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Look who had the write stuff in 2020

By the end of February 2020, smoke haze from the most devastating bushfire season on record was starting to fade out into the atmosphere.

But just as we started to exhale (and inhale again without choking), a new uncertainty careened into our lives – COVD-19.

Then came a tsunami of words and phrases that had either previously come from the realms of either period fiction like “quarantine”, “pandemic” and “home schooling” or science fiction like “lockdown”, “social distancing” and “toilet paper shortage”.

For many weeks, the team at Write a Book in a Day weren’t sure how the beloved annual competition could continue but knew that with determination and a few tweaks to the format, loyal participants would be only too eager to make it a huge success.

And they did.

The 2020 Write a Book in a Day competition raised an all-time high of $537,000 for childhood cancer research through The Kids’ Cancer Project

Stats amazing!

It was another huge year of for the Write a Book in a Day competition
• 7,638 team members
• 1,007 teams
• 378 schools and groups

Special shout-out to schools who entered 15 or more teams
• Brighton Secondary School, SA – 30 teams
• Shenton College, WA – 27 teams
• St Mary Mackillop, ACT – 21 teams
• Barker College, NSW – 19 teams
• Perth Modern, WA – 18 teams
• Presbyterian Ladies College, WA – 17 teams
• Hunter School Performing Arts, NSW – 16 teams

Fun facts

Most remote school: Christmas Island District High School. Christmas Island is in the Indian Ocean, around 1,550 kilometres north-west of the closest point on the Australian mainland.

Lockdown lions: Box Hill High School, Victoria. Seven teams completed the competition during the Victorian lockdown with one going into the winners’ circle (discover all the winning books below).

Top fundraisers

With thanks to Facilities First Australia the following individuals and teams have won JB Hi-Fi gift cards.

Top Individual Fundraisers

  1. Bella B, ‘The Idiots That Can’t Write’, Somerset College, Qld, $4,405
  2. Donna K, ‘Year 10 Orange Team 1’, OneSchool Global – Orange Campus, NSW, $4,375
  3. Gabriel L, ‘!MAG!NAT!ON’, Carey Baptist College Primary, Harrisdale, WA, $3,705

Top Team Fundraisers

  1. ‘Illawarra 1’, OneSchool Global – Sydney Campus, NSW, $11,480
  2. ‘Year 10 Orange Team 1’, OneSchool Global – Orange Campus, NSW, $9,205
  3. ‘Writers Delight’, Pymble Ladies’ College Junior School, Pymble, NSW, $6,471

Prize Draw Winner

  1. ‘TCC Year 6’, Toongabbie Christian College, NSW, $611

Best books

The Kids’ Cancer Project Write a Book in a Day team thank all participants for the huge variety of incredible stories that were submitted for children to read in hospitals all around Australia. You did not make it easy on our esteemed judging panel this year whom we thank wholeheartedly for volunteering their time and expertise.

And last but by no means least, our sincere thanks go to the huge army of readers who read, review and rank every book – without them, we wouldn’t have a competition.

National awards

Primary School
Best Book , “A Gift from Tabernam” by The Penultimates, St Andrew’s Cathedral School, NSW
Best Illustration, “The Series of the Unwanted Gift Vol. 1” by Kings Pimpama Team 1, Kings Christian College,  QLD

Middle School 
Best Book, “Painted Paws” by GHS Diversity, Galston High School, NSW
Best Illustration, “Locked Behind Closed Doors by Always Write, Ballarat High School, VIC

Upper School
Best Book, “Legend of the Mage” by Book Busters 4.0, Abbotsleigh, NSW
Best Illustration, “Legend of the Mage” by Book Busters 4.0, Abbotsleigh, NSW

Best Book , “Chasing Rainbows” by Story Stringers,  SA
Best Illustration,  “The Ballad” by Hail and Well Met, WA

A further 52 awards were awarded by state, by division.