Zenn puts quirky spin on quarantine

Headshot of Nicolette Barbas
Nicolette BarbasSound Telegraph
Dardanup Primary School student Zenn Tootill won first prize for the My Place competition.
Camera IconDardanup Primary School student Zenn Tootill won first prize for the My Place competition. Credit: Nicolette Barbas

An 11-year-old student from Dardanup Primary School has won first place for a creative writing competition.

The 2020 My Place Competition asked Year 3-10 students to share their thoughts, observations and experiences on how the coronavirus pandemic reshaped their lives through writing.

Zenn Tootill, pictured, was the winner of the Year 5/6 category and the only winning entrant from a WA school.

“My story is based around what I did in quarantine, seeking out adventure at home while the skate parks were closed,” he said.

“Some of the things are based on real experiences, others came from my imagination.”

But this is not the first time Zenn has won an award for his creative writing.

“I really enjoy writing stories, I’ve been doing it since I was little,” he said.

“A few years ago I wrote a story called Guinea Pig Rock and when I was little I wrote a poem for the Shore Lines Writing for Performance Festival. There are no rules around writing stories, you can write down whatever you feel like and that’s my favourite thing about it.”

Zenn’s teacher, Chris Smith was excited to learn he had won the Year 5/6 category.

“When I read Zenn’s story, I gave it to the principal and said it was absolutely brilliant, there was a certain amount of levity to it,” she said.

“He competed against 2000 other children Australia-wide and was the only primary school student from Western Australia that won.

“Zenn is a really creative and talented writer and puts his own spin on his writing to make it quirky so this achievement is a real feather in his cap.”

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