With a talent and passion for the written word, Megan Southon, a Year 9 student from Tweed Valley Seventh-day Adventist College (TVAC) in NSW, was recently awarded the Australian Christian Teen Writer Award for 2021 for her composition Daisies in Winter.
“I was elated, but I’m still trying to comprehend exactly what it means!” she says.
Her story about a young woman named Daisy who writes poetry to escape crippling social anxiety impressed the judges, who described it as a “mature and thoughtful story [that] explores the internal dialogue of an adolescent on a courageous journey of self-acceptance. In Daisies in Winter, the struggle and the triumph is learning to reach out to God on a daily basis, even when all you can say is, ‘God, why am I like this?'”
Megan says that her story is “very much inspired by [her] own journey and struggles”, and that she is proud of herself for making the effort to write it down.
“Both the school chaplain at TVAC and my English teacher told me about the writing competition within 10 minutes of each other, so that was inspiring in and of itself!” she explains. “I always have ideas in my head, but they never seem to be as wonderful on paper. This story was quite the opposite, and I was rather happy about that!”
Although unsure whether she can turn Daisies in Winter into a book, Megan says she is currently working on a novel that she hopes to submit to a publisher by the end of the year.
“I would love to pursue writing as my career. Not sure exactly what that means yet, though!” she confesses. “But I will continue to draw from my own experience when writing.”
Attending Murwillumbah Adventist Church (NSW) with her family, Megan says that her writing practice helps her communicate with and understand God.
“I’m not too good at expressing my emotions verbally, but writing really helps me talk to God. It’s a way for me to tell Him what’s happening in my life, and also understand what He wants for me. When I write down my struggles and my joys, I feel especially close to God. I think each individual connects and feels close to God in different ways, and this is mine.”
You can listen to Megan reading an excerpt of her story here.