2 boys win Dragonzilla’s Writing Challenge

22 days in TT News day

Eight-year-old David Ryan, and Josh Hansraj, nine, at the winners of this year’s Dragonzilla’s Short Story Writing Challenge.
Their imaginative stories about the covid19 pandemic put them at the top of the five to eight and nine to 12 categories respectively, when the results were announced on September 2, at a special prize-giving ceremony for all the finalists.
David described the shock and frustration of being stuck in the story A Familiar Prison – his own home – with covid19 as the unforgiving jail warden, and Josh created a “spicy” 11-ingredient recipe to combat the coronavirus in his story Finger Lickin’ Freedom. The ingredients include a dash of stay-at-home orders and a dollop of hand-washing.
[caption id="attachment_915201" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Josh Hansraj, winner of the 2021 Dragonzilla Short Story Writing Challenge in the nine-12 category. - Photo by Marvin Hamilton[/caption]
Josh won the five to eight group in the 2020 challenge.
Over 100 children shared their short stories on the theme – My covid experience in Trinidad and Tobago – in the first phase of the online writing challenge, hosted by the NGC Children’s Bocas Lit Fest in collaboration with the Tobago Library Services.
In phase two, David and Josh and 18 other finalists submitted videos of themselves reading their stories, and the top six in each category received smart devices, including laptops and tablets from Dragonzilla at the prize ceremony. Two prizes were delivered to Tobago to two sisters who were both finalists.
The other top ten finalists received prizes for their hard work and storytelling creativity. In addition, there were two People’s Choice awards for the videos which received the most “likes” on Facebook, and on the Tobago Library Services’ page. Vishawn Gosyne, eight, and Ashmita Ramoutar, 11, won when their videos received over 600 likes each.
In a message, Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, commended the organisers of the competition.
“This Dragonzilla’s Short Story Writing Challenge successfully achieved its objective of encouraging creativity and love of writing, in this under twelve age group... Writing and storytelling teaches comprehension, expression, grammar, language, vocabulary, and it helps manage emotions by sharing life experiences and in this case of the last almost two years, cope with difficult circumstances.”
You can see all the videos from the 20 finalists on the Tobago Library Services Facebook and the Bocas Lit Fest YouTube pages, and check out www.bocaslitfest.com for more information.
2021 Dragonzilla’s Short Story Writing Challenge winners
[caption id="attachment_915280" align="alignnone" width="1024"] -[/caption]
5-8 placings
1st – David Ryan
2nd – Savion McIntosh
3rd – Nia Seerattansingh
4th – Kirin Lee
5th – Txelis-Aamara Ollivierre
6th – Vishawn Gosyne (People’s Choice)
7th – Christopher Straker
8th – Luke Fridie
9th – Adishri Samlal
10th – Rehan Amarali
9-12 placings
1st – Josh Hansraj
2nd – Zayne Martin
3rd – Ashmita Ramoutar (People’s Choice)
4th – Victoria Andrews
5th – Tsehai Ollivierre
6th – Arissa Edwards
7th – Shay Kheerai
8th – Camron Bartholomew
9th – Janiya Nedd
10th – Laban John
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