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Eight winners announced for the fifth SHKP Young Writers’ Debut Competition
13-year-old becomes the youngest winner ever
Young writers across Greater China make ‘discoveries’ about epochal features and life

2015-07-06

Winners were announced for the fifth Young Writers’ Debut Competition that Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited (SHKP) and Joint Publishing (Hong Kong) organized. Among the eight winners is a 13-year-old Taiwanese student who has become the youngest ever to win the event, proving that people of all ages are drawn to creative writing. The Young Writers’ Debut Competitions have successfully helped many budding authors with excellent potentials showcase their creative talent.

Celebrating its tenth anniversary, the biennial Young Writers’ Debut Competition has nurtured 41 young writers till now. Following the success of the past four competitions, this year’s event was extended from Hong Kong and the mainland to Taiwan and Macau for the first time, with a line-up of ten eminent creative professionals from across Greater China as coaches and judges. Esteemed ceremony guests included SHKP Director of Corporate Communications Chris Liu, Joint Publishing General Manager Dr. Elvin Lee, as well as two of the judges: Hong Kong web designer and new media artist Henry Chu, and mainland writer and documentary producer Deng Kangyan.

Among the winners, Tang Wen Shun, Zhu Mao Wen and Kwan Ka Lee come from Hong Kong while Zhong Yu Ling, Zhang Yi Liang, Samantha Lee and Qian Yi are from the mainland. Then there is the 13-year-old Lai Ying Xi – the youngest of all – from Taiwan. The winning entries showed high literary standards and encompassed a diverse range of genres, while the young writers’ unique thinking towards epochal features and life were reflected in their entries featuring the competition theme – ‘discovery’. The winning entries contain thought-provoking discussions on topics such as the relationship between humans and animals, romantic love, identity as a new immigrant and the similarities and differences between civilizations.

SHKP Director of Corporate Communications Chris Liu said: “We provide vast opportunities for youth from different backgrounds to showcase their talents through a wide range of programmes. The Young Writers’ Debut Competition aims to help young people realize their ambition of becoming a writer. To promote cultural exchange and bring new blood into the literary field, we have extended the competition to the mainland previously and to Taiwan and Macau this year.”

Chris Liu added: “I would like to thank the ten eminent veterans from the mainland, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, who taught the young writers wholeheartedly over the months. This spirit of passing knowledge and experience down the generations is at the heart of the Young Writers’ Debut Competitions. We also thank Joint Publishing for promoting creative writing with SHKP in the past ten years.”

Joint Publishing General Manager Dr. Elvin Lee said: “I think the value of the competition is not only in its discovery of budding authors or the expansion from Hong Kong to Greater China, but also in its encouragement of creative, free and innovative expression. The competitors were not restricted by any structure or market demand and thus created works that represented themselves. Using their personal medium of expression, they explored the inner world and era and impressed everyone with their final product!”

One of the judges, Hong Kong film director Adam Wong said: “Creativity is the most important element in all types of art making. This year’s entries have distinctive features that reflect the passion and imagination of the younger generation to discover the infinite possibilities in life, with novel contents and writing styles that offer a refreshing experience.”

The fifth Young Writers’ Debut Competition started in April 2014 and received an enthusiastic response with more than 2,000 entries, setting a new record of submissions to the competition over the years. There were diverse styles, topics and formats including novels, fairy tales, true stories, travel notes, picture books, photo albums and plays. This year’s competition features a ‘discovery’ theme. Renowned judges were drawn from across Greater China, including writer and film critic Mao Jian, theatre director and playwright Tian Qinxin, and writer and documentary producer Deng Kangyan from the mainland; Hong Kong judges included web designer and new media artist Henry Chu, film director Adam Wong and poet Liu Wai-tong; and Joe Lei from Macau is both a composer and lyricist. Also on the panel were actor, scriptwriter and director Sylvia Chang, book designer Huang Tzi-chin and illustrator Page Tsou from Taiwan. Participants first submitted 10% of their book outline and then the judging panel selected 25 finalists who received one-on-one coaching to complete their books. Finally, eight up-and-coming young writers were handpicked to have their work published.

Winners in the fifth Young Writers’ Debut Competition

  1. Tang Wen Shun, Living in the World, Picture Book (text and illustrations), Hong Kong
  2. Zhu Mao Wen, The World has Changed, Novel, Hong Kong
  3. Kwan Ka Lee, 7 Years, Essays, Hong Kong
  4. Zhong Yu Ling, The Body’s Life in the Kingdom of Disease, Personal Narrative, Mainland China
  5. Zhang Yi Liang, Another Representation - Visual China in a Westerner’s Eyes, Essays (text and pictures), Mainland China
  6. Samantha Lee, Burning Letters at Your Old Place – My Retro Youth, Essays (text and pictures), Mainland China
  7. Qian Yi, A Weird Guy, Picture Book, Mainland China
  8. Lai Ying Xi, Postman of the God of Flying Fish, Novel (text and illustrations), Taiwan

About Young Writers’ Debut Competition

The Young Writers’ Debut Competitions have helped many young writers make their debuts since they began in 2006, with releases at the Hong Kong Book Fair and distribution to major bookstores. SHKP and Joint Publishing have cooperated again in 2014 to assist aspiring young authors in realizing their dream of publishing their books. Meanwhile, in order to promote cultural exchange across Greater China, the competition has been extended to Taiwan and Macau. The organizers invited creative professionals and cultural veterans to coach young writers so they can work better toward their dreams and become future stars in the Chinese literary scene. For details, please visit www.shkpreadingclub.com/YoungWriters5

About the SHKP Reading Club

SHKP set up the SHKP Reading Club in late 2013 to consolidate its reading-related initiatives, and everyone is welcome to join for free. The Club publishes the free ReadIt and Read Monthly magazines regularly and organizes cultural events like seminars with celebrity speakers and guided cultural tours to inspire more people to enjoy reading and make it a habit. Anyone interested can join at www.shkpreadingclub.com.

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