Remember we are in Hiatus until next year but enjoy our writing tips
We will be back next year. Due to our administrator’s busy schedule this year, we will take a break. This will give you plenty of time to think up story ideas. Next year there will be no theme, so you can write about anything. You can check out last year’s guidelines because they will be much the same when we reopen for entries.
Here’s another writing tip:
First place goes to ‘Peace Essay’ by Disha P Raval who is a Kenyan Citizen who is an Australian resident.
Disha is only 11 years old and turns 12 at the end of the month. We are super excited to announce Disha’s entry ‘Peace Essay’ as our winner. Congratulations Disha on your entry.
Here is what the judges had to say about it:
“I think the author really captured the elements of ‘peace’ and what it means to humanity. Some well-supported ideas that kept me engaged when reading.”
“The author has contemplated what peace means. The writer obviously has researched our theme and produced a well structured piece of writing. I believe this writer feels passionately about peace.”
With no further ado, here is Disha’s entry:
Both in the world and every community, we need to have peace. All human beings share the same needs and there are many ways that we can make peace in our community and spread it around the world. We don’t always need a large group to make this difference. Even the smallest groups can start making a change and spread it to everyone just like Mahatma Gandhi Ji of India, also known as the advocate of peace, who says; “ There is no way to peace; peace is the only way”.
Peace building, conflict resolution, conflict prevention, whichever term you use, sits uneasily within one particular field, discipline, or government department for that matter. Is it development, foreign policy, diplomacy, defence and security, justice and human rights, any or all of the above?
It seems like the more a society advances, the less peace there seems to be. Gone are the days of just sitting under a tree and thinking about life. There’s Twitter feeds to read, Facebook statuses to update, videos to take and upload on YouTube, drama to indulge in, gossip to listen to and spread, advertising bombarding us everywhere. It seems like we’re soaked in figurative and literal noise all the time. Peace seems to have gone by the wayside but it’s very important we have it in our lives because how many great decisions do you make when you’re not at peace?
The issue of war and peace has always been a focal issue in all periods of history and at all levels relations among nations. The concern of the humankind for peace can be assessed by taking into account the fact that all religions, all religious scriptures and several religious ceremonies are committed to the cause of peace and all these advocate an elimination of war.
Peace is very important in our lives and it is essential to our overall well-being. However, this is something that has, regrettably, eluded us for years and years in this world. This world been hindered by war, conflicts and disagreements throughout human history, which has left our world and the many people in it in a deplorable emotional and physical state. This should not be the case.
Even in the places where the guns are silent, there is still a form of conflict going on in many places which is obviously going to have negative effects on the future society and spark more wars and conflicts in this world. The result of not having peace is very common and near to us. There is almost one or two instances of terrorism, destruction, violence, disease and refugee crisis reported on television, newspapers and social media. Despite peace being such a clear concept in one’s mind, it seems to be drifting away and becoming more and more challenging to achieve as individuals, communities, societies and nations. To prevent continued cycles of violence, education must be promoted for peace, tolerance and understanding to help create a better society for all.
There has always been an emphasis on the undesirable effects of not having peace. Nations and alliances continue to shamelessly spend resources to research on new technologies and warfare. They continue arming themselves with unnecessary ammunition without adequate soul searching as to how conflict can be resolved and peace achieved in the long term.
The concept of peace is unique for every individual however, the formula of peace remains steadfastly in the universal teachings of humanity, which have been prescribed in almost all the religions of this world. It is common practice for such teachings to be interpreted differently and negatively to suit different situations. On an individual level, we see more and more instances of people suffering from diseases as a result of not being peaceful.
One thing that is critically needed to create more peace in the world would be seeking love and not trying to control other people. Trying to control people for one’s own benefit will solely cause conflicts with others. Reducing control by listening to everyone’s opinions and hearing what they have to say is going to broaden the approach of love to others; be it a peer or another country. Another thing that is also critically needed to help restore peace is placing peace before power because having peace is very crucial. There are other ways like respecting opinions and beliefs that contrasts the idea to “control” people using threatening behaviour.
In addition, in today’s world, everyone needs to be tolerant. Tolerance in all that we think and do is going to make a difference in our lives and the lives around us. Tolerance towards others is appreciating the diversity and the beliefs of different people. When we fail to tolerate others’ beliefs, ways of being and opinions, the ending results can be ultimately violent.
Lastly, the last point that is very important is seeking forgiveness and not revenge. Where does an eye for an eye lead? Usually, too many eyes are missing! No matter where we live, what religion we practice or what culture we cultivate, at the heart of it all, we are humans with the same ambitions and aspirations to raise our families and wanting to live our lives to the fullest. Our cultural, religious or political differences should not be the reason to bring conflicts, grief and destruction to our world.
There are many things that could be done to make peace throughout the world that haven’t been addressed yet. I think that we should all start on making a difference and making our communities peaceful all around the world. We should start making our world peaceful and non-violent. The little changes that could be made would make a very big and a very positive change to today’s world and could change numerous lives. If we try to make a difference now, then we can change communities for the better in the future. This will lead to a better and brighter future for our younger generation and peace throughout the world.
Becoming a writer begins with you.
Many of us dream of becoming a writer. We plan in our head for the time there’ll be have enough time to write that novel or memoir, or even just a letter to the editor. We may be time poor and never get around to actually doing any writing. We can’t just plan it – we have to do it.
So, if you’ve been dreaming but not putting those dreams into action why not begin now with Umoja Writing Competition? Challenge yourself to complete 1,000 words on the theme, peace. Once you’ve set and completed that challenge (and helped a worthy charity along the way) you can then begin to call yourself a writer. Yes, writers do plan in their head, but they also take notes every day, jotting down those ideas with words on paper or keyboard, not just in their own mind, never to be read.
It doesn’t matter how you begin as long as you do. If you wish to be a writer write. It’s as simple as that.
If you have little confidence about your writing you can start with Umoja Writing Competition. Then once you’ve assessed your skills you could join one of the many writing centres around Australia. These small groups supported us last year Stanthorpe Writers Group and Boroondara Writers Group.
For bigger centers:
- Australian Writers Centre
- Queensland Writers Centre
- NSW Writers Centre
- SA Writers Centre
- WA Writers Centre
- Writers Victoria
- Tasmanian Writers Centre
- NT Writers Centre
- ACT Writers Centre
Join a group in your local area to build an enduring network with like-minded people who can encourage your writing skills. You can also join our Facebook community for tips and writing quotes to keep you inspired. If you have a writers group that you would like mentioned on our page please tell your members about our competition and contact us to let us know you have and then we’ll add your link as well.
Meet our winner Kirsten
This year’s winner of Umoja Writing Competition, Kirsten Leggett generously donated back her prize money. She did receive the first prize trophy and on receiving it said, “Thank you again for such a wonderful opportunity to write for others and share in something that benefits those less fortunate than we. I am humbled to be this years winner of the Umoja Writing Competition.”
About Kirsten Leggett
Kirsten lives and writes in Tasmania. A writer of short stories and poetry, she writes for both enjoyment and for a deeper understanding of what it means to be human. ‘The Tiny Teacher‘ was Kirsten’s first short story. Most recent published writing includes ‘Interloper’ (101 words.org) and ‘Pear Infused with Jasmine’ (Flash Fiction Magazine).
Umoja Thanks You
Kirsten is a worthy winner and we congratulate her on the wonderful entry ‘The Tiny Teacher‘. Along with Kirsten’s generous donation our second placed, Denise Krklec also donated her prize money back to Umoja. She said, “I worked as a volunteer in an orphanage in Bolivia, and appreciate how difficult it is to source funding – that’s why I entered the competition – and while I’m over the moon my entry was considered so favourably, I’d like to donate my prize money back to the orphanage.” Isn’t that a wonderful conclusion to this year’s competition!
Thanks also to; our founder, Cathy for the wonderful work she does for Umoja Orphanage Kenya; literacy consultant Deborah Lawrence for donating the winner’s trophy and judging; writer Martin Knox for a generous funding donation; Umoja communications officer Shanyn Limpus for judging and of course all the writers who entered Umoja Writing Competition 2015.
Next year’s competition will be run in a slightly different format (still to be advised). We are considering a smaller entry fee to entice more entries and more focus on entrants considering sponsoring an Umoja Orphan. If anyone has any ideas about how to make next year’s competition a fundraising success for Umoja Orphanage Kenya, please contact me through our contact page.
Last word: Unite your writing with a worthy cause to feel the realisation of your words flowing towards a better world.
If you’ve thought you had plenty of time to enter, time is running out. Don’t miss our August 6th deadline. Remind your writing friends to get their entries in too.
Remember this competition is a genuine literary competition that raises money for Umoja Orphanage Kenya.
Please help this wonderful cause and at the same time you may build your writing profile as last year’s winner Lauren Dionysius did. Look for Lauren’s next post in the coming days.
Download our entry form HERE
We encourage you all to spread the word about the Umoja Writing Competition. The more entries and the more benefit to Umoja Orphanage Kenya. Ask your local school if they would like to put up some posters. Ask your local bookstore if they’ll encourage their readers and writers to enter. See if your library is willing to promote us. Tell your writers’ group all about us. Thank you to everyone who gets the word out.
You can download a PDF of this poster/flyer (with the second page) at: Umoja Writing Comp 2015 Flyer
You can also download our entry form: Umoja Orphanage Writing Comp Form 2015
Everyone is welcome; school children, creative writers, hobbyists, serious writers, dabblers, newbies – anyone.
Good luck and get writing now before you miss our August 6th deadline.
There really doesn’t need to be a reason to write, as Nike says, ‘Just do it!’
Even when inspiration is yet to strike you can still start writing. Just let it flow and see what happens. Once you are writing you’ll often be surprised by what starts to flow from your brain to the pen or the keyboard.
Now why don’t you start your entry into Umoja Writing Competition 2015. You only have to write 1,000 words with the theme CHILD. Everyone must have a story in them about CHILD. If you’re a school child you’ll be young enough to write about how you felt as a child. If you’re older you can draw on your love of a child you know or met. You can write fiction, essay or travel article, so there’s plenty of scope for all sorts of writers.
So what have you got to lose? Nothing and the orphanage has plenty to gain by your entry. Thanks you.