“The Cherry Blossom” by Paean Yeo, age 15
Crescent Girls’ School, Grade 10
Paean resides in Queenstown, Singapore, and is currently a final year student at Crescent Girls’ School. She has been a passionate writer since the age of eight, churning and illustrating a series of stories to the delight of her classmates. Aspiring to be an author, she loves writing fantasies as it empowers her to create totally new worlds and play with words.
She enjoys music, writing poetry, drawing and watching Japanese anime in her spare time.
Our judge says:
The Cherry Blossom. I chose this essay for several reasons: (1) the narrative arc of the piece is not only well-drawn but compelling; (2) the author’s language is fresh, kinetic, inventive, and charming, and I am always captivated by language that has an original flair; (3) the author describes the confusion and terror of a tsunami with unusually evocative imagery; and (4) the author captures a moment of sublime peacefulness when the petal from the cherry blossom flutters onto her nose. Using the metaphor of the cherry blossom is a delicate way to soften the terror than can be experienced through natural disaster. The beauty to be found in nature is the most sublime of beauties.
~ Phyllis Barber
Young Writers Nonfiction Contest Judge
2014 Progress Report
“I’ve always been a fiction writer, so clinching the top prize for the non-fiction division took me by surprise. The win broadened my perspective as a budding writer, and introduced me to a whole new range of topics I never thought I would consider. Currently, I’m dousing myself in different experiences as much as possible to bring in a touch of reality in my writing and working on “showing, not telling”.
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