All entries should be based on the theme for 2019, New Tales of the Ming Treasure Voyages.   One winner will be chosen in each of the groups, and one lucky student will be named The Hong Kong Young Writer of 2019.

New Tales of the Ming Treasure Voyages

Pirates usually travel the seas looking for gold to steal.

But in the early 1400s, a fleet of ships set sail from China which did the exact opposite!It carried cargoes of gold and silk and other precious items for the captain and the sailors to give away as gifts.

There were seven voyages by the Ming Treasure Fleet—and the people on board had many adventures.

Sometimes they met peaceful people and did give away the wonderful presents they had brought from the Emperor, making new relationships with a variety of countries.

On other occasions, they had to fight battles with hostile armies, or deal with nasty pirates of the more usual sort. Luckily, the ships also carried military forces and weapons.

But this group of travellers also did something wonderful: they won for themselves a place in history as some of the first great explorers of planet Earth, reaching India and Africa and Arabia. Historians looking back say China truly “ruled the seas” in those days.

What sort of adventures do you think they had? What would it be like to have been a young person on such a journey?

What sort of jobs would have to be done on the ship, and what sights would you see that you would remember forever?

We hope this rich topic will get the imaginations of young writers’ floating into whole new waters!

Award Categories & Word Limit

Please note that we do not accept submissions directly from students. Students must first submit to their schools, which will then have to choose ten entries to forward to the next round of the contest. Contact the teacher who is in charge of the competition at your school.