Cobram young writer a literary star in the making

By Patrick Tansey

Cobram’s Emily Davies, 10, (pictured) has won the junior section of the Joseph Furphy commemorative literary prize.

In its 26th year, the literary prize was announced on December 2 at Shepparton library.

Under the pen name of Tom Collins, Mr Furphy wrote many books and articles, leaving his best-known work Such is Life to continue his legacy, known as the Joseph Furphy commemorative literary prize.

The junior section was so close, the prize could not be split, with Emily sharing it with Jayden Lamb.

Goulburn Valley Libraries senior projects librarian Jan Sutton said it was only fair both stories were rewarded.

‘‘It’s quite unusual, but the judge felt they were just two such very good stories that she awarded two junior short stories this year,’’ she said.

The Year 5 Goulburn Valley Grammar student, who was the youngest in her category, said the achievement had barely sunk in.

‘‘I was completely shocked because the judge gave all the people there a little snippet of each story and they were all so good, I thought I had no hope,’’ Emily said.

She said the presentation was made even better, receiving tips and words of wisdom from the judges to help improve her writing.

‘‘Before they did the presentation, the judges spoke to us and discussed how they had become a successful writer, which was really helpful for school next year.’’

A self-confessed bookworm, Emily said writing was something she often did.

‘‘I have countless notebooks sitting around the house and I just pick up a pen and continue with the story I’m working on,’’ she said.

‘‘I’ve been reading since I was little. My favourite types of books are non-fiction and I really love the Harry Potter series.’’

Emily said she owed a lot of her success to her English teacher.

‘‘My teacher, Mrs Zito, has been so helpful this year; we’ve been focusing on writing a lot in class. She’s a very good English teacher.’’

While still young, Emily said becoming an author was an appealing career path.

‘‘It would be nice to write books for a living one day.’’