniforms came looking for him and my brothers and that mother hasn’t spoken but a word to me all evening. Father barged into their bedroom to find mother in tears surrounded by bottles of liquor and demanded that she elaborate on my story. Everything blanked out for me when I heard mother recite those three dreadful words. (YOUR BEING DRAFTED) These words lingered in my head for hours for I hadn’t a clue what was going on.
As I braced myself and walked round the corner, I effortlessly pushed open my parents door. I glance at these two people who are the most important thing to me, hold each other like the world is about to cave in. My older brother Ivan had kept his bedroom door open as well and I saw him writing. I thought to myself Ivan has never touched a piece of paper nor pen in his entire short 17 years of life let alone write. I knock and await his blessing to enter. I look at him in the eye. He ushers me over to him and wraps his arms tightly round my neck. I just stand there. My arms floppy as if I am a lifeless doll. I hear him sniffle. “Are you ok?” I ask. But before I could finish my sentence he interrupts me. “Take care of mother for me while I’m gone”. Tears start to form in the corners of his eyes. I assure him I wont need to and not be silly. As I leave his room, I glance at him for a moment. He just sits and writes. But then he stops. And a tear drops from his slightly tanned check onto the brownish paper and smudges the ink. After I bathed, read my book and said my prayers it was time for lights out. Matteo, my other brother came in and kissed my forehead. “When the sun shines brightly, know that im watching you” with that he turned away and slowly walked out of my room. I grabbed his arm before he could leave. I asked “where are you, Ivan and father going and why can’t I come?” His eyes meet with mine and he says “Lena where we are going you pray you never have to, I love you always and forever”
One year later…
Mother was alone and had covered herself in keepsakes. An old tradition my family did in the time of mourning.


25 was established in 1997, and since then we have successfully completed numerous short story and poetry competitions and publications.
We receive an overwhelming positive feedback each year from the teachers, parents and students who have involvement in these competitions and publications, and we will continue to strive to attain this level of excellence with each competition we hold.


Stay informed about the latest competitions, competition winners and latest news!