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Writing Literary Masterpiece on Youthful Freedom, Kaohsiung Girls' Senior High School Receives Nine Awards from the 2023 Kaohsiung Youth Literature Award Ceremony

With the theme of “Fictional Files,” the 2023 Kaohsiung Youth Literature Award announced 37 prize winners before holding an award ceremony at the Kaohsiung Literature Library on December 9, 2023. Judges of each category, Councilwoman Tang Yong-yu, Director Chen Kun-Lun of the Chunhui Press, and principals and teachers from the awarded schools attended the event to convey their best wishes to the prize winners. The awards ceremony itself had two highlights. The first highlight is Kaohsiung Girls’ Senior High School sweeping a total of nine awards. The second highlight is Chen Er-Yuan, the winner of the Lin Rong-San Literary Award. He shares a heartfelt story about “Coming Back to the Alma Mater” from his perspective as a winner of the previous Kaohsiung Youth Literature Award.

Deputy Director Jian Mei-Ling from the Bureau of Cultural Affairs of the Kaohsiung City Government expressed her admiration for the 2023 Kaohsiung Youth Literature Award participants. She remarked that many literary works written by 12-15-year-old participants held mature and solid notes. Some of the paragraphs or sentences they wrote were even better than those written by adults. The Bureau of Cultural Affairs has made long-term efforts to cultivate a literary environment to ensure writers receive more support. They have held numerous events, including the national “Takao and Fongyi Literary Awards;” “Writing About Kaohsiung Awards and Subsidy Program,” which established direct cooperation with the publishing industry, as well as the “Mandarin Original Stories and Scriptwriting in Taiwan” program, to which many creators have been paying close attention. The Bureau of Cultural Affairs hopes to work with writers and creators to leave a literary mark unique to Kaohsiung.  

Chen Er-Yuan, who attended the awards ceremony as a VIP guest, received the first Lin Rong-San Literary Award prize for his short story. He emotionally recalled his experiences as a Kaohsiung Youth Literature Award participant three years ago. Although his work only made it to the final round, Chen Er-Yuan’s courage to read the judges’ comments and suggestions allowed him to “find the will to believe in his writing.” From then on, he found the theme of his subsequent work, through which he finally received the most important award in his literary career.  

The Kaohsiung Girls’ Senior High School also became the spotlight of this year’s Kaohsiung Youth Literature Awards for receiving nine literary awards in one fell swoop. Before this year, Kaohsiung Girls’ Senior High School usually won approximately three to four awards yearly. Nonetheless, the works submitted for each category this year were all excellent. Principal Jheng Wen-Yi mentioned that literature is integral to the school culture. Students are willing to spend their free time outside class actively participating in literary activities and writing clubs. All the factors mentioned above, coupled with the fact that students have also been highly courageous in exploring their humanistic traits, have resulted in the birth of numerous excellent literary works.

Guo Yu-Syuan, a Kaohsiung Senior Girls’ High School student, won the first prize in the age 12~15 group of the literary essay category with her work “Box.” Guo Yu-Syuan expressed her mixed feelings about moving away from her hometown in Yunlin to study in Kaohsiung. She initially had difficulties getting used to her life in the city, but now she has established a relationship with the town that recognizes her.

Another student who has changed after receiving the award is Guo Yu-En, who won the first prize in the age 16~18 group of the modern poems category with her work “Summer Notes: Entry No. 62.” Her work was inspired by the random thoughts she had on her way back from cram school. Guo Yu-En had held so little confidence in her literary work that she had deleted the file upon submission. Thankfully, the judges have managed to restore her confidence in writing.  

The beautiful city of Kaohsiung is home to numerous creators. One of them is Ciou Shu-Chan, a Hokkien singer from Liugui. Ciou Shu-Chan is the winner of this year’s Golden Indie Music Awards and performed three songs sung in her mother tongue during the opening of the 2023 Kaohsiung Youth Literature Awards Ceremony. Her songs were all about genuine friendships between people and their hometowns. Another example would be the Shine Zone Theatre Group, which presented a readers’ theatre performance of their drama “They Write Late in the Night.” The drama illustrates the creators' struggles as they write in isolation in the darkness of the night. The story incorporates elements from familial memories and local elements from Kaohsiung, conveying the unending possibilities of a city’s memories to be “collectively recreated.”

KPL invites all citizens to read this year’s “Fictional Files” and bask in the beauty of words that are, as Chen Bo-Yan, a judge of the short stories category, put it, “Elegant, meaningful, and full of power. Very much like Kaohsiung.”





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Updated2024-04-03 AM 11:09:50