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04/02/2020

We are delighted to announce the winners of our A Room of My Own competition for 14-18 year olds. Click the links below to read the essays (or download as a PDF):

  • First Prize – Dominique Vincent, 18 years old, St Saviour’s and St Olave’s School, London
  • Second Prize – Jia-Yan Xue, 14 years old, The Petersfield School, Hampshire
  • Third Prize – Martine Maugüé, 14 years old, Wimbledon High School, London

Dominique says: ‘writing this essay was quite difficult because there was so much that I wanted to say but a very limited amount of words to do so. However, I felt that it was every important to me to establish how I intend to convey my identity through my work in the future. It gives the time for reflection that writer’s don’t often stop to consider. We see the broad end goal but not what we want it to represent. Doing competitions creates a fantastic opportunity to push you out of your comfort zone and expand your horizons to new forms of expression that you may not have considered before. When I saw the email announcing that I had won, I was speechless. All I could do was continuously reread the email to make sure that it was real and that it had been sent to the right person. It was a wonderful feeling that I can’t even begin to describe. I’m still in a state of disbelief! This competition represents a massive milestone in the growth my writing has undertaken. I recommend that anybody who has the chance to enter a writing competition, do it. Don’t overthink it. Take the risk.’

 Jia-Yan says ‘writing this piece was a struggle. My emotions were constantly being confused with what I was trying to express and how I wanted to show it to others. In the end I chose to present my writing as a shard from my memory. My memories allowed me to get what I’ve achieved in this competition and has hopefully allowed young minds to think differently about writing. Winning second place isn’t enough, I want to win a place in people’s hearts and engrave passion for writing and reading into anyone that I can grasp onto.’

Martine says ‘to me, the essay was a chance to explore who I am and my views of this modern society as well as how my generation’s sense of humor and defiance of conformity has defined my personality and style of writing. Winning third place was a wonderful surprise as I was honestly quite worried as to what the response to my essay would be. It made me feel like the risks I had taken payed off and that people cared about what I had to say.’

We are also pleased to announce 14 Highly Commended entries: