Meet the Authors

Hello! Meet the authors from our first anthology

Who Has the Key to Lockdown

These are the new talents arrising in Australia. They won our first competition and have been incredibly patient while we assess all the entries, organise contracts and all the bits and pieces required for publication. Soon, on the 24th October, you will be able to see this masterpiece online and in stores.

Aathira Sampath

My name is Aathira Sampath and I am 9 years old. I am an immigrant from USA and was born in a city called Pittsburgh. I am of Indian heritage and I’d say I am a book worm. I love science and maths and I am also very musical, as I learn the piano, violin and singing. When I grow up I would like to be a Paediatrician, because I love little kids. I discovered my passion for writing last year, in year 2, when my teacher told me I had gotten the highest  grade in a writing assessment. I then started making my stories sizzle, moving up from the classic “Once Upon A Time”. In year 3, I got a Certificate for my writing from my teacher and started bringing my writing home. Soon after, my mum read my stories and encouraged me to enter in this competition.

Charlie Pyle

I am 7 years old. Did you know that makes me over 2500 days old?! My Dad and Mum make the best spicy korean fried chicken- spicy food is the best! The thing I love to do most is read, write stories and play with my sisters. I don’t have a favourite author because there are too many good authors to choose from! When I write, I am inspired by the people around me, the things I see or feel, and sometimes by the things I read about. My dream is to one day be an author and see the books I have written in a real bookshop! 

Alice Zhang

Hi! I’m Alice! I live in Melbourne, Australia, and I love to cook, write, study, and annoy my cat. I started to write stories after a particularly brilliant tutor inspired me, by showing me the magic of words, and the art of storycrafting. He has since passed, though I still remember him and treasure the things he’s taught me to this day, hoping that he’s proud of the writer and student I’ve become. When I’m not on my laptop writing, watching YouTube, or doing homework, you can find me reading crime novels in a quiet corner, or in the kitchen, where I make all sorts of sweet treats, delicious dishes, and tantalizing toasties.

Annabel Jackson

Hi, my name is Annabel Jackson and I’m 11 years old. I love reading! My favourite book series are Harry Potter by JK Rowling and Scythe by Neil Shusterman. I have always loved writing, especially tragedies, and at the beginning of 2021 I felt inspired to do more with my writing. My Mum organised for me to attend the Brisbane Writer’s Workshop with LE Daniels. On the way home I was just thinking “I want to enter a writing competition” and on the same night I found the Saci Books competition. I entered immediately, just before the deadline! I believe this is the first of many, many steps in becoming an author.

Devmika Bogahapitiya

I get this question asked to me all the time, well mainly at school and in the public, and that is “What type of person do you want to be?” 

Well, at times I am not sure just how to answer this question. I mean, it is very broad. It took a while  to think of a suitable answer but the type of person that I want to be is kind and compassionate.  Somebody who is both successful and humble at the same time. All I want to be is a happy person  with a bubbly outlook at life. I want that to reflect off my writing. Writing has become a very important  aspect in my life, and I have my parents to thank for that. It isthem who helped me throughout writing and that’s partly why my writing is good quality. Writing is part of me, and I will forever be grateful for  that.

Ariya Nugaliyadde

I am Ariya (in Sanskrit it means the pure one) Nugaliyadde. I love being with my friends and spending time with them. I enjoy playing handball and playing all kinds of family games. I love the outdoors where there is so much to explore and learn. Among the infinity of things that I love, I mostly love cats, unicorns, lamas and rainbows.

I loved the new experience that I gained from this competition, and it gave a wonderful platform for me to share my inspiration and thoughts. I dream of making the world a better place for everyone.

Carys Brown

My name is Carys, and I am a sixteen-year old girl from Western Australia who has a passion for writing stories and poems for my family and friends to read. I am extremely proud to be a part of this amazing book and am grateful for the opportunity to capture the hardships, confusion and many triumphs experienced by children all over the world during the Covid-19 pandemic. As a Western Australian who had only experienced the virus for a short amount of time, I spent my few weeks in lockdown practicing my ballet skills, reading books and writing stories for my Literature class in school. I hope this book can inspire other young writers to find creativity amongst a challenging experience and to express their imaginations.  

Connor Kirk

Hi, my name is Connor. I am 11 years of age and live in a family of 4, my parents, my highly annoying sister, and of course, me. I am passionate about sport and have played soccer for 5 years, I have also played tennis since grade 3 and last year I started karate. In my spare time I am always reading. Some of my favourite authors are Rick Riordan, J.K Rowling, Ahn Do, John Flanagan, and Jon Favreau. Reading is such a great thing to do. If you read a lot, then you will broaden your vocabulary and will be able to write awesome stories. I have always enjoyed writing and it has helped me get top marks at school. I hope everyone who reads this grows up to be exceptional writers.

Ruby O’Halloran

Hey you! My name is Ruby O’Halloran, I’m 17, use they/them pronouns and LOVE musical theatre. I live on the sunny-but-sometimes-very-cloudy Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, and write little memoirs about anything I can remember about growing up. I spend my days driving back and forth from dance lessons, singing lessons and school, and when I have a whisper of a moment to spare, you can usually find me attending some sort of women’s rights, animal rights or climate change protest in sparkly Brisbane City: or eating vegan apple pie.  This is my first entry into a writing competition, and I dream of studying some sort of writing degree at university (hopefully once borders re-open for the fifth time!). The women who helped raise me inspire me to write, and I thank them graciously for teaching me what they have taught me.

Emma Walton

My name is Emma and I love reading and writing, especially poems. My other hobbies are running, skateboarding and drawing, mostly detailed drawings because I am not an abstract kind of girl! I have two brothers and two sisters, two cats and a German Shepherd dog. I participated in this competition because I just thought I would give it a shot. I would never have guessed that I would be one of the winners but I guess that’s just the beginning of the journey to become an author. There is one writer who inspires me and I hope that one day I get to meet her in person. Her name is Shannon Messenger and she writes the series Keeper Of The Lost Cities. Every chapter she writes touches my heart and makes me want to read more and more. I hope I will be able to make a series of books when I’m older.

Hazel Mazza

Hi, I’m Hazel Mazza and I am 11 years old. I’m into animal rights and because of this I’m a vegan. My favourite animals are birds. I think they are beautiful and elegant. My favourite birds are chickens. I’m home educated and I play violin and piano. I really enjoy doing pottery and I’m a brown belt in karate. My parents first inspired me to write. To relax I read books. My favourite author is Dick King Smith. I enjoy cooking and eating. I have three brothers, one older one and two younger ones. I love walking and swimming at the beach and hanging out with my friends. When I’m older I want to be a writer.

Imogen Baker

My name is Imogen Baker, I’m currently in year 9 and I live in the Mornington Peninsula, with my Mum, Dad and two older sisters. I have been running since I was 6 and I now race for Victoria and my athletics club in both cross country and track, with support and guidance from my coaches at Zenith Running. I have a 6-month-old Boxer, named Sonny, he also likes running around. I wrote my poem in my literature and journalism class last semester where my teacher suggested we enter our poems into competitions, just to see what others might think of them.

Sumishka Bansal

Hi, I am Sumishka, and am 9 years old. When I grow up, I want to be an artist, dancer, chemistry
scientist, teacher, and a doctor. My hobbies are reading, art, singing, bike riding and playing piano. I love outdoors and get motivated by having a go at different things. I get inspired listening to stories and
village tales from my grandfather. This love of storytelling soon transformed into a passion of writing. I
like writing because I feel I am set free when I write, and my imagination just takes over and leads me to more and more ideas, building on to my writing automatically. My mum sensed my passion and entered
me in the Saci books writing competition and I didn’t think my writing piece would get published but yes, yes it did. And there is another thing I can add to my “what I want to be when I grow up” list – a
proud author!

Sophie Kirk

Hi. My name’s Sophie. I love writing, reading, baking, and photography. I enjoy writing in a dystopian style. I’m passionate about helping save the planet. I’ve won a few photography competitions, but actually hate having my own photo taken. Writing is very important to me and I love the freedom and creativity that comes from writing. One day I hope to possibly work in the food industry. Maybe as a food critic, combining my love of food and writing. My parents are very encouraging when it comes to my writing and enjoy reading everything I write.

Zoe Almodiel

Hi, I’m Zoe. I love spelling, reading books and I can finish a book in 30 minutes! My favourite book is “The Last Battle” in The Chronicles of Narnia series. I want to be a surgeon when I grow up, but I also enjoy being an author. I found out about the competition from the Library section of our school newsletter. I participated because I love books and even more, writing them! The people who inspired me to write are C.S. Lewis (who wrote The Chronicles of Narnia) and Marianne Hering (author of The Imagination Station).

Vinudi Bogahapitiya

My name is Vinudi, and I am a kind and cheerful girl who loves to write poems and short stories.
I love to write, cook, dance, and do all sorts of arts and crafts. I enjoy drawing pictures. I also like
reading books which inspires my writing. My parents encourage me to write, and they give me all
the support they can. My wish is to help the society in one form or another through my writing. My
mum found this competition on the Australian Writers Centre (AWC) website, so I entered the

Merry Tang

My name is Merry Tang. I am eight years old. My hobbies are reading, playing my violin and doing sports activities. Now that there is coronavirus, I cannot go out to shop which is super sad because I won’t get to eat my favourite food, bubble tea and pizza. Nonetheless, I stay at home reading my best loved book series, The Three Investigators. Whenever I feel weary, I play the violin to comfort me. I often play badminton and basketball in my backyard. I recently learned how to roller-skate. I was very stubborn at first but when I practiced, my skills gradually improved. When I heard about the competition, I was inspired to enter, just in case I would get an interesting reward for it, which I did. My passion for reading and writing also made me more motivated to join the competition which brought me closer to the goal of becoming a famous author.

Samuel Walker

My name is Samuel Walker, and I am 13 years old. I wrote my story during the early stages of the 2020 lockdown, when there was a lot of uncertainty and chaos in the world. I originally wrote it as an entry for a speech competition at my school. However, I entered it in the Saci Books 2021 Writing Competition after hearing of this opportunity and was privileged to be selected.

My purpose when crafting this story was for it to serve as a tribute to my dad, who is a frontline healthcare worker. I admired his selflessness in such an uncertain time.

Other than writing, I enjoy travelling, swimming at the beach, and bike riding. I cannot wait to show dad our story in print.

Maya Sharma

My name is Maya Sharma. I am a nine year old with a passion for reading and writing. I have a love for learning. I enjoy cooking with my mum and spending time in nature. My dream is to travel around the world to learn about different cultures, traditions, histories, places and people. I am a kind, friendly and inquisitive kid. I like to go on walks to stay active and I also love to meditate. When I grow up, I would like to be an author or a librarian. I love to read! Reading can take me into an imaginative world. I also like scrapbooking and gardening. One of my favourite things to do is reading books from different authors and seeing differences in their writing. I see the world with curiosity and wonder.

Ines Lai

During lockdown I got two dogs- a Moodle and a Bichon Frisè. They’re the best things that happened to me! I love to play with them and run around together. My dogs are really funny, and also very cute!

I love playing sports, like basketball, netball and tennis. I’ve got a basketball hoop outside my house so I can shoot hoops with my brother whenever I want! It’s really fun, and I have enjoyed setting a goal each day.

I also love reading and writing because you get to make up your own story, and there is no limit to where your character can travel. You can also make up some really weird things, like a monster in your basement. It’s really fun to create your own stories using your wonderful imaginations.