Gifted writers find common ground

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 17 January, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 17 January, 2012, 12:00am


There was a common theme in several of the prizewinning entries in a recent story contest organised by the South China Morning Post and RTHK: that the greatest gift of all is the feelings that people have for each other.

The Top Story Competition, sponsored by Samsung Electronics and publisher Pan Macmillan, awarded prizes to eight contest entrants yesterday. This year's theme, 'a special gift', was chosen with the holidays in mind.

John Smith, a language instructor at Polytechnic University, took the top prize in the adult category.

He said his story was 'about the moment when a person thinks his life is changing'.

Vivian Lam Weng-yan, a Form Five pupil at St Catharine's School for Girls, Kwun Tong, won first place in the junior category with a story in which her fictional self lends a helping hand to scavengers.

Other winners in the senior category were Giselle Che, Ian Greenfield and Leela Panikar, who took home the awards, respectively, for most creative story, third prize, and second. In the junior category, Louie Lee Yui-hei, Natalie Chan and Gene Lin won these awards, respectively.

'We've run short-story competitions in the past, but this is the very first Top Story contest, and we're happy to say that we think we've won,' said Hugh Chiverton, head of RTHK Radio 3. 'We've found the top stories from some of the top stories writers in English in Hong Kong.'

Smith said his greatest gifts were his wife and their one-year-old daughter.

Lam said a gift was something that 'represents love to us. It's actually the love that matters'.

The competition aimed to encourage people to improve their standard of English.

There was a junior category for those aged 12 to 17 and an adult category for those 18 and above.

There were 128 junior and 59 senior entries.

The winners received books selected by Pan Macmillan and mobile computing devices from Samsung. The top winners in each category will also get a consultation with one of the publisher's editors in Britain.

The stories are available on RTHK's website today.