Sarah Brennan Poetry Competition runner up, TK Grade 4 student Adya, shares her passion for writing with us.

Adya is a pro at story writing. She has dedicated her free time to penning her thoughts, experiences and ideas since the age of 6. Her first Open Minds trip inspired her to write her first chapter book called “The Girl who Made Friends with A Mouse, A Lizard and An Ant”, which her parents published it as a 7th birthday gift for her. She has written almost every day since then.

Adya experimented with different genres for different stories: her first book was a chapter book on friendship, her second book “The Tailor And The Elephant’ is loosely based on an Indian folk tale that Adya expanded on and illustrated. Later in Grade 3, she experimented more widely across sci-fi, mystery and narratives. She wrote about her experiences in Grade 3, created a series out of an adorable piggy character called Chosu and wrote a sci-fi short story called ‘Emma, I and The Elemental Concatenation’. Her parents put together all her stories into a short collection called ‘My Year in Grade 3, Adventures of Chosu and Other Short Stories’ as a gift for her teachers.

Adya also keeps a blog of book reports where she reviews, rates and recommends books to young readers between the age of 8 and 12. You can see them here and here.

Like most writers, Adya is an enthusiastic reader who devours books. She  was already reading the Roald Dahl series by age 7, and with the encouragement of her teachers, quickly moved on to more challenging books.  Among Adya’s favourite books are Matilda, Rain Reign, Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, Haroun And The Sea Of Stories, I Am Malala, Little Women, Wrinkle In Time, and The Tale of Despereaux.

Although Adya was a story writing pro, she was a novice in writing poetry. But this did not deter her when she found out about Sarah Brennan’s poetry competition. Excited about the idea of participating in a poetry contest, Adya brainstormed what she might write about. Initially, she thought of writing a limerick, a form of poetry in five-line, predominantly anapestic meter with a strict rhyme scheme (AABBA) but in the end decided to try something different. Over the summer break, she planned and drew diagrams to come up with ideas and the structure of her poem. She drafted her poem and shared it with both her mother and her former homeroom teacher, Ms. Juliane to seek their feedback and advice. After reflecting on the feedback, she worked on her poem, correcting some mistakes until it was finally ready for submission. It was no surprise that her efforts paid off and Adya received the runner up award.

According to her mother, Kavita, Adya has been privileged to have very supportive teachers during her time at CIS. If not for their encouragement, writing may have been a short lived passion. Ms. Louisa Pragasam, who was her teacher in Grade 1, when she wrote her first story had given Adya an advanced list of books to read on Raz Kids. She asked Kavita to encourage Adya to think about the second meaning of the authors’ intent in these books. At the time, her mother was surprised that Adya would even understand this question, let alone explore secondary themes and deeper meanings of the stories she was reading. However, Ms. Pragasam’s insight was right and Adya soon started engaging in a much deeper way with her stories.

In Grade 3, Ms. Juliane was a phenomenal influence on Adya. She remained a huge inspiration for Adya and every time Adya turned out a piece that was worthy, Juliane celebrated her amongst her peers and even sent off samples to the library and the Principal’s office. For a budding writer, at only 8 years old – this was tremendous motivation and boost. Adya continues to be motivated as Juliane invited Adya back to be a ‘student assistant’ in literacy classes for Grade 3s this year and her new classroom teacher Ms Kristi continues to nurture Adya’s love of writing and motivate her by giving her platforms to shine.

Keep on striving in your writing, Adya! We are expecting great things from you.