A HSC English Extension 2 major work makes final cut of Young Writers Showcase

The write stuff: Tiernan Cartwright with a copy of the anthology containing his work. Picture: Chris Lane
The write stuff: Tiernan Cartwright with a copy of the anthology containing his work. Picture: Chris Lane

A former Caringbah High School student has become a published author after his work was included in the annual Young Writers Showcase.

Tiernan Cartwright, 18, of Como, is one of just 18 outstanding 2019 HSC English students whose major work was chosen to be included in the anthology.

It is produced by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) each year to showcase some of the talented English Extension 2 students from the previous year's HSC.

This year's anthology contains a broad selection of highest-scoring major works presented by students in the English Extension 2 course for the 2019 HSC, including short stories, poems, critical responses and scripts.

The students also provided authors' notes for each item to capture a reflection of the creative process of developing an initial concept into an accomplished literary work, which is particularly useful for students looking to create their own major works.

Mr Cartwright produced a critical response - similar to an essay - on the topic of magical realist novels.

He became interested in the literary genre after attending a workshop about English Extension 2 major work topics.

He said it took about six months to complete his major work, which included both the critical response and a reflections statement. During that time, he completed a number of drafts and sought feedback from his English teachers.

He received a mark of 47 out of 50, and earned a spot on the HSC distinguished achievers list.

Mr Cartwright was advised at the start of the year that his work had been shortlisted for the Young Writers Showcase but only found out recently he had made the final cut, and was thrilled by the inclusion.

"Lots of schools have copies of the Young Writers Showcase so the students can read them and prepare for doing their own major work," he said.

"So I have read a few of them. I thought it would be nice if it got in there.

"It was on my bucket list to be published one day. I did not think it would happen so early. It feels great."

Mr Cartwright is now studying maths and statistics at Sydney University but has not ruled out a return to writing one day.

NESA chief executive Paul Martin said it was an "extraordinary achievement" to be published as a young writer.

"These pieces of work not only showcase the students writing ability, but what the students know, how they perceive the world and what is important to them - revealing just how mature their outlook is," Mr Martin said.

"These 18 young writers from 17 schools across the state, have been selected from more than 1500 students who studied HSC English Extension 2 in 2019. It is wonderful to see them celebrated."

The anthology is available at the NESA shop To purchase a copy click here.