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Young Territory Author of the Year

At the end of August, young writer Tiger-Lily Clements, 15, was named Young Territory Author of the Year for her novel Anathema.

Her story of a young woman working through heartache over the break-up with her girlfriend impressed the judges from more than 200 entries.

Clements spoke with Off The Leash about winning the prestigious award, and we’ve included a small except from her award-winning novel.

Writing a novel at 15 is an incredible achievement, what was your process?
The process of writing this story was to work out the beginning and end of the story, then to fill in the blank part within the middle. 
How did it feel to win this award?
It made me happy to know that people enjoyed my story, and I love that people have come up to me at school and stuff congratulating me and asking to read it because I feel like I did well, I just don’t like all the attention however, haha.
Best writing tip you’ve come across?
I don’t have a best or favourite one, I do like one of needing to truly break your characters and think about them as real people rather than fictional characters.
Favourite author/writer?
There’s so many, it’s literally impossible to choose just one. I love Roald Dahl, John Green, Stephen King and J. K. Rowling a lot though.
Favourite book?
I love so many books for so many different reasons. Some I constantly reread are Matilda, Paper Towns, All The Bright Places and The Book Of Lost Things.

Excerpt from Anathema by Tiger-Lily Clements

“How do I passively aggressively say screw you in flowers?”
“Ummm...?” With an emotion that could be labelled as utter confusion, Vilma examined the girl in front of her.
She was her age, that was for sure. She had thick, black hair that stood messily in every direction. A pair of black reading glasses were perched on the bridge of her nose. She wondered if it was just there to make her look fancier or if she actually needed them.
Her eyes were the darkest shade of brown, far different from Vilma’s own light green eyes, and as she looked closer, she recognised something in them; rage.
“Well?” She demanded with a raised eyebrow.
Vilma snapped out of her trance and zoned back to the matter at hand.
“I really don’t know? You could maybe send him thorns?” She winced at the end of her sentence. Thorns? Really? Pathetic.
“If I wasn’t so mad right now, I’d go on about how you’re such a sexist who immediately assumes that I’m sending flowers to a guy.”
“I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be rude, I just thought that because you’re a girl that they’d be for a guy.” I apologised with wide eyes.
“That’s fine. I don’t though, but that’s fine.
“And, did you not hear what I said before? I asked for a subtle way of saying screw you. If I wanted it to be obvious then I would have spray painted the middle finger on her door.”
She crossed one arm over the other and stared Vilma down. To say that she was completely taken aback by the stranger’s rudeness would be the understatement of a lifetime.
People usually came inside to purchase bouquets for weddings or anniversaries or funerals.
Never had she met anyone who entered Eden’s Flower Garden for such a vulgar purpose.
Keen to read more? Get a copy here.
Image: Darwin Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis and Tiger-Lily Clements; photo: City of Darwin
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