2020-2021 Young Authors Writing Competition

The Creative Writing Department at Columbia College Chicago received thousands of writing submissions from high school students around the world They’ve selected junior Emma Hong as a top 10 finalist in poetry for her piece titled “Zhong Qiu Jie.”

Emma shares, “I was eating mooncake one afternoon in the weeks leading up to the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival. Mooncake is this delicious Chinese dessert with a lotus seed filling and an egg yolk in the center, which is traditionally eaten together with family during the Mid-Autumn Festival (It's really good, and everyone should try it!). Basically, I was enjoying this sweet delicacy of Chinese culture when I realized I had no clue what the holiday was about. I felt guilty for enjoying some aspects of my culture, while being ignorant to others and guilty for not even being able to correctly pronounce Mid-Autumn Festival in Chinese, hence the poem's name: Zhong Qiu Jie. I sat down that day and wrote it to express this shame of assimilating and forgetting my roots. I submitted the poem along with some other pieces to the Young Authors Writing Competition just for fun after Ms. Allen shared the competition with the class (Thank you, Ms. Allen!). Poetry is not my strong suit, and I was not expecting anything, so I'm both thrilled and very much surprised that my piece was selected.”

According to a recent blog post, the committee writes, “We are grateful for the opportunity to read the work of so many talented students. We hope everyone who entered continues to write. We encourage everyone who will still be in high school next year to submit their pieces to the 2021-2022 Young Authors Writing Competition next fall.”

First, second and third place winners in each category will be announced soon.

Congratulations, Emma!
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