From over 800 entries, we are delighted to share the news that Year V girls, Cora Bretz and Olivia Mence, have both received a 'Highly Commended' award in the Hive Young Writers' Competition 2020. The competition is open to writers aged 14-30 across the Yorkshire region and the pieces Cora and Olivia wrote were judged amongst the best in the age 14-16 category. Fellow Year V girl, Laura Ridley, was also praised by Teacher of English, Mr Fairnington for the excellent piece she submitted for the competition.
The Hive judges described Cora's piece, Through the Seasons, as "An intricate piece of ‘nature writing’ full of beautiful detail and musings. It overflows with a profound appreciation and connection to the forest."
Olivia's submission, Too Faced, was described by the judge as a "Great use of a walk in the woods to go ‘down memory lane’. Full of super detail about the surroundings and use of strong images throughout. I also liked the last unexpected sentence."
Enjoy reading the girl's writing in full below:
Through the Seasons by Cora Bretz, Year V.
The forest hums with life all around me. I twirl about, gazing up at the canopy, searching for the birds that sing a sweet melody. The forest is like an orchestra, playing one enchanting symphony after another. Her leaves dance to an unheard beat, whispering their songs to the wind. Here, sheltered by the mighty trees, is every kind of life. Everything from the humble buzzing bee to the white bodies that soar across the skies and slice the silver linings of the clouds with their bewitching wings of every colour in a fluorescent rainbow, painted across the canopy. I hold my hands up to embrace the cascading light, a brilliant white shaft illuminating the path that takes me onwards.
It is to the forest I go for rest, for serenity and tranquillity that flows as cool fresh, river’s waters. There is something about the sparkle upon the blue, a melody without a rhythm, music without a sound. Great arms, clothed in the greens of every palette, the gracious hues of mother nature's finest bestowed creations. In this place, I feel as though I am part of art, of that three dimensional creation of time and space, of a greater evolutionary span than my brain can’t fathom. It’s when I cease my sensitivities, it’s when I stop comprehending my responsibilities, it’s when I’m immersed into the forest is when each breath is like water, fresh, cleansing and that flows freely into my lungs.
In the forest there is a sense of kinship with the flora, of an ancient soul that seeps into everything that lives. It is here under the burgeoning rays of a sun, born to rise each day. It is here that I stop feeling as if I am just merely existing, it is here that I feel I start living.
When the day is growing old and the hearth calls, and the sun begins to be engulfed by the horizon that sinks down beneath the tops of the pines and the streaks of light exude through the boughs in both brilliance and faint,indistinguishable glimmers of falling beacons. In the summertime they were an unpigmented gold, illuminating the greens into virescent riots; yet the gift of those warm days has passed for the season.
Then comes winter. On these piercing hyperborean days the veil of the mist casted over those same beams of light into sepia tones and the woodland becomes a perfect picture, in a picture perfect frame. The trunks of cascaded trees bare icicles longer than frozen clocks hands, though no two of them the same; just another fruit of mother nature’s labour that is evermore captivatingly enchanting than any work of man.
And yet, winter's icy glaze prevails and every twig, every fallen frosted leaf, every blade of a lush iridescent hybrid is frozen, retained from its development. Never, was the forest so silent. So still. Hushed for a moment, hushed for a season, hushed for tranquillity, silenced was the symphony, just to appreciate the liberty and to respect the limpidity.
Then comes summer, and the forest is awoken from its chilling benumbed slumber. Now in thirty degree heat, that I blissfully swelter in. The trees that sheltered so many with their dispersed ligneous arms of green that provided so much, are now lifeless sticks of charcoal, no more vibrant than the old lamppost in the city. The unfettered light that once illuminated now scorched the ground below but still that smell of burning lingers on despite the rain that came to try and wash away the pain.
Nevertheless, my favourite untold treasure of the forest that is often inconspicuous to a blinded man of ignorance, is that the forest does not care for time, for seconds or for minutes. Even hours are inconsequential blended into an extraneous abyss. The smallest measure of time is the cycle from the break of dawn to return the dusk. Even then the forest is more in tune with the seasons: rebirth brought by the warmth of spring, darkened foliage from summer's kiss, the commencement of falling leaves of autumn and then the bitter blistering bite of winter.
Here in the forest so little can happen in the time it takes for me to change from a child into an adult, a girl to a woman, and to gain and lose so much. Perhaps that is why I love it here; it stabilizes the rapidity of my thoughts, grounds me in a place where ticking clocks are disregarded. A place where I can go to vanquish my demons, comfortably drown my sorrows, dismiss the demands of technology and neglect any responsibility. I’m free. To do as I please in a place that defines, liberty.
Too Faced by Olivia Mence, Year V.
The woods. A place where all the ghosts of your past can reappear once more again to haunt your mind with specific happy or sad memories played one by one like a record player. For me, things such as terrible family walks where I would often go off by myself and hide in the shrubbery giving my parents the burden of having to find me again. Eventually. Or generally, when after school hanging out with friends under a tree, moaning about the day and how much homework we’d been given by the teachers or just some rants about fellow “Friends” such as Katie Smith. She was always a popular choice for our conversations.
The wind picks up and flows like a current through the trees, making them sway as if they were listening to old music together. Some autumn leaves follow the flow of the whispering wind before slowly sticking to the ground beneath my feet solemnly forming together in front of me a road of beautiful oranges, yellows, reds and browns telling me to continue my journey through the woods to find lost memories again.
On the sides of the path were colourful flowers, each one never the same, but each one bursting with life as if this was their last day to bloom and send the other flowers a message to remember them this way. I've always had an interest in flowers. They are quiet but can say so many words at once from the bright colours they give off - secretive - and it's always a mystery where they came from; a small seed to where they are now surrounded by other flowers awaiting the day where they will bloom no more.
As I walk down the path of this never ending ghost town, puddles form mirrors from the recent downpour of rain only a few hours ago greet me. They hold images of past characters in my life, who I’ve played around with as they were my puppets, continually influencing what they would do by tugging a few of their strings so that they can dance to their fate with the close of the book. Some give me a glare of anger that burns through my soul. Painfully burning parts of me before I slowly escape into a dark cloud of smoke, or in some rare occasions they smile at me, wishing they could comfort me in these miserable times telling me “You're not alone”. I smile back and I hope.
Further on down this sort of memory lane. The darkness thickens as the trees cave in together, all competing for the light in order to survive although some are not as lucky and curl back into the soil hoping for a better day to come. Twigs and branches are left on the floor to rot, where not one of the above trees cares about them and leaves them to suffer on their own. I unknowingly step on a branch and it cracks below me, sending a shudder, as well as other dark memories I have locked away in my mind, all around my body. The amount of people I could think of being behind now in my imagination ready to decide my fate and my life all together quickly is way over just 10.
I have done many horrible things to horrible people in my horrible life.
I don't regret a single thing.