Pair top in French competition

Columba College pupils Ailish Wallace-Buckland (left) and Emily Willis have won the 2014 International Jeunes Auteurs (Young Authors) French writing competition. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Columba College pupils Ailish Wallace-Buckland (left) and Emily Willis have won the 2014 International Jeunes Auteurs (Young Authors) French writing competition. Photo by Linda Robertson.
The ability to weave storylines that pull on the heartstrings seems to be a secret weapon when it comes to winning international writing competitions.

Columba College year 13 pupils Ailish Wallace-Buckland and Emily Willis (both 17) recently won the 2014 International Jeunes Auteurs (Young Authors) French writing competition.

The duo spent six weeks writing in French a 2000-word short story, which follows the lives of a young married French couple during World War 1.

It is made up of letters sent from the husband on the battlefront and the wife in a French village.

Each letter shows a different time period from the war.

''Sadly, it doesn't have a happy ending,'' Emily said.

''She sends a letter to him when she finds out that she's pregnant, but he dies.

''She waits for a letter from him, but instead she gets a death notice in the post.''

It is the second time Ailish has helped win the competition.

She won it with two other Columba College pupils last year.

''The secret to success is making sure you have a good story that pulls on the heart strings. This story is quite emotional and dramatic.

''Writing about what you are passionate about is also important.''

Both were delighted and surprised with the win.

As a prize, they will receive a collection of French books and an invitation to France to receive the award.

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