Result for the Third National Creative Writing Contest

Thank you for submitting to Sun Yat-sen University’s third annual Creative Writing Competition in English!


This year’s judges, Carly Plank and Tammy Jolene Atha, are two MFA candidates from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Carly Plank is a creative nonfiction writer interested in lyric essays and short stories. Tammy Jolene Atha is a poet interested in the possibilities of poetry as a vehicle for nonfiction narrative.


Their decision making for the competition was based on three main criteria: the quality and craft of the writing, narratology, and the precision and execution of English.


Based on the above criteria, the judges of this year’s competition are excited to announce the winners of Sun Yat-sen University’s third annual Creative Writing Competition in English.


The third place winner, How I Met My Husband by Cui Yi, was chosen for the overall form of the piece. The judges found the decision to present a narrative with lyric qualities in fragments to be a new and experimental way to engage in storytelling.


The judges’ choice for second place, Sparrow by Rong Chenshan, uses the sparrow as a symbol to convey the oppressive climate of the narrator’s childhood household as well as the ethereal hopefulness of youth. The combination of the striking descriptions of the bird combined with the topic’s symbolic resonance made Sparrow the clear runner-up.


The contest winner is Last Time to Sweep the Temple by Guo Yang and Sun Tianjiao, an ekphrastic piece utilizing black and white images in combination with minimalist storytelling reminiscent of a traditional folktale. The writer’s concision and strong command of imagery paint a stark portrait of a young monk returning to his temple as an act of reclamation and personal redemption.


Thanks to all those who submitted work, the overall quality of the pieces submitted made choosing the winners very difficult.


Congratulations to the winners!


The Judges,

Carly Plank and Tammy Jolene Atha