8 February, 2024
Best of 2023: Harrison King receives ABC Heywire recognition
For the second year in a row Gilgandra has produced a regional ABC Heywire winner, with local student Harrison King taking out the writing award.
Harrison, an outgoing year 12 student, was encouraged to submit the piece of writing by Gilgandra High School English teacher Fiona Lambell after originally writing the story for an in-class assessment task.
The original story was 1500 words long, far exceeding the maximum word limit allowed in the Heywire competition.
At 12am the day the submission was due, and while completing the HSC trial exams, Harrison awoke and realised he needed to submit the story before the competition closed.
Sitting at his computer he condensed the story down to the 500 words permitted and sent it off, hoping but not quite believing that he might win. Two weeks later he received the shortlisting call.
“My story was written as a collective experience representing the people of Gilgandra, who observe, witness, and encounter visitors from a helicopter.
“The narrative builds upon the perspective of what it means when a helicopter comes to a small community and highlights the importance of helicopters in small towns, and how fundamental they are to the health system and regional and rural communities,” said Harrison.
“I never thought just a few words written down on scrap paper would create an interest in the ABC Heywire’s judges’ minds.”
“I’m looking forward to the writing summit in February and to the opportunity to broaden my horizons as a writer.”
Harrison has been writing for a while as a personal pursuit while enjoying studying English throughout his schooling experience.
Writing, he said has “provided opportunities to express my identity and perspective in a liturgical manner”.
He considers the English poets, John Keats and Alfred Lord Tennyson as his main inspirations. Harrison also said that the love of creative writing will stick with him however, a future as a writer isn’t necessary on the cards.
Harrison is going to study at the University of Newcastle in tourism, hospitality and events next year, with aspirations to transfer into law.