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I remember when...

Whenever you are wondering what to write about, remember that you have many moments and memories that can become great poems and stories. You know the details but the trick is to relate the story in a way that others can engage with it too.


  • Pick a moment to start close to the main event

  • Weave the facts into your story

  • Draw attention to the key moments, feelings and ideas by adding extra sensory detail ( sights, feelings, sounds, smells...)

  • Cut out any waffle that you have in your first draft.

These memoir stories were written at the end of 2022 by then Year 7s at Westburn School. Each of the writers put a great effort into redrafting and polishing their stories so they are ready for you to read now.

Basketball Trials

Brodie R

I walked into the gym nervous, wondering if I would make the team or not. I saw all the other players and saw how good they were. I put my bag down and walked up to my friends who were very excited. The coach was talking and explaining what we will be doing.

I thought, what am I even doing here? There’s no chance I’ll make the team.

We were put into two teams, bibs and no bibs, of course I was on the bib team and the coach blew the whistle. We started with the ball and my teammates dribbled up the court. I was open at mid range and Reagan passed to me. I shot it and the ball bounced off the rim.

While I was running I had a thought of what my brother told me before I left, “If you want to make the team, you have got to pass a lot and get heaps of assists”

Tom stole the ball and dashed up to the paint. He passed back to me and I threw the ball to Levi who shot it and got it in and the sweet sound of the swish filled the court

A week later when I walked out of my classroom, I saw the players crowding around the Room 1 window. I squeezed my way to see what everyone was looking at. It was a list of who made the team. My name caught the corner of my eye. I was so happy to know I was in.

The Trek

Lola G

Demi kept chucking her head up and then lowering it down to eat. I kicked her behind her girth, and she went forward into a trot. I slowed her back into a walk so she didn’t overtake the girl in front of me. As soon as we entered a paddock, Demi went straight for the grass. The girl in front of me was so far ahead Demi had to trot to catch up.

Once we were settled in the paddock, my instructor asked if anyone wanted to go for a canter. I put my hand up. Everything was going fine, until Demi started throwing in some bucks. Although she was small her bucks were very powerful. I ended up going over her head and falling to the ground. Because she had nobody to control her, Demi kept on cantering right over my back.

My friend Claire was very quick to get off and check on me but I only noticed her once I opened my eyes and recovered. I had to get back on Demi because we were up the hill. I just stayed next to my instructor the whole way down so Demi behaved.

Once we were back at the yard, my friend Gracie lifted up my top because I had mentioned it hurt. “Lola you have a red hoof mark on your back” she told me.

I couldn’t believe it at first but once she took a picture of it I saw the hoof mark. I felt as if I needed to ask to ride someone else because I didn’t at all feel like riding Demi again. But I decided that I needed to persevere through it so I rode her for the rest of horse camp. She was a brat the whole time.

The Bees at Adventure Stream

Joana A

Last year in camp we did a lot of things like tree climbing, swimming and exploring, but there was one more event, Adventure Stream. It didn’t go as planned.

I crawled through the concrete pipe and banged my head hard. I was already off to a bad start. Then, as I climbed down the rock using the rope, I slipped and fell. I landed on a sharp and misshapen rock. Pain streamed down my body. My back ached and my hands were scratched. I couldn’t move, not even a smidge. Seeing me disturbed, my friend Ella helped me move. After a while, I started walking properly and I got ahead of Ella. There was a tall, skinny boy in front of us. It was Leo. He scrambled down a rock and bees swarmed beside him. Because he landed safely, I didn't think much of it. I climbed carefully down trying not to disturb the bees, but this one specific bee zoomed out, flew straight at me, and stung me on my left leg. I screamed with pain!

Ella came rushing with the teacher. Ella and Miss Pashkoski tried to calm me down and tried to distract me from the pain by talking. It didn’t work. The pain kept on stinging and stinging in that one spot. And my back still ached from the fall. I ended up going back to the campsite with my friend’s dad but on the hand made stairs, I slipped and banged my right leg. It was covered in mud.

I carried on with camp but I thought it was really weird that so many bad things had happened in one day!

Tornado Troubles

Zayed P

It was a dark stormy night, I was with my family in the red jeep my dad had rented. It was pitch black, the car’s headlights didn’t give much help with vision so we had to follow a semi truck with bright lights until we saw the parking lots at the rental car terminal. Engine noise echoed across the building. My dad parked the car and handed the key in.

We hopped in the elevator to get in the bus that takes us to the main airport terminal. The elevator was quiet until an ear breaking noise blasted out my dad’s phone. My dad quickly saw his phone to see what the notification was about. It said “WARNING! TORNADO 5KM AWAY.” We were horrified.

While we were on the bus we were anxiously thinking about the flight getting cancelled. We made it to the airport and frantically checked our flight’s status. The flight was cancelled!

We were hungry so we walked up to a restaurant and ordered some pancakes. A bus driver was nearby and she couldn’t afford her food. My mom offered to pay for her and she hesitated but agreed. We went over to the lounge and took a nap on some comfy chairs. I slept really bad. It was loud, what could I expect in America’s 3rd largest airport?

These stories were written by Westburn School students during a recent series of workshops with our tutor, Heather McQuillan. Thanks to the staff at Wesburn for facilitating these workshops.

(c) Write On and the Young Writers


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