Saturday, 22 August 2009

Writing - A Hobby that Lasts

I was meandering through some of my old keepsakes the other day when I found a 1949 newspaper clipping of a story I had written at the age of twelve.

By then, I had been reading books and writing stories for years, but this was the very first time I had been published. What a thrill it was!

I even won the princely sum of seven shillings and sixpence – a huge amount to me then. I talked about this on 70 Plus and Still Kicking a week or two ago, and when I found the actual clipping, decided to post it here.

Remember, I wrote this long before many Australians had vacuums and dishwashers and there was certainly no television! That was to come to Australia in 1956 - seven years later. Man landed on the moon later still, in 1969.

By June Saville (age 12)

Once upon a time there lived a young girl named Jetrella. She was compelled to stay in the kitchen and look after her ugly sisters.The only implements she had were a vacuum cleaner and an electric dish-washing machine.

Well, one day a fellow appeared on the television set advertising a ball which was to be held on the one hundred and sixty-seventh floor of the palace, situated on the plant Venus.

The ugly sisters prepared for it at once. Not one thought did they spare for Jetrella.

After the sisters had zoomed off in their new rocket, she was found weeping by her fairy godmother.

‘Oh Jetrella,’ said the fairy godmother, ‘why do you weep so?’

‘Fairy godmother please help me,’ cried Jetrella, overjoyed by the friendly vision ‘I have never been to a ball and I should love to go.’

‘Oh,’ said the magic one, ‘I shall have to summon a golden space suit, a wonderful jet-propelled space rocket and robots by the hundreds to escort you. All that will come with just a wave of my wand! I don’t fuss around like old-fashioned fairy godmothers. That wastes time.’

This amazing thing was done as quickly as anyone could say Ginger Meggs and Jetrella was transformed into the most beautiful girl who ever stepped into a space suit.

Away she went to the ball.

Jetrella arrived at the one hundred and sixty-seventh floor of the palace.

At the moment of her entrance there was a hush. First to speak was a prince.

“Go and ask that girl if I may have permission for a dance,’ he said to his footman robot.

Well, this story ends much like any old-fashioned fairy story and if you have a little imagination you may finish it off for yourself, but don’t forget ‘they lived happily ever after’.

(Prize of 7/6 to June Saville (12), 52 Bondilla Rd., The Entrance. June wins first prize for the best entry in the Modern Fairy Tale Competition. Many other ‘Beamers have won certificates.)

Wasn’t I lucky to have found a hobby that went on to become the central skill which earned my living for the rest of my life? By age 15 I became an under age cadet journalist on the local paper, and went on to work in radio, newspapers, television and as a corporate public relations manager.

Have you had a similar experience which began as a childhood hobby?

Do your children show any signs of being so fortunate?

©June Saville. Not to be reproduced without express written permission of the author.


  1. Hi June, I know your a member of the pub already, so you've already received something similar, but check this one it's more OUR style

    Greeting fair writer, poet, artist of written word!

    We, the Charlatans of the digital seas, are a community of artists and writers, and have been watching you! We have recently acquired a new vessel, by means best not spoken of. Fit and proper she is, well structured and ready for long voyages. While we have some crew who have err volunteered, we are needing new crew of your known talent. The vessel is The Inferno, and the crew a select few hand picked by us, the Mountain Pirate, and the Mistress Kitty, Master of the ship.

    The Inferno, will be sailing under the flag of The Artists Challenge and Dante’s Pub. She’ll be ready for unimaginable adventure and challenge, soon to cast off. We’re in search of rich plunder of all types, poetry, short stories, and of course works of visual art. We have our own tavern, with a private back room, for conversation and good cheer. Membership is free, that’s right, won’t cost you a pence. We are very selective, can’t let just any vagabond in… but we choose you!

    So come along, join this wandering group if charlatans of literature and art. Beware of the Pub Wench, keep the booze hidden from Wench Sonya, and pay no mind to the bantering about the mysterious plank.

  2. ERIC
    It does look fun - why should visual artists corner the hilarity?
    I'll pop on over ...
    Vikki emailed me this morning too. Thanks.

  3. June - that was great! Have you ever wondered how many words you have written in your life? Your writing even at 12 was amazing - what a creative mind. I appreciate you!

  4. Thanks GRAYQUILL
    How many words? Crikey I don't even want to think about that! What a thought ...

  5. June:

    How delightful to see the 12 year old you at work on the written page. It is a such a precious gift to have a passion for the thing that becomes a livelihood.

  6. WR
    Thanks - it was strange to read those words again ...

  7. I enjoyed very much reading your A Modern Fairy Tale! Thank you for sharing it:) I also find it strange when reading my work from years ago. That's one of the things I love about writing and reading; as we get older, writing is untouched by time. The piece we may have written earlier in our lives remains the same. It reconnects us with our younger selves (or the younger author if reading someone else's work). And allows us to recognise how much we learn and experience on our way through life.

    Yep, I think you're right there!

  9. I began writing as a child, too, June, but had no confidence to share it until much later in life. My sister's name is June and I love the name.

  10. LOL. I liked the ending. Wouldn't believe myself that such a piece was penned by a 12-year-old girl. Many teenagers today don't read much, because they're all gamers. So forget their penchant for writing.

    By the way, how do I link to your site from mine?

  11. Hi June, That is amazing for a twelve year old to reach so far into the future like you did on this writing! You are such a talented person. My son was an artist from the time he was born. I don't know of anything in my childhood except for my love of people. My mother always said she could never shut me up when anyone was around!

  12. That was really fun to read, June! You were so talented back then too!

  13. Thanks ROSHNI
    Well there was at least a lot of imagination on display wouldn't you agree?

  14. I am reading your post and I am inspired. I have always wondered if I could be a writer. My husband even encourage me to try it. :)
    Anyway, it is so nice to be here in your blog. :)

  15. Hi GLENDA
    It's a shame that you weren't more confident as a child. My Mum gave me confidence, and she and Dad also gave me the name June (of course), naming me after the month in which they were married. Not much imagination, I think.

  16. KHANH HA
    That's the point isn't it? Young people these days have far more on their minds than I did when I was twelve. I did little other than read and write in my spare time. There was no television in Australia, but books that foretold its coming. We went to the movies on Saturdays and we could hardly get a signal on our radio. You see Khanh Ha,things have changed since 1949! You might say I specialised in writing from an early age.

    Believe me, that was my original work in 1949. I was born in August 1936, meaning I was 12 when I entered the competition and almost 13 by the time the story was printed.

    Linking? I see that you are following now, so perhaps your problem is solved.

  17. There you are JUDY ... you are a specialist in people! Your son specialised from an early age in art. It's amazing how often skills/loves develop in childhood and become the basis for later life activities at a level of quality. Do you agree?

  18. Hi ROSHNI
    Thanks for the kind words. Did you write as a child? Was it the beginning for your work now?

  19. Hello GRACE
    As with most things practice in writing goes a long way towards being perfect (or at least better). Writing is a wonderful pastime, and the more you do, the more rewards follow.

    I hasten to add that I don't mean financial rewards - they're less a part of the writing scene, especially with fiction.

  20. My goodness, June - that is AMAZING talent and imagination at just age 12. You certainly have deserved a career carved out of your passion for words :)

  21. Hi CATHM
    To be frank, I was pretty amazed when I found this clipping again among my old stuff. I was impressed with myself!

    Here I was in a little rural/beachside town; a kid smitten with reading but with no access to a public library, and I had the imagination to put myself into the future like that.

    I certainly had no adults around me with writing skills to help out, and I didn't do it at school ...

    Through the radio crackle of the time I listened to serials which were often set in the future, so I suppose that's where it came from ...

  22. Thanks TRISH AND ROB
    I always love a bit of praise!

  23. June, just discovered your blog via grandpurlbaa. Loani got me started on blogging at an advanced age and I use it for the same purpose as you. To put my short stories and poetry out there. My following is miniscule compared to yours but I'm inspired by your passion to take it life by the throat and run with your creative spirit. I'm contemplating scaling back from full time work soon which will give me time to follow your blog and others more actively. Great to see young and not so young trading stories without regard to age.
    steve (Little Hat)


Thanks for leaving a comment. Its good to know who is having a peek! I will certainly send a comment in reply.

To move directly to all other stories. Go to INDEX at

Also, you may like to have a look at my other blog 70 Plus and Still Kicking.

Cheers June