The book is worth reading for Tim Winton's foreword alone — an inspiring celebration of the power and importance of storytelling. As he so rightly points out: 'Civilised life requires enormous imaginative effort, for how else can we live a civil, moral existence unless we empathise with others and imagine what their lives and problems and dreams might be?'
The winning stories certainly illustrate his point time and again. From an unsettling insight into a future where everyone is 'equal' to glimpses of the turmoil experienced by a teenage heart when a relationship seems to be slipping away; from a poignant depiction of the toll drought can take on family and community in Australia's farmlands to explorations of different cultural customs and their influence on the younger generations; from fantasy to reality, and adventure to reflection — this collection has it all.
And while Tim Winton makes the point that the award has never been about identifying the great writers of the future, I'm hopeful that at least a few of the young writers featured here will make their mark on Australian literature in years to come.
Title: Hatched: Celebrating 20 Years of the Tim Winton Award for Young Writers
Publisher: Fremantle Press, $14.99 RRP
Publication Date: August 2013
For ages: 10–15
Type: Middle Fiction