2019 Australian Christian Teen Writer Award
Lwendyl Anderson won Third Prize in the 2019 Australian Christian Teen Writer Award with her composition The Days and the Years.
This is what the judges had to say about The Days and the Years
A daughter of an asylum-seeker in detention struggles with the effects of separation from her father. The use of poetry to express emotion and prose to tell the story is effective. The writing is personal and haunting and the author displays a profound understanding of the way memory works.
An extract from The Days and the Years
As court case after court case came to a disappointing ending, as more and more refugees found themselves deported, they found themselves losing hope.
He stayed, for four more years, working one job and then another, overworked and underpaid, paying high rent for cramped, dirty and depressing lodgings.
He stayed and he saved and he sent home gifts: boxes so big he could have fit half of himself inside, which, in a way, was his aim. He lovingly packed the boxes with chocolates and toys for his daughter, jewellery and crockery and clothes for his wife. Over land and over sea the boxes would travel, passing through so many pairs of hands to arrive at the doorstep he used to know so well. And from that doorstep they would call him, and thank him for each gift. Gently unpacking each item he had packed weeks before was the closest they came to touching one another.
And it seemed to the girl that her father was fading away, and no matter how hard she tried to remember him, the distance between them was growing ever wider. How could a father stay away for so long?
In a lonely home
as the sounds and smells of frying roti filled the air,
a comforting replacement for the sun which was nowhere,
a mother and daughter offered up their prayer.
Together at the table
to the Lord they gave their plea:
“Let the third of our three
pass his journey safely over land and over sea.”