In an effort to improve children’s creative, critical thinking and writing skills, the Writers Corner, in partnership with Vuvuzela Communications Limited, has announced the winners of the fourth rising star writing competition for primary and secondary school pupils in Nigeria.
The entries in the poem and short stories categories explored the theme ‘It’s Ok to Say No’, with a 200-word limit for primary school entries and 500-word limit for secondary school entries.
The Coordinator, Rising Star Writing Competition and Awards (RSWCA) and Chief Executive Officer of the Writers Corner, Mrs. Uche Udoji, who briefed journalists on the outcome of the competition recently in Lagos, said out of 655 entries received this year, 12 pupils emerged first, second and third positions in the primary and secondary categories of poetry and short stories, adding that another 12 entries emerged as honorary mentions.
She said 15 entries were disqualified for multiple entries, entries coming after deadline, lack of originality, submissions that reflected obvious adult assistance and those which reflected a vague understanding of the theme, as well as submission with less than 200 and 500 words for the primary and secondary categories.
Emphasising on the theme and criteria, she said the competition was judged based on plot of the story, vocabulary, content, paragraphing, presentation and descriptive character; length of work and flow of creativity, in both categories respectively, adding that the students were made to think deeply and write at length on reasons to say no and mean it.
“The theme was a well thought out and intentional move to inspire the children to have a voice as important individuals of the society and stand up for their rights at all times against issues pertaining to all forms of pressure and abuse.
Some of the popular trends as seen from the entries include but not limited to bullying, sexual related and physical abuses, verbal and emotional abuses, drugs, alcohol and peer pressure,” Udoji said.
The CEO, who announced that the award ceremony has been scheduled to hold on September 26, thanked Greenlife Pharmaceuticals for supporting the organisation towards ensuring the improvement of the literacy standard in the country and participating schools.
In his remarks, the Head, Human Resource and Public Relations of Greenlife Pharmaceutical, Mrs. Amaka Nwosisi expressed excitement about the initiative, saying that aside helping to develop the children’s literacy; they will have the knowledge of what abuse really is.
“We hope to keep supporting the initiative and we hope that government schools come on board to participate in it,” she said.