EducationUSA Pakistan held its seventh annual Creative Writing Contest for students aged 16 to 19 this summer. Over 240 high schoolers from across the country participated by submitting original works of fiction on one of the following prompts:
- Write a story about a never-seen-before magical object that turns up along the banks of River Indus.
- You’re in your backyard when you stumble across a portal to another world. You decide to go through the portal. Write a story about what happens next.
Students from 30 different cities and over 85 schools sent in gripping works of prose. The twelve-person judging panel comprised local writers, poets, journalists, English literature professors, Fulbright alumni, and U.S. Embassy staff.
Celebrating the winners
The submissions went through multiple rounds of judging and 64 shortlisted writers were invited to a virtual awards ceremony in September. During the event, the winners and prizes were announced live. EducationUSA advisers moderated the ceremony, presented a transparent snapshot of the contest, and walked students through the judging process.
The special guest was Professor Inara Verzemnieks, a Pushcart Prize winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist from the University of Iowa’s prestigious writing program. She praised the winning stories for their depth, skill, and nuanced understanding of the human condition. She also imparted writing advice to the attendees and spoke about writing as a career. EducationUSA Pakistan’s Director of Advising Kathy Aziz closed the ceremony.
Nurturing creative expression
Each year, the aim of this contest is to highlight to high school students the importance of combining solid writing skills with creative thought. Even though creative writing skills may not be stressed on in some local schools, this is a vital skill for students who want to pursue higher education in the United States.
Read the winning stories here: