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Four students come in tops at YOUth Write Creative Writing competition

Singapore, 31 May 2013 – It was a big win for Nanyang Girls’ High School at the YOUth Write awards presentation ceremony held this afternoon at the Singapore Press Holdings News Centre auditorium. Two of its students clinched the top two spots in the competition, and also helped the school bag a trophy for the most number of best entries.

YOUth Write, a creative writing competition, was launched in March 2013 to mark the 10th anniversary of Singapore Press Holdings Foundation (SPH Foundation). The competition was open to secondary school students nationwide, in collaboration with IN, the student publication of The Straits Times. Students submitted short essays based on the theme of how youths can make a difference in Singapore.

15-year-old Teow Kang Hui from Nanyang Girls’ High School took home the top prize of a 64GB iPad mini, $300 cash and a certificate for her winning entry. She made use of the starfish analogy, adapted from American anthropologist Loren Eiseley and interspersed with her own opinions, to illustrate that the negatively regarded bullheadedness of youths should be viewed positively as freshness and vigour, and that every action, no matter how small, can make a difference.

In second place was 15-year-old Gloria Chan from Nanyang Girls’ High School, winning herself a Canon Powershot G15 camera, $200 cash and a certificate. Coming from a more sentimental angle, she was an advocate for kindness – embodying love with every action like showing care and compassion for others.

It was a close fight for the third position, with a tie between 16-year-old Camillia Deborah Dass from St Margaret’s Secondary School and 17-year-old Megan Lee from Pathlight School. Both girls each won themselves a 64GB iPod Touch, $100 cash and a certificate. Judges were torn between Camillia’s essay which presented a mixed-genre argument on shedding the Singaporean mentality that “someone else will take care of it” and start reaching out to the poor and disadvantaged, versus Megan’s piece which used butterflies breaking out of their cocoons to illustrate that youths should adopt perseverance and set a good example for others to follow. After much deliberation, the judges awarded the third position to both girls.

Representing Nanyang Girls to receive the school trophy was Mrs Irene Tan, English Subject Head for Nanyang Girls School.

She said: “The theme of this competition fits the school’s objective perfectly - it helps us get our students to reflect on how they can make a difference in Singapore. That was why we were very supportive and actively encouraged our students to participate in YOUth Write.”

Close to 1,000 entries were received, including those from international and private schools. The judging panel was made up of SPH Foundation Director Mr Joseph Conceicao, SPH Foundation Deputy General Manager Ms Chin Soo Fang, as well as IN correspondent Ms Debra Ann Francisco. 

Commenting on the entries, Mr Conceicao said: “It was a pleasure to read essays of such high quality. The winners were effective in style and imaginatively creative – I think they are good enough to be passed off as works of first year university students. I appreciated the students’ frank and honest opinions. As an old man, I learnt a lot of the yearnings and travail of our young generation.” 

Ms Serene Goh, Editor of IN, said: “Young voices have a unique sense of optimism about them and I'm gratified to see how high their standards are. The newspaper has always championed artistic expression from its young readers, and I'm glad to see so many of them step up. The winning entries are indeed inspiring."

50 shortlisted students, along with their family, teachers and friends, were present at the awards ceremony where the top winner had the honour of sharing her winning entry on stage. 20 other students also took home merit prizes of $50 Popular book vouchers each.

More information on SPH Foundation's 10th anniversary can be found on


Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Foundation Ltd
Co. Registration No. 200300910M

For more information, please contact:

Joelyn Tan (Ms)
Corporate Communications & CSR
Singapore Press Holdings Limited
DID: 6319 1895

About the Singapore Press Holdings Foundation

The Singapore Press Holdings Foundation, a registered charity and an Institution of Public Character, was first set up as the Press Foundation of Singapore in January 2003 to help build a lifelong learning community that embraces language enrichment, creativity, diversity, healthy living and sports. The seed contribution of $20 million to the Foundation came from media group Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. It was renamed Singapore Press Holdings Foundation in May 2005. 

For more information, please visit the Foundation’s website at

About The Straits Times

The Straits Times, the English flagship daily of SPH, has been serving readers for more than a century. Launched on July 15, 1845, its comprehensive coverage of world news, East Asian news, Southeast Asian news, home news, sports news, financial news and lifestyle updates makes The Straits Times the most-read newspaper in Singapore. 

Quality news, in-depth analyses, impactful commentaries and breaking stories are packaged to give readers riveting accounts of events in Singapore, the region, and beyond. 

The Straits Times' key strength is in its world class coverage of news outside Singapore. With 20 bureaus in major cities around the world, The Straits Times correspondents bring world news to readers on a Singapore platter, helping them appreciate world events from a Singaporean perspective. 

In keeping with the times, The Straits Times introduced weekly supplements such as Digital Life (DL), Urban and Mind Your Body (MYB) to complement The Straits Times as well as IN and Little Red Dot to cater to young readers in schools. In 2010, IN won the World Young Reader prize for the Newspapers In Education category. The prize was awarded by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (Wan-Ifra).

The Straits Times also has an online presence at The site features top stories, blogs and an online forum threads. Also under The Straits Times' umbrella are citizen journalism site Stomp and online television service The Straits Times RazorTV.