KUCHING – Alyssa Yap Xin Yi, Adriana Aida binti Che Ismail and Jasmine Regina Fong were named winners of their respective categories for the Wildlife Conservation Swinburne Sarawak English Microfiction Challenge.
The writing competition which aimed to inspire young Malaysians to think critically about conservation issues and to write creatively in English was jointly organized by Wildlife Conservation Society Malaysia Program (WCS Malaysia) and Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak Campus.
The five-day English microfiction challenge kicked off with the release of the first daily prompt on the challenge website at 9 am on 26 December 2017, ending the following day when the next prompt was revealed. Participants were required to write and submit their stories within 24 hours.
Aspiring Malaysian writers could participate in three different age groups: Category A for ages 13 to 15 years, Category B for ages 16 to 17 years and Category C for ages 18 to 24 years. Participants were required to submit their 500-word short stories online. The environment and conservation-themed challenge included daily prompts such as “river”, “forest” and “orang-utan”, all of which are the focus of WCS Malaysia’s efforts. The challenge concluded on January 1, 2018 with Overall Winners announced for the three age categories.
Alyssa Yap of SMK Green Road, Kuching wrote the stories that won first and second place while Dylan Wong Yun Xian of SMK St Joseph, Kuching came in third for Category A.
Category B was won by Adrianna Aida from Kolej Tun Datu Tuanku Haji Bujang, Miri, whose stories nabbed both first and second places while Ling How Ken of SMK Green Road, Kuching, came in third.
‘A Wake Up Call’ won Jasmine Fong of SMK Pending, Kuching, top honours for Category C while two stories by Matdura Sivakumar of Brickfields Asia College, Kuala Lumpur were selected for second and third place in the same category.
Winners were awarded cash prizes and certificates while the stories of the daily winners and those awarded with honourable mentions were published on the event website.
Organizers received 164 submissions from schools and universities from nine different states throughout the country.
“It is very encouraging to see our younger generation taking up the challenge,” remarked Dr Melvin Gumal, Director of WCS Malaysia. “Their ability to write concisely and creatively on the themes given was impressive.”
“We are delighted to give young Malaysian writers the opportunity to let their creative juices flow and to write inspiring stories in English about the conservation of the environment and wildlife such as the endangered orang-utan,” added co-organiser Christina Yin, Associate Dean of Swinburne Sarawak’s Faculty of Language and Communication.
The winning entries can be viewed on the challenge website at http://wildlifemicrofiction.com/index.html. The English Microfiction Challenge is supported by the US Embassy. WCS Malaysia has been working together with the US Embassy in running several education-based English workshops with the Fulbright English Teaching Assistants and English teachers from all over Malaysia.
Wildlife Conservation Society Malaysia Program is headquartered in Kuching, Sarawak, with offices in Kuala Lumpur, Kahang, Johor and Kuala Rompin in Peninsular Malaysia. Currently, WCS Malaysia works to conserve four priority species – orang-utans, sharks and rays, elephants and tigers. Go to https://malaysia.wcs.org/ for more information on WCS Malaysia and visit its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/WCS.Malaysia/ for updates.
For more information about Swinburne Sarawak, visit the university’s website (www.swinburne.edu.my), Facebook page (@swinburnesarawak), Twitter page (@Swinburne_Swk) or YouTube channel (Swinburne Sarawak).