Today we announce the winner of Umoja Writing Competition 2015. It is both exciting and sad to come to this point in our competition. Exciting because our winner is about to find out, and sad because this year’s competition is over.
We’d like to thank everyone who entered to help make this fundraising and literacy venture a success. Though entrant numbers were down, we still managed to raise valued funds for Umoja Orphanage Kenya, and the wonderful work Cathy and her team do. We thank you all and hope you enjoyed crafting your story and entering our competition.
This year we allowed African entrant the chance to enter free, so they could enjoy the process of entering the competition. The competition has been designed to help Kenyan literacy levels and provide funding for the orphanage that will also have classrooms.
African Special Mention
We’d like to make special mention of our highest ranked African entrant, Nancy Lindah Ilamwenya from Ethiopa. Her entry ‘Of Nice and Mean’ was a beautifully crafted entry. Continue your writing, Nancy and we wish you the best of luck with your life goals. We will post Nancy’s entry and the winning entry on the blog in the coming days.
Okay here we go with the drum roll. Now for the overall winner of Umoja Writing Competition 2015. The winner is Kirsten Leggett from Tasmania, with her wonderful entry ‘Tiny Teacher’. Congratulations Kirsten.
Please return to see these entries. Now you be the judges when these four entries are posted let us know what you think of them. Give only literary feedback, thank you.
A quick thank you again to our judges Deborah Lawrence, teacher and literacy consultant (and also the sponsor of our trophy) and Shanyn Limpus, communications officer for Umoja Orphanage Kenya.
Please visit the orphanage Facebook page to see the latest information on the volunteer group who have just visited Kenya with Cathy. If you are interested in volunteering overseas you couldn’t find a better place to go.
Only a week to get your entries in to Umoja Writing Competition 2015. To make this a successful literary competition and fundraiser for Umoja Orphanage Kenya, we desperately need more entries. Please let all your writing friends know about us and encourage them to enter, please.
The theme is ‘Child’ but anything can inspire you.
- The above picture perhaps (baby animals and children).
- Your own children.
- Children in your area.
- The children of Africa.
- A baby who impacted your life.
- A toddler’s world.
- The inner child.
Hurry. Entries must be post-marked 6th August 2015 or arrive in my inbox before midnight on that day.
Here’s another writing quote to inspire you to write.
I hope you get your entry in to Umoja Writing Competition and test your writing. Entries close 6th August 2015. We need as many entries as possible to make this competition a success for the Umoja Orphanage Kenya. Please pass on to all your writing friends.
Here’s some more writing tips to help you in your quest to write:
- Membership in a national professional writing group can help you establish a professional image
- Write often, even if it’s just notes and scribbles
- Writing competitions build writing skills and test you against other writing styles Enter
- Inspiration often comes from nature. Look around you.
- Keep a notebook and don’t let any of those brilliant ideas slip away
- Set writing goals you can reach. Once reached expand them further.
- Attend workshops and conferences to enhance your writing craft
- Encourage other writer
- Write, write & write (edit re-write, edit re-write, edit re-write) polish
Good luck with your entry in this unique writing competition.
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
Lauren Dionysius is a 30-something Registered Nurse chasing bigger dreams. She’s passionate about writing, bikram yoga and wholefood nutrition and is in the process of combining these into her dream career. She lives in Bundaberg, Queensland but travels regularly overseas seeking new life experiences, from volunteering in Africa, or a writing retreat in Italy, to yoga in Bali, and studying nutritional healing in the USA. She thrives on growth and deepening her awareness of world we live in. She is a writer, an editor & a hungry soul searcher.
Lauren is also the winner of last year’s Umoja Writing Competition. She said, “My love for writing started as a ten year old with a bizarre, if not somewhat obsessive, collection of pens, rubber erasers and pretty paper. Even at school, I was fascinated by how words looked on paper and enjoyed the task of giving meaning to their order. Later, my nursing studies morphed my creative writing into dull academia, and, as a perpetual uni student who loved to write, I continued on to study a variety of topics including research, photography, clinical nursing, counseling, and most recently, international health. But it wasn’t until I enrolled in a travel writing course that I realised that I didn’t want to write about someone else’s topics anymore, I wanted to write about what was in my heart…
“In 2011, I took a “career break” from nursing to volunteer in Africa doing wildlife conservation and research projects. It was here that my love for travel was united with my creative spark to write my feelings into words and experiences into stories. I recounted my adventures in a blog to share with friends and family back home. I wrote about how Africa changed my view of the world and nudged me to re-evaluate what was important in my life. I soon realised that my life in Australia was inside-out and upside-down. By quitting my day job and leaving that stressful, money-driven life behind, I was free to embrace the vulnerability and uncertainty that is synonymous with Africa. It was the bravest, scariest decision I’ve ever made, but I learned so many life lessons along the way. I learned that living a rich life had little to do with money. Richness came through connections with myself and other people in the form of friendships, relationships, kinships and hardships. I realised that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t “buy myself happy”. Perhaps most importantly though, Africa taught me to be grateful, not guilty, for the opportunities, safety and freedom that was my privileged life back in Australia, one that I’d long taken for granted.
“Since returning from Africa I have kept these lessons close and have worked to apply them to my life here in Australia. I have returned to nursing, but in a position with healthy hours and less money (to match the effort required!), while still continuing to travel overseas. I am surrounded by friends and family and finally understand what having a ‘work-life balance’ really means.”
She draw inspiration from other writers and a wide variety of genres. She gets her “chic lit fix” from Sophie Kinsella and reads Jodi Picoult to absorb life-inspiring messages. Dean Koontz keeps her awake at night jumping at every noise she hears, but his use of language is alluring. She also loves Brene Brown and Eckhart Tolle who allow her to look beyond the words into mind and soul in order to create different words and new stories”.
We thank Lauren for contributing to Umoja Writing Competition blog and wish her the best in her endevours in writing and life. She will be contributing further as a guest blogger so look out for her new posts. She’ll be firstly writing about ‘why we write’ and then giving us an experienced insight into volunteering overseas. We look forward to her next posts.
And if you love writing why not write a story that helps others. By entering the Umoja Writing Competition your entry fee goes towards fundraising for Umoja Orphanage Kenya. The orphanage is a self-sustainable community project that enables the people of the Kwale District to fight poverty. Umoja is family centred, meaning we believe in the nurturing power of the family for children’s growth and development. Please help these children reach their full potential by entering today.