Friday, 19 November 2010

Sussex Catholic School Girl Wins Writer's Prize

Corinna Keefe (right) celebrates her Catholic Young Writer Award
ahead of choir practice
On Wednesday 17th November, A Level student Corinna Keefe of St Leonards-Mayfield School was presented with the prestigious Catholic Young Writer Award for 2010 at a ceremony hosted in St Mary Moorfields Church in London.

Sponsored by the Catholic Union and The Keys, the Catholic Writers’ Guild of England and Wales, the award is open to all young Roman Catholics aged 11 to 18 years, and to all pupils at Roman Catholic secondary schools. This year, to mark the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman, and the visit to Britain of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, entrants were invited to write something in poetry or prose expressing, ‘Newman’s quest for truth’.

Despite her many school commitments, Corinna found the time to compose a poem on Newman which the judges described as, ‘very graceful and touching and a clear winner of the Award.’

To seek a shaft of sun amid a grubby world
I followed turns which turned again
On maps stained with a million paths –
I ended lost in smoke and glass.
In fog, in shades of bitter dark.
My soul passed, prayed for honest wings
To strive for wonder in the sky.
Soft feathers fell and veiled my eyes –
At last I must be still and watch
The little lights of glowing souls.
Beneath the grime there shines a good and faithful God.

Corinna Keefe commented: ‘‘I was very honoured to win the award – I got the letter on the same day as my AS results, which was a lovely surprise! It was an exciting competition to take part in, especially since this is the year for Cardinal Newman’s beatification.’’

Joanna Bogle from The Keys Award Committee commented: “We chose a Newman theme for this year's Award, to link with the great events of his beatification and the Papal Visit. It offered young people a chance to think quite deeply and to reflect on the message of John Henry Newman's life – Corinna's poem showed that she had done this and it was a clear winner among all the entries."”

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