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RuTC Discovers Exceptional Young Writers in its Inaugural Writing Prize

Thursday 16 June 2016

In May 2016, Richmond upon Thames College (RuTC) A Level English Literature and Language student Rosie McKeown won the first ever prize in the College’s first ever Creative Writing Competition for her poem On a Fallen Soldier.

The prestigious prize was sponsored by Kingston University, with guest judge Judith Watts, co-Director of Kingston University Press, judging over 30 unique and diverse student entries from RuTC students studying a range for subjects including animation, science, sport, music, drama, languages, travel and tourism and humanities.

“I really enjoyed judging this competition and think the students should definitely keep writing and putting their voices out there,” says Watts. “Rosie’s poem stood out especially as it offers a fresh perspective on war and is technically excellent.”

RuTC held an awards ceremony in its Music Centre to celebrate the prize-winners. Along with Rosie, A Level Science student Nicole Mapani was a runner up with her poem Article 26, on young women’s right to equal education and UAL Animation Mark Gallagher was also runner up with his poem, An Unachievable Dream, about the conflict and damaging nature of perfectionism. A special prize was awarded to A Level Philosophy student Jade Roopraye for her spirited poem In the Sun and to BTEC Performing Arts student Candela Yansen for her delightful short story At First Sight. Finally, BTEC Music student Rodrigo de Mendoza won the People’s Choice Award for his love song Tip of My Tongue.

Guest speaker at the ceremony, was award-winning author and playwright Judith Bryan, who also lectures on the MA Creative Writing course at Roehampton University. She gave an inspirational talk to the students and spoke about why young people should write. She says “Just the practice of writing creatively and paying attention to language provides a set of transferrable skills that will be of value in any profession.” She encouraged the students to keep entering competitions as that is how she got her first novel published with Harper Collins.

This year’s winner Rosie McKeown has been offered a place at Cambridge University to study French and Beginner’s German. She believes her commitment to writing, reading and success in competitions has been instrumental in her gaining a place at Cambridge.

“Cambridge is an interviewing university,” says Rosie. “They look for interest, they look for depth of reading and because I’m passionate about literature and language and linguistic history I was able to give a good account of myself in the interview.”

RuTC’s inaugural Creative Writing Competition 2016, part of Richmond Xtra, celebrated and encouraged creativity and individual expression and will continue to do so in years to come. 

You can listen the Rosie's poem below. To listen to Judith Bryan's talk or readings from three other winners please visit our Youtube channel:

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