Creative Writing

On Tuesday 27th April a randomly chosen group of twelve Year 7 students were asked to take part in a creative writing exercise. They were presented with three titles from which they had to choose one. With no prior warning, and entirely unprepared they set about writing 100 words on their chosen topic.

The titles were:

  1. If I were invisible…
  2. The best day of my life
  3. If you could turn into an animal, which animal would that be and why?

Here are the best pieces of writing and an explanation of what makes them good. They have not been changed in any way and are presented here exactly as they were written. We hope you use them to learn how to improve your writing. And we left them uncorrected because we want you to understand that even writing which contains errors can also have many good points. Naturally, we should always try to get better and better. Reading helps a lot in this respect.

Dean-Craig Pickard wrote:

I would really like to turn into an animal and if I had to pick one I would turn into a hawk. Why would I chose [sic] a hawk? Let me tell you why. I would have a nice view, I could travel from one place to another, I would have excellent eye sight. I would fly so high that I could almost see all of Malta but I don’t want to fly too high or else I’ll faint. I could see as if I was wearing binoculars but look better! If this ever happened to me for a day or two I would be over the moon!

Comment: The first thing that strikes you about Dean-Craig’s work is the conversational tone. He really speaks to his reader. He creates this effect by using a rhetorical question ‘Why would I choose a hawk?’ And answering it: ‘Let me tell you why.’ The title asks two questions: which animal and why? and Dean-Craig answers both questions clearly and concisely. What makes this piece of work stand out, though, is his humour: ‘I could see as if I was wearing binoculars but look better!’ Finally, he rounds off neatly with a very good metaphor (I would be over the moon) which is suitable since the topic is about being a hawk and the joy of flying. Then, of course, there is his excellent grammar, spelling and punctuation. Marvellous work!

Lennon Cauchi wrote:

I’ve always wanted to be a lion. For me it’s the best animal in the jungle. The lion is the king of the jungle, it is also very brave and strong. Lions are really fast and excellent in [sic] hunting. I enjoy it when I see a pride of lions as predators ready to attack the preys [sic]. The most thing that I like from a lion is patience [sic]. Lions are really patient because when they encounter their enemies they hide so when is the right time [sic], they take the opportunity to attack them and eat it [sic]. I really want to have a cub, if so I would be really happy, it means the world to me because I like their braveness [sic] so much.

Comment: There are so many good things about this piece of writing. The opening line strikes just the right tone: chatty and relaxed. Lennon clearly knows his subject and he uses wonderfully accurate vocabulary (a pride of lions, predators, encounter their enemies, take the opportunity). He is observant and original: who would have thought of a lion as patient? There are some errors, but they are easily fixed. This writing shows great promise.

Oliver Farrin-Thorne wrote:

Today was the best day of my life. We did all the things I’ve always wanted to do, and in only one day! First, I woke up very early at 6am, then I had my favourite breakfast: Cheerios. After that, my four friends came to my house and we all played football together. Then, we had burgers and chips on the barbecue, but even better, we had a big food fight. Following that we went to Wembley Stadium and watched the 2024 World Cup Final! It was England against Italy, and England won 3-2! After that, my four friends slept at my house which was absolutely wonderful!

Comment:  The first impression the reader gets is how infused with joy and energy this piece is. Oliver frees himself from time and space and normal restrictions to describe a day that includes everything from a food fight to a game from the future. He begins with a leisurely breakfast, moves on to a series of activities that get more and more exciting, and then comes full circle, slowing the pace nicely with a sleepover and a delightful final remark. Perfect spelling and grammar. Excellent writing.

Andreas Buhagiar wrote:

If I could turn into an animal I would turn into a wolf. Wolves are my favourite animals. I loved wolves at a very young age. I like that they choose a leader every time previose [sic] one dies. They always hunt in packs, so they can never be beaten. Usualy [sic] the females stay with the cubs and the males go to hunt. The leader of the wolves is called an Alpha. If the rest of the wolves don’t obey the Alpha they will be killed. There are way more reasons why I’d want to be a wolf but if I would tell you all of them, I would never stop.

Comment: Andreas certainly knows his wolves! Notice how he uses accurate vocabulary (hunt in packs, the leader is called an Alpha, males, females, cubs). He also knows about their habits. It is evident that he admires the order, discipline, hierarchy and the camaraderie of a wolf pack. His last line is intriguing and leaves the reader curious and wanting more.

Lyana Curmi -Inguanez wrote:

If I could turn into an animal I would be a dolphin. I would pick this type of animal because I want explore [sic] what the ocean is like. For example, the beautiful coral, fish, animals and all that stuff. Also, I would like to taste fish, I never like its smell above ground that’s why I never tried it, who knows maybe I will like it. The first thing I would do is probably find a pod of dolphins, so I can have friends and a family. Then I would go explore. And by then I will probably be hungry so I would maybe try some fish.

Comment: Lyana answers the question posed clearly and in detail. She realizes that turning into an animal will change her perceptions and that things may seem different. She doesn’t like fish now but as a dolphin she might. Her tone is relaxed and conversational (who knows, maybe I will like it) and she uses accurate vocabulary (a pod of dolphins). Notice how elegantly she returns to the topic of eating fish in her concluding remark.

Sven Azzopardi wrote:

It was the 27th April 2019, me and my family [sic] went to watch a champion’s league game. The game was between Ajax and Juventus. It was the champion leagues semi-final. The game started and the atmosphere was amazing. In the 24th minute Juventus scored and it was an amazing feeling. I was screaming with happiness, we were in the lead. Until in the second half Ajax came out strong and scored two amazing goals to win the game. It was around 11.15pm and we order [sic] some food and head [sic] back to our hotel room. While waiting in our hotel room for the food to come, we were looking outside when we saw 2 Ajax fans fighting a Juve fan. There was so much drama and when the police came I heard gun shots. Till today I can’t understand where it [sic] came from but I’m sure it was from that fight we saw 10 minutes ago [sic]. 20 minutes later our food came to our room and we ate. We talked about the game and how nice it was (although we lost). It was the best day of my life.

Comment: A piece of writing full of energy, sound and action. Notice how many sound and action words Sven uses to build his picture: atmosphere, amazing, scored, screaming, happiness, in the lead, came out strong, ordered food, headed back, fighting, drama, gun shots. He makes his reader feel part of the experience – and wonder if this could be true… It is heart-warming to see that he enjoys a game, even though his side loses. This sense of good sportsmanship is something we value highly in this school. Sven is on the way to becoming a very good writer.

Sebastian Farrin-Thorne wrote:

When it was my ninth birthday I had the best day of my life. I woke up at 6am and went straight to my parents’ bedroom. I was so excited. I woke them up and they started giving me cards and gifts. I got many cards. I also got the best gifts possible. I got Playmobil, a JDU pass for one year and more. We then went to the aquarium and saw some amazing sea creatures. Then, we went to a water park and we had a blast. It was the best day of my life and one that I will never forget.

Comment: Sebastian’s work stands out for technical precision. He was asked to write 100 words and he encompassed his thoughts in a mere 103 words. He covered the topic, giving six different points that made the day perfect. His introductory and closing sentences are just right. And he did not make a single spelling, grammar or punctuation error. Impressive.

Dean-Craig Pickard of Year 7 and Faith Anouk Cassar of Year 8 receive book tokens from Head of School Mr Robert Magro as a prize for their excellent submissions.

On Friday 30th April a randomly chosen group of Year 8 students were asked to take part in a creative writing exercise. They were presented with three titles from which they had to choose one. With no prior warning, and entirely unprepared they set about writing 100 words on their chosen topic.

The titles were:

  1. If the Covid virus could talk, what would it say?
  2. Can you keep a secret?
  3. Have you ever lost something or someone dear to you? Write about it.

Faith Anouk Cassar wrote:

21/11/2018

Dear Diary,

It’s obviously me again, Corona Virus 19. Today I came up with the best plan. I have noticed how those horrible humans are treating our planet and know-one [sic] is doing anything about it. This is where I come in. I am going to try to remove the human race from the face of this earth! I think the best way to do that is by killing them. It will be hard, but I figured I will start in China and move on from there. I will make them very sick so they will blame it on my cousin the “Flu”. Without all their smoke and inventions being released into the air, land and sea, the Earth might have a chance to live again! I will give you more information tomorrow.

Bye dear Diary,

Covid-19

Comment: Faith captures perfectly the clinical, impersonal voice of this avenging angel of a virus. We cannot praise this piece enough. Her idiom is spot on (this is where I come in), her grammar and spelling are very good. We like that she wrote it in the form of a diary entry. The format underlines the effect of cold, calculated planning. And she reined it all in 130 words – quite a feat. Well done indeed!

 

Sam Engerer wrote:

I’m so proud of all the progress I have done [sic] so far. I’ve started in China, thanks to the humans that have made me stronger due to the dirt they bring on this Earth, and gases that they use. From China I’ve spread all over the world, mutating in some countries and leaving those world damaging humans inside [sic]. I think it was Mother Nature that created me and I don’t really believe the news that I see from my victims’ eyes because the people are staying at home and leaving those gases to dust and less factories are working. I think that my time has come to die out because the vaccines are helping the humans to mutate. I feel so misunderstood because my purpose is to help the Earth not make it worse, I’m reducing over-population, I’m reducing those disgusting gases being used and I’ve lessened the amount of plastic being used and thrown away, but I know that my time has come and it’s about time that I stop [sic] ruining the humans’ lives.

 

Chylen Fava wrote:

If the covid-19 virus could talk I think it would say many things. It would say “It is all of you humans who started it and you will end it.” It would say “Look what happened to all of you now you see what happens when you don’t care about your planet, your home and you are the reason people are dying.” I think it would even say “Ha Ha you humans are sitting in your homes with no sports, wearing a mask in school, can’t be more than four people in one area.” I wish the Covid-19 to leave our planet so we humans could live happy.

Comment:  Sam and Chylen understood that this topic needed to be written out in the first person. They successfully stepped into Covid’s shoes, so to speak, and spoke from the point of view of a deadly virus. It is interesting that they both consider the virus a scourge and a punishment for our poor treatment of the environment. We like the way Sam turned the idea of mutation on its head: we see the virus as mutating, but from its perspective, it is we who mutate. Nicely done! Chylen gives us a cheeky virus with a tone of light mockery.

Julienne Woods wrote:

Once when I was four years old, my parents got me and my brother a dog. It was a small chihuahua. It was smaller than my palms. As I grew older, even [sic] my chihuahua, Chloe, grew older as well. When we got her she was only 10 months old. Chloe was my best friend. I used to play with her all the time: before school, after school. But once Chloe got an infection and it was very bad. My parents found out that she wasn’t doing good [sic], so the day they thought it was going to happen they took us to our grandparents’ house. And the day after she died.

Axel Abela Dingli wrote:

I lost my grandma. Her name was Mary. She died when I was six but they were the best years of my life. We used to go shopping together, go to my grandpa’s farm together and we used to spend a lot of time on the couch watching TV together. But when she was eighty-three she went to the hospital. At the time I didn’t know what was going on. The a few days later she died in the middle of the night while sleeping.

Kayden Hayman wrote:

Yes I have actually lost my grand grand mother [sic]. She was ninety-one years old when she died. She had brown hair, blue eyes, she was a s tall as a giraffe and really thin. She died because she had lung cancer and her heart was beating really slowly. The day she died she was going to do an operation to try and stay alive but unfortunately she passed away while she was doing the first operation. Actually she needed to do two operations, one for her hearth [sic] and another for her lungs. So that was someone who I lost. Hopefully you enjoyed reading this paragraph. Have you lost someone dear to you?

Comment: The use of short sentences, bare facts and the absence of melodrama give these three passages a poignant, genuine feel. The reader can empathise with these writers, especially because they share little details of the ones they loved and lost: a puppy smaller than Julienne’s palms; going shopping and to the farm with Axel’s grandma; Kayden’s grandma, as tall as a giraffe and really thin. This is deceptively simple, extremely effective writing.

 

Zaiden Formosa wrote:

Fortunetly [sic] I haven’t lost a lot of people in my life. But I’ve lost a very lovable and kind person, my uncle. My uncle was young when he died at 36 years old[sic]. His name was Christian. Christian was respected by everyone because he always showed respect and kindness to other people. He died tragically and unexpectedly. He had a very bad stomach ache and went to hospital. After two days he was found dead. The whole family was in disbelief. He died without saying goodbye but luckily I still have some memories of him. I remember a big scary dog was chasing me along the road and if it weren’t [sic] for him I would either be dead or injured badly [sic]. Those moments were priceless but now he isn’t with us but even though he’s not here, I’m sure he’s looking over [sic] us.

Leah Said wrote:

During the 2020 summer I’ve lost [sic] my closest cousin. He was everything for me [sic], my best friend and my brother as well. He had a very bad disease called cancer. He didn’t know he had cancer at the time but his head started hurting very badly and he went for a check up at the hospital. Then he found out he had cancer. The doctors didn’t give him much time and they were right because he lasted 6 months. It was a horrible nightmare for my family. We all miss him badly.

Comment: Zaiden and Leah give a thumbnail portrait of a beloved uncle and cousin who both died young and in unexpected circumstances. Notice how they use words economically but effectively. Zaiden adds a little anecdote about how, if it hadn’t been for his uncle, he would have been badly injured by a dog. Good writing.

 

Shanice Farrugia wrote:

On the 18th of December 2019 I lost my closest [sic] grandfather. He was suffering from a medical [sic] disease in his lungs. He spent around 2 months in the hospital which means I spent two months not seeing him. He always told my dad that he loves me and to never forget him. Some days I used to stay up all night crying since I couldn’t see him.  He even needed a mask to breathe since he couldn’t breathe. Until one day, it was a Tuesday, I was in school. My father got a call from hospital telling him to go to the hospital quickly. My grandad was on his last breath. My dad arrived, and my grandad was saying his last words which were “I love you and your family” then he died. I cried all day about it and I will never forget him.

 

Mia Deguara wrote:

I remember when I was 8 I had this really special bracelet that my grandma had given me. It had so many beautiful charms. I used to take it everywhere with me. One day I forgot to take it off before I went to play. I kept on feeling my wrist to make sure it was still there. But when I was in the car going home I noticed that it had slipped off my hand. My heart sank. I was looking everywhere. I told my dad that we have [sic] to go back and look for it immediately. When we arrived back at the park I looked everywhere for it. My dad suggested we go ask the lady that was cleaning up. I asked her and luckily, she had found it. She said a little girl found it and gave it to her. I was on cloud nine!

Comment: Mia’s and Shanice’s work is characterised by a focus on emotion; in Shanice’s case it is a sad experience and in Mia’s it begins with fear and distress but ends well. Notice how they employ short, sharp sentences that evoke the heartbeat of a frightened person. Words are always important, but the structure and length of a sentence helps to emphasise meaning.

Martina Clark asked if she could write her piece in Maltese. Here is what she wrote:

F’ħajti tlift ħafna oġġetti imma l-iktar oġġett li kien għażiż għalija kien il-kelb Tico. Tico miet xahrejn ilu għax tajritu karozza. Hu kien ta’ lewn kannella u kien kelb tal-but. Tico miet meta kellu biss tmien xhur. Hu kien kemmxejn għażżien imma kien iħobb jilgħab bil-ballun. Aħna konna gibnih meta kellu xahrejn. Il-familja tiegħi kienet mistgħaġba bil-mewt tiegħu għax il-ġirien qalulna li kien ittajjar. Aħna imbgħad ħadnieh għand il-veterinarju u qalilna li mejjet. Jien dejjem ħa nibqa niftakru għax kien veru għażiż għalija.

Kumment: Martina kitbet silta vera sabiħa. Hi taf tħaddem il-lingwa sew u ħarġet id-diqa li ħassew hi u l-familja taghħa għat-telfa tal-kelb tal-but Tico. Ta’ min jinnota  d-dettalji: li kien kannella, għażżien u li kien iħobb jilgħab bil-ballun -  li jagħtu l-ħajja lil dan il-kelb, biex hekk jibqa’ jgħix għal dejjem fil-memorja tagħna. Għax wara kollox għalhekk niktbu u nikkomunikaw: biex dak li nitilfu ma jintilifx għal kollox.

Following the success of our Creative Writing Pilot Project, we opened the competition to all the Middle School students.

Each class was given a set of three titles to choose one. The sets of titles were different for each class.

Here are the titles given to each Year group:

7 Yellow:

  1. If I could breathe underwater...
  2. The best gift I have ever given.
  3. What do you think life will be like in 500 years’ time.

7 Green:

  1. A day in the life of an ambulance.
  2. My earliest memories.
  3. What would you do if you won ten thousand euro?

8 Yellow:

  1. I live in an undersea colony.
  2. The time I got a big fright.
  3. Do you think there is life on other planets? What do you think alien life-forms might look like?

8 Green:

  1. If I were invisible.
  2. Promises are made to be broken.
  3. I live in a haunted house.

We have reproduced their work, errors and all to show that even if there are errors, there may be other elements that are very good. Errors are followed by this: [sic]

Federica Vella Bencini wrote:

It was a cold, bitter night in February. We were celebrating my mother’s birthday and it was time for her gift. Little did she know that there was a life-changing surprise awaiting her. She frantically tore the wrapping and opened the box. In front of her was a tennis ball. She pretended to act happy, but we knew she wasn’t. She said ‘thank you’ in a low-pitched voice but to her surprise she heard a bark. And that’s when she realized a puppy was going to bounce into her life. She was so happy that she went speechless. That was the best gift that I have ever given.

Comment: What wonderful writing! Federica uses evocative words that make us really see her story like a film in our heads: the cold, bitter night, then we move indoors where it’s warm. The tension: there is a surprise coming: she frantically tears the wrapping – but then the let-down: a tennis ball? Really? And finally, the shock of joy: a puppy that ‘bounces’ (lovely word!) into their lives. This is writing at its best.

Zac Borg wrote:

Last year on my mum’s birthday I gave the best gift I have ever given. This gift is a gift that no one thinks about giving on his mum’s birthday. So the gift that I gave my mum was love. I know that some people think that this is not a present but for me it’s the best present that anyone can give. I also gave my mum another present and it was that I let her rest and do anything she wanted while I did the things that she does usually example [sic] make food, wash the dishes, do the chores and more. I have to tell you that this was her favourite birthday present ever.

Comment: It’s wonderful when a writer takes a different, original angle. Zac shows he has thought hard about the nature of gifts, what it means to give a gift, what makes a gift valuable. This is a thoughtful disquisition on the nature of gift-giving.

Jeremy Mark Gatt wrote:

Being a scientist, I am full of life experiences, some of which are really memorable, while others not so much. I have given a lot of physical gifts in my life, but I believe that pursuing my profession has helped me provide the best gift of all. During the Covid 19 pandemic, along with my colleagues, I worked long hours to give the human race the best gift it deserves: the vaccine against the deadly coronavirus is the greatest gift of all that I could provide to save our generation and future ones from this harsh pandemic. I believe that presently there could be no greater gift than this novel vaccine against this new enemy: the microscopic coronavirus.

Comment: If you want to learn how to write well cast an eye over Jeremy’s work. His facility with the language is a joy to read. Appreciate the elegance of his turn of phrase: this paragraph contains the seeds of a good novel. Well done indeed!

Aimee Zammit wrote:

One of my earliest memories is when I was around the age of five. My grandpa had a small field in front of his house. Me and my cousin [sic] would spend hours running and jumping in the green, fresh grass [sic], playing Hide and Seek or picking beautiful flowers to give to our grandma. Now instead of my grandpa’s field there is a block of flats. I miss [sic] this wonderful memory and me and my cousin [sic] don’t spend much time together any more. Now, whenever we pass by this block of flats I always shed a tear.

Comment: Notice how Aimee creates a contrast between the joy of playing in the field with her cousin, and the regret she feels that the theatre of her memories is now taken up by a block of flats. Super writing.

Andreas Buhagiar wrote:

If I would win [sic] €10,000 I would be in shock. I would not want to spend it right away because I would want to use the money wisely. Firstly, I would buy a Golden Retriever because it is my dream dog. Part of the money I would save it [sic] for the future. Another dream that I have is to set up my very own gaming room at home, so I would need some money for that. The rest of the money would be donated to animal sanctuaries as I want to help animals in need.

Andreas Grixti wrote:

If I have the chance to win ten thousand euros I will be extremely happy as I never won [sic] such a big [sic] amount of money. One thing I would surely do is to donate one thousand euros to poor and sick people. Then I will save four thousand in my bank account for future use. With the rest of the money I will ask my parents for a new bedroom, to change the furniture, curtains, lamp and wall paper. I will also think of my family and buy them some presents or maybe go out for dinner. Since at the moment we cannot travel because of the pandemic I will plan to spend the rest of the money with my family in our sister island Gozo, at a luxurious farm house.

Oliver Farrin-Thorne wrote:

If I won ten thousand euros, I would donate half of it to charity, a quarter of it to my parents, and the last quarter I would keep to myslf [sic]. With two thousand five hundred euros, I would buy a Lamborghini, a canoe, a new kitchen and a PS5. The biggest thing I would do with these two thousand five hundred euros would be going to Australia for a whole month! I would visit the Sydney Opera House, Bondi Beach, Fraser Island, Kangaroo Island, Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef. I would also explore all of Australia, and try find the top ten most dangerous animals native to Australia.

Nathan Degiorgio wrote:

If I ever win ten thousand euro I would be more than happy to give some money to my family and I would also give some to people in need. With the money left, which will be around three thousand euro I can buy a lot of things like the Playstation 5, a brand new computer and also a very modern smartphone. I can also save this money so that when I grow up i will have some money stored [sic] up. But let’s be truthful, I don’t think I will ever win ten thousand euro.

Comment: Andreas, Oliver and Nathan and the other Andreas all have some very creative ideas about what to do with ten thousand euro (although, Oliver, I don’t think it will quite stretch to a Lamborghini). Their writing stands out for the friendly tone of voice: it’s easy and chatty and informal – just right for this topic.

Yulya Anne Bonnici wrote:

My earliest memories that I remember are when I had my first day of kindergarten. I remember that we first had a picnic with all the class including the parents. Then the teacher called us into class and we watched a lot of videos about the alphabet. Another early memory that I remember is when my brother was born in 2014. I was sleeping at my grandma that day after school. When I arrived at my grandma’s we went straight to hospital. That’s a memory I won’t ever forget.

Comment: This is good, straightforward writing. Yulya lets you straight into her memories without getting in the way. It is interesting to see what sticks in the memory: a picnic on the first day of kindergarten. Those of us who have younger siblings can understand her when she says that the arrival of a new brother or sister is something she will never forget.

Sophia Allen wrote:

So it was Christmas Eve and I was out with my friend shopping for Christmas gifts when I realised I had forgotten to buy presents for my parents. How could I have forgotten the gifts of the most special people in the world? My friend and I scrambled from shop to shop looking for something. Anything. But everything was either too expensive or not for sale. I started to panic. It was a race against the clock. Until, there they were, in the window, matching bags that my parents had been wanting. So, without a second thought I bought them both. The next day I gave them the gift and they loved it. Such a hassle to get, but worth every penny.

Comment: Sophia successfully captures the frenetic pace of last-minute shopping and the relief and joy of finding the perfect gift at the last minute. She is articulate, uses just the right words and expressions (I scrambled from shop to shop). Notice how her sentences and phrases get shorter and shorter as she ratchets up the tension. A pleasure to read.

Daniel Mangion wrote:

In 500 years the world won’t be the only place where humans live. We will have made it to the point of space travel. However, on tis world there will be many things of interest. Flying cars become the norm and buildings will have new designs. Pollution won’t be an issue, for we will have solved it, as well as aging. Though many issues will be eliminated, other will rise. Progress leads the path to wars, stronger weapons will fall into the hands of the wrong people and that’s why parts of the world will be demolished. The benefits come with downsides but we must always look on the bright side.

Comment: Daniel has thought hard about the future, using our present as a model. He foresees space travel and the solution to issues which concern us now. He is realistic enough to know that it won’t be a utopia, but he is optimistic that man will ultimately fix his mistakes, even if he makes a few others along the way. Excellent idiomatic English.

Faith Anouk Cassar wrote:

On March 5th, 2018, an asteroid the size of Italy danced through space and hit our earth. The land was left in shambles, but the ocean remained untouched. The only survivors I know about became a colony and together, started to live in the sea thanks to the small city that the government had built in advance. We use machines to bring oxygen into our homes, and special suits for us to wear when we leave our houses. Although this sounds nuts it’s not as bad as it sounds. At least for me, because I was born in the ocean city, so this is all I know. We mainly eat sea food, but once in a blue moon, our never-before-seen factories provide food like pasta and pizza. My dream is to one day be able to live on land, but my colony says that my dream is light years away. What do you think?

Comment: Faith’s chosen title was ‘I live in an undersea colony’. She has the gift of leaving her readers wanting more. I would love to know more about this ocean city where she was born. I imagine the night illuminated by phosphorescent jellyfish, sharks sculling past the windows of their homes and the silence of the night punctured by the eerie sound of whalesong... 

Emma Montebello wrote:

It was Sunday morning and I woke up and went down for breakfast. I was pouring cereal and then I started to feel the ground shaking. I was alone at that time and I knew that I had to take cover under the table. The shaking got much faster and everything was starting to fall down. The chandelier, picture frames and glass started to break. I was petrified! After about three minutes, the earthquake stopped. The house was a mess. I didn’t dare to go out from under the table. The rescue team came for me about half an hour later and they told me that my dad was badly injured! I was so sad, and that was the day i got a big fright.

Yana Cachia wrote:

Life on another planet must be calmer, more peaceful, eccentrically coloured and hot. I imagine myself living for a few days on anothr planet. The time difference must be more than 24 hours. A tiny, unrecognisable and flexible alien travels and operates through space craft and robots on his own planet. His day is longer than ours since his planet rotates a bit more to cover the whole day. He floats if he is eating, sleeping or having a bath. He drinks from the soil which has a large percentage of water. He produces crops for his daily intake. There is no atmospheric pressure, so the flexible, confusing alien wears a space suit that covers him from head to toe and keeps him warm. He lives a magical existence on his planet. I wish to behis companion for a few days but this will always be a dream.

Comment: Yana tackles a difficult topic with skill and imagination. She draws on her knowledge of physical geography and science to conjure up for us a completely believable alien life form whose life is controlled, as is ours, by the dimension, spin, gravity, atmosphere and physical features of his planet. Very well thought out.

Emily Abela wrote:

I have always been taught to keep my promises and to never break them, but that is a lie. You should break your promises and do what is best for you. If your friend promises to be your best friend forever but they turn out to be toxic, you should break that promise. Some of the promises we make are scandalous and unholy so why shouldn’t we break them? You should also not trust or make promises to anyone you meet because sometimes promises can lead to dreadful things you don’t want to do. People change and what is important now may change value in the future so there are circumstances where making a promise if more good than bad. My point is promises are made to be broken.

Comment: Emily’s argument in defense of the right to break a promise is simply breath-taking. She hits the reader right between the eyes with her first statement, and follows it up with several body blows that demolish our conventional idea of keeping promises. She is both passionate and articulate. Beautifully written!

Karlise Bartolo wrote:

If by some magic one day I became invisible I would change the world to make it a better place. I have always had an idea of how the world should truly be. Being an invisible girl would make my dreams come true. I would do many things I cannot do when I am visible. Being invisible will give me the freedom to do anything and go anywhere and see everything without anyone noticing me. Being invisible would give me the perfect opportunity to meet all the world’s celebrities without anyone noticing my presence among them. I would visit all the famous places in the world and see all the wonders of the world. I would enjoy being free like a delighted bird. Even though most people would think of playing pranks on their friends, I would use this opportunity wisely by saving our wildlife. I would monitor the rainforests and prevent poachers from killing endangered animals or cutting down trees. I would scare them away and make them believe I am a ghost. Since people are scared of ghosts I am sure they would not continue this illegal behaviour. I would protect animals by ensuring that I guide them to the right path where they can easily access food and water.

Comment: Another thoughtful piece. Karlise contemplates for a moment the possibility of playing pranks but she realizes that the implications – and advantages – of being invisible are too great to be frittered away. Read this and appreciate her command of English idiomatic expression and her advanced vocabulary. A pleasure to read.

Jamie Schembri wrote a poem in quatrains:

If I were invisible

If I were invisible

Oh friends, you must be aware

I’m right behind you

Ready to give you a scare

 

Have you been waiting in the queue

For a cinema ticket?

I just came in now

And stole it in a minute.

Am I to your right?

Am I up a tree?

Look, Look, Look

Oh, you can’t see me!

 

How are you doing in your test?

I sat up and there I stand

Looking carefuly at people’s answers.

Now I understand!

I could be so sly

Like a silent cheetah

Ready to attack

Oh sorry, stole your margherita

Playing Hide and Seek,

That must surely be a breeze,

One thing that’s clear is...

You will not find me with ease!

Comment: What we like about this poem, apart from its subject matter, is how Jamie manages to incorporate many of the literary devices taught during the English lessons. He employs rhetorical questions (How are you doing in your test?), simile (sly like a silent cheetah), and alliteration (sorry, stole...). Writing poetry that encapsulates ideas within rigid parameters is not an easy job: extremely well done!