Extra! and other Writing Winners

By Esther Kristel | Posted: Wednesday August 16, 2017

Extra! is a newspaper magazine published by the Otago Daily Times and gives students the opportunity to submit their writing in an annual short story and poetry writing competition.

The Extra! Short Story and Poetry Competition has three categories for students to enter: Years 5 and 6; Years 7 and 8; and Years 9 and 10.

Logan Park’s three placings this year are all Year 9 students.

Melicen Barber won the Year 9 and 10 Extra! Short Story competition.

Paxton Hall was second in the Year 9 and 10 Extra! Poetry competition.

Viviane Dalphin was third on the Year 9 and 10 Extra! Poetry competition.

And in other writing competitions Charlotte Dickie, Year 13 was 2nd in The Dunedin Poetry Competition with her poem,  The Summer House.  The Judge’s comments were: "A very adventurous and audacious poem, The Summer House is full of striking imagery. It is full of big questions, which is often hard to pull off in a poem, but managed well here. It also shows a playfulness with typography and form, which I really enjoyed."

The students' writing is published below: 

Stellarum Nocte

By Viviane Dalphin 9L

I am a ball,

A ball of white hot,

White hot heat,

But I am not white,

I am blue,

So close to my partners,

But they can’t see me,

I am so alone,

But the romantic dance is progressing,

It is nearing its climax,

So close to the kiss,

The chase is coming to an end,

It is slow motion now,

And then we start to drift apart,

Back to the same old dance,

That we always know,

That we always know how it will end,

Just like everything else,

It ends with heartbreak.

We are just friends again,

The impossible dance is,

Beginning again,

It is a time for new beginnings,

I am made anew,

Carefully I start my dance again,

My dance is only a miniscule part of eternity,

But it is my life,

And it means so much to me,

I am lonely,

I am outshone by the brighter people,

But I am the one that bears a warning,

I am the one that means something to people,

And although they might be burning brighter,

They will burn out first,

They are young and bold,

I am old and wise,

They have done less dances than me,

Yet I will carry on.

I pulse with a light,

It shows my heartbeat,

Sometimes I am loud,

But often I am quiet and dim,

My black curtain holds me,

It is the backdrop for every dance I make,

It is my friend,

My dance routine never changes,

I flurry in great haste,

I move in a circular motion,

And with each resounding beat I pulse,

It is slow, a romantic dance,

My partners spin with me,

Always in the same formation.

I ache all over,

I am brighter,

Than before,

I gasp,

Brighter and brighter,

I go,

To escape the gravitational pull,

The pull of nothing,

The crushing blackness,

It is near,

I am pulled away,

Into orbit,

Away from the cold and crushing black,

Now it is hot,

So hot,

I wish for the crushing cold,

I am away,

Free again,

Free to resume my rotating dance with my friends,

The black curtains

Moonlight kids

By Melicen Barber 9L

"Wait, ohmygod nonono stay there for a sec."
Her hair was usually blond, often darkened by dirt and miscellaneous paint stains, but in the moonlight it glowed. It glistened like sun on water, glared like snow in summer.
"This is literally the most inconvenient place for us to stop. Are you even aware that we're walking up a hill?"
"Dude give me two seconds hold on"
"My feet are slipping-"
She was cut off by a flash, illuminating the wet grass around her.
"Okay. 1st off, ow. You just attacked my retinas."
"Sorry, your hair was glowing again."
An exasperated sigh fills my ears and I grin, poking my tongue out through my teeth. The photo starts to develop in my hands and I shove it in my bag, grabbing her hand and pulling her behind me.
"Come on, we're nearly at the top."

"This is going to soak through our pants." She scuffs the dew ridden grass with her sneakers and looks at me expectantly.
"Mm. You're right. One of us probably should have brought a-" I reach into my bag and heave out a gigantic tartian rug, moonlight seeping through the moth bites that are speckled like polka-dots. "-picnic blanket!"
Disgust paints her features as she drags her eyes over the rug.
"That thing looks ancient. How did you even fit it in your bag?"
"Skill, dedication, and perseverance. Also I may have sat on it a bit to squish it down."
Her apathetic expression breaks into a grin, that she quickly tries to hide with an eye roll, as I lay the blanket down on the hill.
"Well?" I gesture at her to lie down, and she complies with a sigh, dragging me down with her.

"I used to come up here all the time, when I was like 8. Taught myself how to make daisy chains."
My voice scares away the silence that had settled comfortably between us, that had nestled itself into our bones and rested on the debatably dry rug. Her tone is laced with a smile as she turns to face me.
"I assume that it wasn't at two o'clock in the morning, though."
"No, no I'd run up here after school. I ruined so many pairs of shoes on this hill. I'd come up here and thread daisies through my hair. Most of them ended up down my clothes, though. God I got those things everywhere. Mum hated it. She gets crazy bad hay fever, so she'd make me wash myself off with the hose whenever I came back down for dinner."
I watch as she smiles, wider this time. Watch as the moon dances on her forehead, and slides down her nose. Watch as it delicately highlights her lips, filling the cracks and teeth marks with cascading light.
"We should go back. I can't feel my fingers."
She demonstrates this by resting her hand on my forehead, which immediately sends a chill down my spine.
"Ohmygod I would have believed you, no need to give me hypothermia."
She giggles as she shakes off the dust from the rug, and it takes every inch of my self control not to grab her hand and put it back.


By Paxton Hall 9L

I am

The mother

Of myths and


The daughter

Of space and time

The lonely


Of dimensions

I am

Auspicious, propitious

(plants find me delicious)

Mysterious, metaphorical

A granter of wishes

I am

An everlasting beacon

Always silently guiding

A serene, peaceful harbinger

I am

A blade slicing through the shadows

Revealing my quarry with a blinding ray

Shining mercilessly through the gloom

Of the night

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