YC YW Creative Writing Competition
Winners for the very first foundation wide writing competition have been announced! Initiated to allow students to learn even during the closure of campuses, the Yew Chung Yew Wah (YC YW) Creative Writing Competition saw approximately 400 entries being submitted by students across our network of schools including YCIS Beijing.
Originally overseen by Anne Dwyer and Bridget Ip who are both members of the Curriculum and Professional Development Division at YC YW, the idea was the brainchild of Matthew Jarrett, a teacher at Yew Wah Tongxiang who believed this would be beneficial to students. Other colleagues, including Kathleen Gray and Dana Carnemollo helped coordinate and judge the competition.
The competition was entered by a wide range of students from the ages 8 and below up to ages 15 and over. As stated by Anne Dwyer,"The judges developed assessment criteria that would work for all of the age categories. We were looking for entries where students: understood and explored an idea; showed originality and creativity; demonstrated good use of writing techniques; and, engaged the reader/audience. Age-appropriate checklists were also developed, along with a detailed assessment rubric."
Students chose their topics based on a range of pre-selected images, which were submitted by teachers from different locations, to be used. "We selected six images for each age group, and it was good to see that nearly all of the photos were used as stimulus by the entrants". Anne added.
Monika Meng, Year 11 student who won first prize in her age group category is an avid writer whose story was inspired by nature. Titled "The Conversation", the short story is centred on "the main character, Noah who goes hiking and hits his head, leading to his conversation with a tree about deforestation" Monika explains. Noah went on to found an organization whose goal was to plant trees to counter deforestation.
In the case of Aiden Wong, year 7 student who has been a YCIS-BJ student for a year now, his piece was about "a hero who had to go on an adventure to find a cure for a virus that was turning him into a monster. This story was based on COVID19"
Although other stories were based on real-life events, others went beyond and explored other fictional worlds. Year 6 student, Chan Hok Sum, who received an honorary mention, shared that his story was inspired by The Demigod Diaries by Rick Riordan. "I wondered. If he wrote about Greek, Roma, Egyptian a Northern Myths, why can't I write about Chinese myths?" he said. Which prompted him to write a story about the son of an emperor, who is resolute and courageous.
Efforts that went into students' submission are undeniable, with some spending even weeks working on their pieces. "It took me maybe three or four weeks to complete my submission" said Aiden Wong "My mom gave me a few tips- my English teacher as well during online learning."
All three students learned valuable lessons from this competition, amongst others are the importance of expanding one's vocabulary, embracing how limitless creative writing is and understanding the technicalities associated with writing as well.
Thoughts on Winning
"I couldn't believe my eyes, because I did not expect to win first place. But winning is an acknowledgement of my hard work and dedication to this writing competition. It made me feel excited and proud of myself". Monika Meng
"I think that all the hard work has paid off. I also think that this mention is very special because I never thought I would get it." Hok Sum Shan
An eBook including the stories of all first prize winners and honourable mention entries is currently in the works, once that is completed, talk of a follow-up competition will begin.
Congratulations to all the winners, we look forward to reading more of your works!