A Pakistani Seventeen year old teenager Zahra Hussain has won the top prize in the Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition. Zahra Hussain entered the competition as a student of Lahore Grammar School International.
Her short story, Hues of Red, focuses on child marriage and domestic violence in South Asia.
Reacting to her win, she told the competition organizers:
“I’m mostly in disbelief because it’s such a huge honour, but once I get past that I think I’ll be incredibly excited.”
Ng Woon Neng and Janine Shum from Singapore and Floria Gu from Canada came in second, third and fourth places respectively.
The winners of the competition will visit London to participate in cultural and educational events. They will also take part in the award ceremony of the competition which will be held in Buckingham Palace.
The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition is the world’s oldest schools’ international writing competition, managed by The Royal Commonwealth Society since 1883. Every year, it offers all Commonwealth youth aged 18 and under the opportunity to express their hopes for the future, opinions of the present, and thoughts on the past, through the written word. In 2018, 12,000 young people from across the Commonwealth entered the Competition – congratulations to all! This year’s theme invited young people to share their ideas on the topic of ‘Towards a Common Future’ – Judges were impressed by the diversity and ingenuity of entries and described the pieces as ‘fantastically imaginative’, ‘hopeful’ and ‘passionate’.