Mary Poppins Literary Comp 2023 – Literary Winners YR 3-6

Article | Issue: Jan 2024

The Annual Mary Poppins Literary Competition for young writers and poets was established to commemorate the writer P L Travers (the creator of Mary Poppins) who was born in Maryborough, Qld.

Over the years enthusiastic young writers from across the region have showcased their creative talents via this competition.

Congratulations to the Years 3-6 winners of the Short Story category!



Short Story Winners Years 3-4
1st Place, Archer Lorenz-Stockdale


Once upon a time, in the quaint town of Maryborough, Queensland, the buildings were alive. They had hearts that pumped with life and souls that whispered secrets to each other in the dead of night. The old post office in the town centre was the most majestic of them all. Its walls were adorned with intricate carvings and its grand clock tower could be seen from miles away.

The buildings of Maryborough had a long and rich history. They had seen the town grow from a small settlement to a bustling hub of activity. They had seen wars and peace, joy and sorrow, love and heartbreak. And they had always stood strong, watching over the town and its people.

But one day, a dark cloud descended upon Maryborough. A group of developers arrived, armed with bulldozers and blueprints. They had come to tear down the old buildings and replace them with modern structures. The buildings trembled with fear, knowing that their time was up.

But the people of Maryborough were not willing to let go of their beloved buildings. They rallied together, protesting and picketing outside the construction site. And slowly but surely, the developers began to listen. They saw the passion and love that the people had for their town and its history, and they realized that tearing down the old buildings would be a mistake.

And so, the buildings of Maryborough were saved. They continued to stand tall and proud, watching over the town and its people. And every night, as the town fell silent, the buildings whispered their secrets to each other once more, grateful for the love and dedication of the people who had fought to save them.


2nd Place, Oscar Chambers


Once, a boy who lived in Egypt, saw a blue, glimmering light, that shone down from his window. So, he quickly grabbed his camera and his dad’s tools, he was ready to explore the Tomb of the Pharaohs, that is haunted.

As he crept up to the Tomb of the Pharaohs, he opened the gloomy, dark stone door. He saw something that he couldn’t believe, it was a tomb of gold, with two stone statues sitting there like cats. Also, all around the room there was golden staters (ancient money). As he kept going, he found an old stone sarcophagus with gold painting inside.

Sneakily, he opened the sarcophagus with a crowbar. The mummy quietly stretched out its arms, as Jack backed away as he screamed for help, then as he got taken into the sarcophagus with the ancient mummy it said to him, ‘I am Tutankhamun and you have been chosen.’

The next moment he was in ancient Egypt. Excitedly, he looked around and said to himself, ‘Yes, my plan worked, I’m going to bring Tutankhamun back to the modern world.’ He felt in his pocket for medicine, immediately he gave it to the mummy. The sarcophagus began to glow red, and the hieroglyphics counted back five to one. There was a flash, a boom, they went faster than the speed of light. Then everything stopped and we were back in the modern world. My adventure with Tutankhamun had just begun!


3rd Place, Valentina Valdivia


The super strong Gindaja, a flightless bird, living in the Daintree Rainforest, puts up a fight every day, for its habitat. Gindaja and many of her friends are listed as endangered, this means there is not many of them around. It is extremely sad, that every second of everyday, trees are knocked down around Gindaja and the animals feel scared and worried, without their trees and rivers, where will they go?

Yesterday, when Gindaja, was sitting by the billabong a Durrgim Yuri, also known as the Musky Rat Kangaroo, called for help! He said that Poong-goong, the flying glider had fallen from a tree, as the bulldozers tore through the canopy. Poong-goong was knocked out and time was ticking. Gindaja, had to save Poong-goong from the bulldozers, she had grabbed it by the tail and trees were falling around them, they are lucky to be alive today!

This got Gindaja thinking, how can she protect her friends from the falling trees? She thought of her own helmet, the strong casque that sits on the top of her head and came up with an idea! Gindaja walked along the beach and collected some coconuts. She pecked at the shells until they cracked and created some helmets, for her friends. At the end of day, they gathered by the billabong to work on a plan to save the trees! They became the super gang, the Habitat Heroes! To be continued …


Highly Commended, Indiana Bounsall


‘Wow that was a big jump!’ yelled Percy to his younger brother Phil as they leaped from stump to stump in the forest behind their house.

Percy was filled with admiration and wishing to jump just as well as Phil, he launched himself into the air. Whether it was the pressure of the two boys or just luck we will never know, but as soon as Percy’s foot touched the stump, the bottom fell out from under them.

Down, down, darkness closed around the boys and soon the tiny speck of light far above disappeared as they turned a corner on their helpless descent. Phil was screaming loudly, and Percy was gaping like a codfish out of terror. Suddenly they landed in a most unusual place, upon the back of a chocolate butterfly.

Now they both gaped in wonder. The trees were giant lollipops, there was a castle with jellybean bricks and the lake was lemonade. The butterfly landed gently on a ginormous flower to sip the nectar. Percy and Phil jumped off to lick the trunks of the lollipop trees as any child would.

They passed through cupcake mountains and fizzing waterfalls until finally they came to the edge of a cliff. Peering down far below, they saw a trampoline with a target on it and they knew what they had to do. The boys leaped and landed on the trampoline. They were launched high enough into the air to exit through the stump. Phil and Percy visited often after that and there are many stories about their adventures.


Highly Commended, Myles O’Gorman 


I found myself on a platform with million names around it but two names stood out.  I picked one and was magically teleported to an entrance hallway where two dragons stood guard.  I somehow managed to get past them and found a room with a sign saying Throne Room.  I slowly pushed the doors open and with a ‘thud’ I fell onto the ground.

‘What do you want?’ questioned the King.

‘I want peace, I want you to stop attacking my village. We are a village of peace, a village of harmony not a village of war.  Why do you keep attacking my people? When I become mayor I promised my village that I wouldn’t let anything hurt them but I’ve failed.’

‘Okay I’ll tell you, because I’m not happy with your hunter.  He’s been attacking us relentlessly until I’d had enough so started attacking you.’

‘Alfie,’ I muttered.

‘He and his troops attacked me for months and months.’

‘Okay I’ll stop him, and then can we live in peace, please?’

The Dragon King didn’t want to agree. He was getting really stubborn, so was I.  We were there for a while.  Finally, he said, ‘Fine just get out of here before I change my mind!’

Several years later I was sitting in my house thinking about what the Dragon King was doing then.  Now being an old man looking back on my memories, it’s astonishing how I did things like saving my village from the Dragon King.


Short Story Winners Years 5-6


1st Place, Violet Jordaan


Long ago in a Dinosaur Jungle, there was a triceratops herd. In this herd was a mother who had four sons and two daughters. One of her sons were born very small compared to the others. He was small, but he always had many ideas. His name was Freddy.

Years later, they all grew into big triceratopses and the smallest of them all were now the biggest of them all. They didn’t call him Freddy anymore; they simply called him Fred.

Their herd had a problem – the T-Rexes. They would pest them everywhere they went.

‘How I wish they would just go away! We haven’t slept properly in weeks!”’ Fred’s mother cried.

Fred had an idea.

‘Let’s go to the Fruit Jungle.’

‘Are you crazy? It’s hundreds of miles away and a very dangerous journey!’ said his mother. ‘There are no T-Rexes. I’ve heard it said that the T-Rexes can’t stand the smell of the fruit.’ Fred interrupted. With that they thought that Fred’s idea wasn’t a bad idea after all and started to prepare for the journey.

Their journey started – through the mountains, over the hills, through the dry and scorching hot deserts, over icy lakes and crossing many rivers on their way. They stopped to finally take a little break before they had to cross another river. As Fred bent down he saw dead fish in the water and bones at the bottom of the river.

‘Something is not right …’ he whispered.

‘We need to …’ he was interrupted by something that ran past them very quickly.

‘RUN!’ he shouted to his family. ‘It’s the T-Rexes!’

Just as they wanted to run, more T-Rexes jumped out in front of them.

‘What shall we do?’ cried his mother.

Fred looked around them and saw they were surrounded. ‘I have an idea …’ he said.

‘This is not the time for another one of your ideas, Fred!’ whispered his sister.

‘We’ll have to fight them!’ Fred insisted.

‘Fight them? Are you crazy? They will eat us for dinner!’

‘There is no other way.’ Looking around, they realised that it was true, the only way through was to fight. So they fought.

Fred stormed through the herd of T-Rexes, punching them with his head, trying to distract them from his family. He fought with all his might till every last T-Rex was laying, knocked out, on the ground. As the last one of them dropped to the ground, he looked around to see where his family was, but before he could see, he also dropped to ground – bruised and beaten.

Fred tried to open his eyes. He felt the warmth of the sun on his face. He felt the cool breeze of the morning on his skin. As he opened his eyes, he saw that he was inside the Fruit Jungle. ‘How did I get here?’ he said softly, still in pain from three days ago.

‘Well, we carried you.’ He heard his mother say behind him.

‘Mum!’ he cried out in relief. His whole family was there.

‘You did a good thing yesterday, Freddy. You saved us all. Always share your ideas my boy, you never know which ones will be great.’


2nd Place, Abigail Piper


‘This is it, everything I have ever wanted, our freedom lies here.’ Ivy breathed as she neared the icy, bleak cavern. Ivy had a purpose, to find the magical emerald key which would free her village from the ice barrier surrounding it. Legends had told of the key being hidden deep in this cave, with stories of monsters lurking inside. She was told like other children of Larks-Ville that a magical barricade was summoned around the village for ‘safety reasons’ in the early days but Ivy suspected that this wasn’t true. The barricade kept them isolated from the outside world, and in time had spread like a parasite around all living things including the crops that supplied the village’s sources of food.

Once Ivy entered the cave, she felt a glacial blast gush into her face. Her footsteps echoed throughout the cavern. Frosted stalagmites and stalactites glistened like diamonds in the sky. Piles of white fluffy snow lined the narrow pathway. Ivy could feel icicles grazing against her shivering leg like knives. The caverns gleaming walls reflected on the thin sheet of ice that she stood on. Eventually her legs had an aching tinge. She knew there was no turning back now. Afterall, she had come way too far. She jaunted onwards through the gleaming tunnel as dusk was beginning to fall upon her. Precious time was ticking.

When the last sliver of sunlight disappeared, Ivy had no choice but to carry on. She felt like the cavern grew narrower and narrower with every step she took as the icicles battered her legs like glowing dew-bugs nibbling on her ankles back in the village. She stopped for a second and slumped on the cold sleet of ice. A droplet of freezing water ricocheted down her back like icy fingers. Suddenly, a deep crack split through the icy ground. Ivy stood up as havoc propelled through the cavern. She quickly bolted to a wall and gripped onto a sharp stalactite for dear life. Her hand slipped off the icicle and launched her below the surface.

She screamed in panic as she spun through mid-air. Suddenly Ivy noticed a barbed stalagmite right in her landing spot. The icicle stabbed into her leg deeply. ‘Ow!’ She screamed in agony, her voice echoed through the cave. She took a sharp chilly inhale and tried to stand up. It wasn’t exactly easy to walk with a deep painful gash in your leg. Ivy staggered edgily onwards but couldn’t stay up for a long time.

She felt a cold breath on her neck coming from the darkness behind of her. As she swivelled her head around, a strange figure had emerged from a large puddle of black tar. ‘I’ve been expecting a visitor for an entire millennium, but you’ll never take my emerald key!!’ It croaked in a deep voice. The figure put a bony hand under her chin. Her eyes bulged in fear as the cavern went dark. Was she ever going to get out?


3rd Place, Blake Champney


‘Argh!’ I scream in horror. I desperately push through the viridescent vegetation to scramble away from the accumulation of zombies. So, how did I get here, you may ask? Well, it all started a few days ago …

An intelligent scientist named George Seymour had produced a cure for cancer by experimenting with different chemicals. Or that’s what he thinks. But he’s actually manufactured a zombie concoction. The next day, he tested the ‘antidote’ on a resident in hospital with a terminal illness. But soon, the occupant started acting anomalously. She started dribbling from the mouth and moving uncontrollably in random directions. Then, unexpectedly, the infected lady bit the nurse’s arm, and she had the same movements too.

After that, it spread like a knife on a piece of bread to the whole of Hervey Bay. It’s been 3 days since then. That’s how this calamitous apocalypse has begun. At the moment, residents are desperately trampling over each other to evacuate Hervey Bay. The sights abhorrent; guts, organs and blood bursting at me. I see a car. I sigh in relief, but it’s like the zombies are omniscient. As I run expeditiously towards the nearby car, I suddenly identify a refulgent key on the bonnet. But the zombies are catching up to me, even though I’m bolting like the world’s fastest man. I instantaneously grab the key from the hood of the unsanitary car. I frightenedly spring into the car as I barely manage to shut the door. I insert the key hurriedly into the ignition and I barely escape the nail-biting situation.

‘Phew’, I exhale, looking into the mirror to see the zombies are out of sight. I am petrified. I suddenly come to the realisation that there’s barely any individuals left in Hervey Bay. I feel faint. The fluorescent light amplifies the nauseous feeling in my stomach as I accelerate in speed. But unexpectedly, an umbrageous tree fell beneath my eyes, before I come to a screeching halt. I have no choice but to exit my car. Even though I’m exhausted, I still walk through the road, with the scintillating sun incandescing me. I walk for a while, although I identify a structure within a bunch of trees in the distance. I advance towards the Brobdingnagian building and notice that it’s an abandoned hospital. I open the door and enter the ominous hospital.

I look back at the entrance to close the door, but I see a horde of zombies approaching the hospital. ‘I can’t turn back now’ I say to myself, as I bolt like a streak of lightning down the corridor. The zombies are groaning and gaining on me, and at this point, I think it’s the end of the road for me. I escalate in speed, and I turn into a room on the left. I narrowly escape the grasp of the zombie’s hands as I turn the lock the door in a flash. I desperately scamper into a diminutive hiding spot. It is the end for me. Or is it?

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See the 2022 winning entries here



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