Every year as the digital age deepens, it’s hard not to wonder how long the Driftwood’s Christmas story-writing tradition will continue.
But so far there appears to be nothing to worry about. This year the tally was 175 stories, with representation from all public schools on Salt Spring Island, plus Salt Spring Centre School, and Mayne and Galiano schools. Some writers sent in stories individually, rather than part of a classroom activity.
Linda Burgess of Fernwood Elementary School deserves special mention. She always has her grades 1-2 students hand-write their stories, which is no mean feat for six and seven year olds. This year, Katharine Byers’ grades 2-3 students did the same, with many of them fully illustrated.
First and second-place winners can pick up prize-winning cheques ($25 for first place and $15 for second) from the Driftwood office.
Winners in each age category are listed as follows, as well as honourable mentions, in no particular order.
Age 5-7 category: First place, Heidi Magnus Fischer, The Stormy Christmas Eve; second place, Pasley Hayden, The Best Christmas Surprise. Honourable mention: Margaret McKenzie, Theo Woolcock, Cam Kalf, Roisin Gill, Fenwick Campsall, Tilly Buck.
Age 8 category: First place, Ando Foo, Little Santa; second place, Lily Greene, The Girl Who Went to the North Pole. Honourable mention: Posey Hertzman, Perrin Carter, Finlay McMaster, Renee Hayden, Elliotte Gosset.
Age 9 category: First place, Juniper Winstone, The Boy Who Couldn’t Fall Asleep; second place, Caitlin McDermott, The Kittens Save Christmas. Honourable mention: Savita Doucette, Levi Welch, Donna DeRoo, Mya Purvis.
Age 10 category: First place, Isabelle Kerrigan, Holly the Extra; second place, Boone Harris, The Three Elves. Honourable mention: Zoe Sanchez Wickland, Poppy Buck, Flynn Shugar, Emerson Hayden, Aurelia Demandre, Cleo Nickels.
Age 11-13 category: First place, Reith Humphreys, Jimmy the Elf Saves Christmas; second place, Rhys Hutton, Santa Hypothesis. Honourable mentions: Devyn McCrea, Marina Garlick.
English Language Learner at GISS category: First place, Sergio Medina, What I Do With My Family at Christmas; second place, Mitsuki Matsushita, My Christmas Memory. On the topic of honourable mentions, ELL category judge Irene Wright wrote: “All the other stories are so much appreciated. A lot of work and care went into them and for me they are all honourable mentions.”
In addition to Wright, non-Driftwood judges were Louise Nye, Victoria Olchowecki and Janet Smith.
Winner of the Driftwood’s cover design and artwork contest is Grade 12 GISS student Kanae Chiba. She wins a $50 prize from the Driftwood.
As well, Jim Lightfoot’s Grades 4/5 class at Fulford Community Elementary School won the draw among six classes with all students submitting stories. The class will receive $100 to be given to the class’ local charity of their choice.