The Hong Kong Young Writers Awards 2018

The competition’s main aim is to foster excellence in creativity by providing students with the opportunity to develop their expressive talents and expand their horizons. The awards encourage and recognise excellence in English writing and artwork among students of various age groups, diverse backgrounds and different learning abilities. Since its inception in 2010, the competition has been a resounding success, with more than 980+ innovative entries coming in from 200+ participating schools across Hong Kong, Macau and China in 2017.

All entries should be based on the theme for 2018, New Journeys to the West. One winner will be chosen in each of the groups, and one lucky student will be named The Hong Kong Young Writer of 2018.

New Journeys to the West

Almost 1400 years ago, a brave young monk made a multi-year journey from China across the southwestern mountains to India. His trip was celebrated in a novel called Journey to the West, written about 500 years ago.

In the novel version of the tale, the young monk, whose name is Xuanzang, is accompanied by magical companions, including the Monkey King, a friar and a talking pig. The odd group of friends battle strange monsters and suffer hardships, before learning that overcoming difficulties is necessary for the monk to find true spiritual fulfilment.

But the true story on which the novel is based is also remarkable. The real life Xuanzang travelled for years and found a magical community of learning in India called Nalanda – which historians believe might be the first campus university in human history.

So Journey to the West is really two collections of tales – one from the novelist’s imagination, and one from history. And it also launched a fascinating literary character. In real life, the monk learned about an Indian god called Hanuman. In the novel, we meet the Monkey King, a creature with magical powers who is mischievous but ultimately on the side of good.