Creative youngsters need your help
By the Youth Literature Foundation supporting the HKYWA
One of East Asia’s most celebrated youth events is in danger of shutting its doors forever.
The Hong Kong Young Writers’ Award has encouraged literally thousands of creative young people to create wonderful works of fiction, poetry, and prose.
But it gets so many entries now, from inside and outside Hong Kong, that the managing team is struggling to cope.
“It’s been generously run by a publishing house called PPP, but they need help,” said award chairman Nury Vittachi, a novelist.
To keep the award alive, PPP boss David Tait has teamed up with Vittachi to form the Youth Literature Foundation, a non-profit organization, to support the prize.
“If we can raise US$10,000, which is just HK$75,000, we can make it work,” said Tait.
“The standard of creative work is incredibly high,” said Vittachi, who helped set up the Asian arm of the famous UK-based Booker Prize in 2006, and who has worked with the world’s biggest publishers, including Penguin, Scholastic, and Macmillan.
Organizers of the Young Writers’ Award get scores of letters and messages from children, teachers and parents, telling them how the prize has changed their lives.
Creative writing is fun, but it’s also important, the Youth Literature Foundation team says.
“Asia has the biggest publishing industry in the world, the biggest cinema box office, and the biggest market for games,” says Vittachi. “But where are the authors who are going to create characters and storylines for all this region’s creative industries?”
The prize promotes a love of reading and writing, but it also encourages young people to use their imaginations, exercise their research skills, and practice long-form writing—and readies them for careers in the creative industries.