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HK Young Writers Award 2021 Shortlist

Please congratulate Harshini Sundar (G11) and Aishani Chaudhuri (G10) for their success in being selected to the shortlist for this grand prize for the Hong Kong Young Writers Award. We will find out the results (hopefully at a live, in-person event) sometime in the Spring. Good luck and well done Harshini and Aishani! 

The Hong Kong Young Writers Award (HKYWA) is Hong Kong’s most prestigious annual writing competition for young writers. It’s organized by the Youth Literature Foundation and is sponsored by numerous donors including Bookazine, Cyberport, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and Hong Kong Maritime Museum. 

We would also like to thank the Writer’s Award Club for helping to peer review all our writers’ drafts, and express my appreciation for faculty advisor, Mr. Henry Su, and Ashlynn Wang (G12) and Yusia Xiao (G12) for leading the club with their tireless optimism and organization! 

"Happier Through Ignorance" is inspired by a man I saw in the MTR mimicking the sounds of the train's loud whoosh. His obliviousness to the surroundings captivated me, and I wondered what his narrative was. By writing this story, I wanted to reproduce the fascination I felt that day in the people who read my story. The process of writing the actual piece was pretty straightforward. I brainstormed, fleshed out my ideas, fought through my insistent writer's block, and got to writing. I then embellished my work, read and re-read before having my fellow peers in the Writing Awards Club as well as others at AIS read my story and give me feedback. For the following couple of days, I continued to revise my draft, did some final touches, and then I submitted the piece! 

— Harshini Sundar, G11

The first thing about the Yellow Mountains that caught my attention was that it was the subject of over 20,000 poems. To get a feel for the place, which I have never visited, I tried to look up some of the existing works on it, and could only find one translation - Li Bai's Dawn Vista on Huangshan. This describes the peaks as "immortals with black top knots", which was a vivid image that immediately suggested itself to me as something I could work with; hence, I incorporated it into my poem. I wanted my work to be about oneness with nature, instead of feeling insignificant in it, and I thought an interesting way of doing that would be to have the mountains always be part of her life, through her mother's tales and her dreams. The tranquility she finds in the mountains is something special and precious, and she shares it with the world through her writing - perhaps this poem itself. 

— Aishani Chaudhuri, G10