We are delighted to announce that Cecilia in Year 8 came first in the Rotary Club of Dorking’s  ‘ Young Writers’ Intermediate Competition as Overall Intermediate Winner of her age group and also prose winner.  Her entry on Dementia was described by assessors as ‘poignant’, ‘outstanding’, and ‘well crafted’.

Cecilia’s entry will now go on to compete at District level, with other winners from the 100 or so Rotary clubs in Surrey, Sussex and South London.  The judging will be completed during April and District winners will then pass to the RIBI Final, judged in early May.

Congratulations also go to Izzy and Olivia for achieving Runner-Up for their Prose entries.

Here is a copy of Cecilia’s very moving entry:


I walk over, my knees straining and trying not to buckle under me. I’m holding my cane so tight that my knuckles are turning white. I hate how much I have to rely on this stick of ebony wood that’s so elegantly carved into the shape of a majestic swan’s head and neck. I’m surprised that the swan’s neck hasn’t snapped clean off by now.

I look into the chipped old mirror that’s hidden nearly out of sight behind stacks and stacks of old books with coats of dust over them that are so thick that when I wipe my fingers across them, you still can’t see the cover. Plastered around the scratched chipped mirror are beautiful pictures that fill my feeble brain with happy old memories and leave my brain searching for some others.

I look down at my feet and count to three, preparing myself for the sight I might see. I move my head and eyes slowly upward towards my reflection. The sight that greets my eyes is shocking. I put my hand towards my face and feel the wrinkled creases that plaster it. I realise I am a shadow of my former self – only just alive, but better off dead. My frail hands start to shake vigorously and with a thud I fall to the ground. Tears start to roll fluently out of my large, droopy eyes and drip onto the cold, wooden floor.

I pick up my wedding photo from what seems like a century ago. I no longer associate the person in the photo with the person who I am today. I look beautiful, like a picture of grace and elegance. I squint my eyes so I can barely see and try and recognise the man in the suit beside me. I can hear the cogs turning round in my head. I don’t know a name and I don’t recognise a face, but there are too many things that I don’t recognise anymore for me to question it.

I scarcely hear a tap, tap, tap on my sturdy wooden door. I feebly whisper, ‘Come in’. The tapping gets louder. ‘Come in!’ I repeat, my voice straining to make a sound loud enough that even an elephant could hear. The door squeaks open and another unfamiliar faced person enters the cluttered, jumbled room. ‘Mum, what have you done?’ she inquires, a worried tone coming out in her voice. I don’t know who this woman is. I have never seen her in my life. I nod and shake my head as though I know what she is talking about, but I don’t have a clue. There is thought, tucked in the maze that’s inside my head, saying to me, don’t be pathetic, you know who this woman is. It’s on the tip of my tongue, I think, but no matter how hard I try, how much I think about it. I can’t ever remember. My treasured memories have all vanished.

By Cecilia, Year 8.