Short story opens doors for observant teenager
NICOLA Holmes believes people are not always what they appear to be, which was what drew her to the theme of this year's SCMP-RTHK Short Story Competition, Behind Closed Doors.
Nicola, 17, has always enjoyed observing other people and this ability, plus her writing skill, helped win her first prize in the Junior category.
Her story concerns people who hide their true selves from others, and the main character is a television game show host.
''He looks like he really enjoys hosting the show but he has his own problems. His wife left him and he is an alcoholic.'' The viewers and participants are also avoiding facing up to their imperfections.
''They enjoy watching the show and playing on the show because they want to escape from reality and their problems,'' she said. ''At the end of the story, they reveal that things are not always what they seem.'' Nicola has won two return tickets to London, courtesy of British Airways, and an S. T. Dupont Les Classiques fountain pen.
The winner in the Senior category was Marie Yuen, 27, of Sha Tin, who will also receive two tickets to London and a fountain pen.
The ''closed doors'' in her story separate several people auditioning for a play from those holding the auditions.
''The two doors represent the obstacles and the message of the story is 'never give up','' the Chicago-born Chinese said.
Miss Yuen admitted the story was inspired by her interest in drama. An advertising copywriter by profession, she also works part-time in the Hong Kong Players' Group.
The winning stories will be published in The Review in the coming weeks.