GDST Creative Writing Competition 2022 – The Results

9 May 2022

We are delighted to announce that Zahra (Year 9) and Tessa (Year 10) have won their respective categories in this year’s GDST Creative Writing Competition.

To enter, participants were required to write a short story, of no more than 1000 words, on the theme of ‘bouncing back’. Entries were then judged by Rachel Hore, best-selling author and Sutton High School alumna.

Zahra’s Kabul triumphed in the Years 7, 8 and 9 category. Rachel commented that ‘A mature approach to difficult subject matter is on display in this tender, immersive tale of survival and hope from the point of view of a young Afghan refugee.’

From Zahra:

“My inspiration for the story was the second Taliban seize of power from the Afghan government earlier this academic year. I felt that it was important to highlight the lives of those affected by political issues and communicate how I imagine it would be to lose one’s home and country.”

Tessa’s Rebound was proclaimed winner of the Years 10 & 11 category, and Rachel commented that ‘This imaginatively structured poem about struggling with identity and suicidal intentions is inventive with language and causes the reader to see things differently.’ 

Following her success, we caught up with Tessa to find out what inspired her to write Rebound –

“Rebound is a story that has, in one way or another, been in my mind for years. A lot has changed since the idea first came into my head, but at its core, it’s always been about carrying on – coming back from the darkest place imaginable and managing to keep on fighting. It’s a very personal story to me, and putting it out in the world was terrifying. I’m still astounded that it was even read by anyone, let alone winning a competition.

It’s never easy to bare your soul to the world, but if even one person reads Rebound and is reminded that they are not alone, then it will have been worth it. Always remember: you have so much left to live for.”

You can read the piece for yourself here.

Well done to Zahra and Tessa on this phenomenal achievement. We would also like to congratulate all of our students who entered this competition and produced such beautiful and thoughtful work – we are proud of you all!

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