2017 Fiction, Second Place
“The Exodus” by Jessica Hansen
Burwell, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom
Soham Village College
Jessica Hansen is 17 years old and a full-time student at Hills Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge, UK. She first heard about the Writing for Peace contest (and entered) last year while she was completing her final year at Soham Village College (secondary school). She is at the end of her first year of the two-year A-level program, taking classes in Biology, Chemistry, English, and Maths. She hopes to be accepted at one of the many top-rated UK universities. Jessica doesn’t really know what she want to do with her life specifically, but she does know that she wants to be a positive influence on the world.
Jessica’s family owns an 8 year old Connemara pony named “Fleur” and she competes in both Dressage and Show-jumping. She and her pony have a great partnership and have done really well the last few years, qualifying for several national competitions. She’s been a voracious reader ever since she could hold a book on her own and estimates that she’s read well over a thousand books in the many years since. This has inspired her to write her own stories, using her experiences and views on the world to influence and develop the narrative.
Jessica feels strongly about quite a few topics. Recently, her parents and she have gotten into heated discussions about politics and the military. She also feels passionate about our world governments helping refugees escaping war zones and educational reform. Everyone has a right to a safe home and an education. In the words of Nelson Mandela: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
From 2017 Young Writers Contest Fiction Judge Nick Arvin:
“The Exodus” is richly written and almost painful to read, its pain and compassion lie so close to the skin. It tells the story of a terrible escape, but also the story of a brother and a sister who are sustained, past all other limits, by their love for each other.
Jessica’s winning story will be featured in our 2018 edition of DoveTales, An International Journal of the Arts.
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