Making news

48th edition of world’s letter-writing contest launched

The 48th International Letter-Writing Competition for Young People was launched at a ceremony held in Vinh city of the central province of Nghe An on October 12.

The contest, organised by the Universal Postal Union (UPU), tasks students to “Write a letter about your hero”.

Vietnamese students under 15 years old are eligible for the competition. Each contestant is required to submit a handwritten letter of less than 1,000 words before February 15, 2019.

At the event, organisers honoured Nguyen Thi Bach Duong, a 14-year-old Vietnamese student who won third prize at the previous international competition.

Duong is an eighth grader at the Nguyen Trai Junior High School in Nam Sach district, Hai Duong province. Her letter won the top prize of the national UPU contest in May this year.

She received a prize worth 15 million VND (about 640 USD) from the national organising board and certificates of merit from the Ministry of Education and Training and the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union Central Committee.

The 47th competition challenged contestants to “Imagine you are a letter travelling through time, what message do you wish to convey to your readers?”

The first prize was presented to a 13-year-old Cypriot student, while the second prize went to a 10-year-old Portuguese child.

In her letter, Duong imagined up an editorial letter from the US-based The Sun newspaper in response to an eight year old reader’s question of “Is there a Santa Claus?” in 1987.

With a natural, pure, and empathetic writing style, the letter combined messages calling for love and respect for children along with attention to disadvantaged and unprotected children. It allowed readers to think of a world free of war, violence, poverty, and injustice.

So far, Vietnamese students have won 14 prizes at the international competition, including two first prizes, one second prize, four third prizes, and seven consolation prizes.

Vietnam became a member of the UPU in 1976 and has taken part in the UPU letter-writing contest since 1987.