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Hong Kong Young Writers Award: Carmel School Grade 9 Student Wins Top Prize

The Hong Kong Young Writers Awards (HKYWA) is an annual competition and fantastic opportunity for aspiring writers to showcase their talents and creativity.  Our entry categories are in fiction, non-fiction, poetry and cover art. The competition’s main aim is to foster excellence in creativity by providing students with the opportunity to develop their expressive talents and expand their horizons. The awards encourage and recognise excellence in English writing and artwork among students, aged from 6-18, of various age groups, diverse backgrounds and different learning abilities. Since its inception in 2010, the competition has been a resounding success, with over 1,200+ entries coming in from approximately 200 participating schools across Hong Kong, Macau and China in 2022.

On Wednesday 22 March the Hong Kong Young Writers Award (HKYWA) held its 2023 shortlist ceremony at Cyberport on Hong Kong Island. Amongst the category finalists at this event was Carmel School's Liora (Grade 9), whose poem "Timeless Gratitude" had been selected for the competition shortlist. 

This year's competition theme was "Judge Bao", dubbed the "Sherlock Holmes of China", who lived during the Song Dynasty and was renowned for his uprightness, judicial fairness and ruthless approach to wrongdoers. Liora's poem, a poetic thank you note from Judge Bao to his mentor Lui Yun, was awarded best in her category (Poetry: Group 4) and she took home the prize! This is a fantastic achievement — extremely well done, Liora! 

Many thanks to the whole Department of English for the promotion of this competition across Grades 6–10, and a special thank you to Ms. Humphreys for accompanying Liora to the event. We look forward to more success from our students in the years to come! 

Mr Nick Webber, Head of English

Yesterday I attended the ceremony for students who were shortlisted for HKYWA and it was an amazing experience to be able to see so many students that come together to achieve something incredible. The journey I went through from the initial drafting of my poem to finding out I was shortlisted to winning is something I will always remember. I really put all my compassion and effort into this poem that was an inspiring poem and required a lot of research and commitment. 

The HKYWA was something I never thought I could win, especially seeing that I was never picked to even be submitted in previous years. Once shortlisted, I was invited to the finals and attended the ceremony with Ms. Humphreys, my dad, and my great-aunt. I was placed in Poetry Group 4 and won the category, receiving the Mandarin Matrix Award. I am so grateful for this opportunity and especially to all my teachers who helped make it happen. Next year I hope to win the main award, the overall HKYWA. 

Liora Rebibo

Timeless Gratitude

Lui Yun, you influenced the worthy me.
Like a zhà měng full of nobility and wisdom.
As I once said when I received the Duan inkstone: 
"Those who are incorruptible are worthy of the people; 
those who are greedy are the thieves of the people".

You are my interpretation of “incorruptible”.
Who I am today is thanks to the choices I made yesterday.
The birth of my life journey started the first yesterday you guided me. 
Piloting me into a reality which opened my eyes to the corruptible.

One case reminded me of your mentoring,
A businessman was wicked on the strength of bribery.  
Immense pressure I was under, yet, I held the truth throughout. 
An image of fearlessness and righteousness flashed,
It was always part of me but you helped me embrace it.

I accompanied my parents when I returned to Luzhou. 
Filial piety for long, all along, but you were still there as magistrate. 
I was present until the last breath arrived for my teacher. 
But you mentored me even then, I profoundly thought ‘how?’,
How to become a hard-working official and serve the court? 

So I ought to Thank You,
Not only for influencing the experienced and superior me.
For guiding me to be the best zhà měng there is, like I know you are.
Whether in terms of knowledge or morality,
I extend my thoughts to reach the point of kindness.
The kindness of friendship that you have shown me.