Local writing talents recognised

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SHARING STORIES… From left, Eliza Brodie and Ivan Estebeth recently received awards for their exceptional short stories written at Shepparton Access for the annual Dulcie Stone Writers Competition. Photo: Supplied.

Two talented writers from Shepparton were recently awarded a prize and given the unique opportunity to read their stories in front of a large audience.

Eliza Brodie and Ivan Estebeth submitted their work for the Dulcie Stone Writers Competition under the 2019 theme ‘Having a Say’. The Dulcie Stone Writers Competition is a partnership between VALiD and Writers Victoria and is designed to showcase the voices of people with intellectual disability.

Eliza and Ivan dedicated many hours in their story-writing program at Shepparton Access to planning their pieces and writing about their personal experiences. Both Eliza and Ivan submitted powerful stories about the challenges in their lives and their hopes for a better future.

Ivan introduced his experience with:

“Come on slowpoke, cry baby,” said an annoying voice. “You’re too slow; you always walk in slow motion.” I can’t do this anymore I thought as I wiped tears from my eyes. I was teased, I did not like it one little bit. I sobbed so much my hanky was soaking wet. This happened every day in and out of school.

And Eliza conducted her story with:

I think it is important to have my say in things that affect me; if I am doing what interests me, I’ll learn better and benefit from it. It’s my life and I should have a say in what I want. I think that when I can say or choose what I want to do, I will have the confidence to ask for help when I need it, like asking for help to count money. I am excited to see where my life leads me.

Congratulations to both Ivan and Eliza for their excellent stories and for bravely sharing them with the rest of the world.