HCM CITY — A writing contest targeting Vietnamese students at home and abroad has been launched by the Áo Trắng (White Long Dress school uniform) magazine in HCM City.
The contest, Tết 5k (Lunar New Year Festival with 5K anti-coronavirus rules), aims to discover and support young writers. It will offer offer prizes in the categories of essay and short stories.
The organiser seeks works with themes about people’s daily life during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly living safely in the “new normal” state with the anti-coronavirus rules 5Ks, which in Vietnamese stands for: Khẩu trang (facemask), Khử khuẩn (disinfection), Khoảng cách (distance), Không tụ tập (no gathering), and Khai báo y tế (health declaration).
The stories, challenges and sacrifices that doctors, nurses and other health workers have faced in quarantine zones are encouraged. Themes on love, solidarity, mercy, energy and belief are also included.
Entries should be no less than 800 words and no longer than 1,500 words, and postmarked by January 1, 2022. They should be sent to the organiser’s email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Famous authors, poets and translators will be part of the jury.
“We hope our contest will give students a chance to improve their writing and develop their talent,” veteran poet Trần Hoàng Nhân of Áo Trắng magazine, a member of the contest’s organising board, said.
Áo Trắng magazine was one of many popular magazines for secondary school students, including Tuổi Ngọc (Teen Age) and Hoa Học Trò (Flowers of Students), in the 1980s-90s in HCM City.
The magazine worked with dozens of famous writers, such as Nguyễn Thị Minh Ngọc, Lê Minh Quốc and Tôn Nữ Thu Dung, to release books on teen loves, hopes and dreams. It released many works by students and young writers.
The magazine was printed for the last time in October, 2021. It is scheduled to be availavle online in early 2022.
“The dearth of age-appropriate material leaves teenagers with very few choices for their needs. Writers and publishers should work together to increase the number of magazines and books for teenagers on the market,” said veteran author Từ Kế Tường, who worked for Áo Trắng in the 1980s.
Tường began his career in 1969 in Sài Gòn (now Hồ Chí Minh City). He was popular in the 1970s and 80s. He has released more than 50 books, mostly novels and short stories for teenagers.
The best works of the contest Tết 5k will be published on the fanpage of Áo Trắng. The prize winners will be announced on January 16. VNS