THE 13TH Junior Dublin Literary Awards for Thailand, organised under the theme “Moving Forward”, attracted a strong response with almost 10,000 entries from students across all regions of the country.
Ramita Hongharnnarong of Triam Udom Suksa School won the overall national award. She received a Bt10,000 cash prize, a certificate and the chance to participate in the International Dublin Literary Award 2018 in the Irish capital with one parent.
The awards presentation ceremony was held on February 9 at Rembrandt Hotel in Bangkok.
“I’m really attached to my work and I didn’t think anyone would like it,” winner Ramita said. “I didn’t write to please anyone because if I had done that it would have been different. I’m glad that they [judges] liked me for I put myself in that work,” said Ramita.
The awards were jointly organised by The Nation and NJ Digital with support from the Embassy of Ireland and strategic partners OCS Group, Emerald Cultural Institute, Irish-Thai Chamber of Commerce, LawtonAsia Insurance Brokers, and Saint Patrick’s Society Bangkok Thailand.
The competition was held in all four regions of the country and each region’s representatives competed in the National Round. The main objectives of the annual competition are to enhance the creative English writing skills of Thai students nationwide and to encourage innovative thinking among members of the younger generation. This year’s keynote speaker was Roseanna Marshman, Hello English MC and a well-known English instructor. She shared valuable experiences with the young authors and offered some useful tips for all creative writers, inspiring the students to continue with their passion for English.
“After reading the essays, I was actually shocked about how high the standard was,” Marshman said. “I really didn’t expect Thais to be able to write that well. I myself could not have written like that. And even most English people cannot match that level. I’m very, very impressed with the English level of Thai students. So I hope that the rest of Thailand can see these students as a great example. And that the rest of the country will also be as interested in English as these students,” she added.
The judging committee of the 13th Junior Dublin Literary Awards for Thailand comprised Brandon Rogers, the Irish Ambassador to Thailand; Philomena Murnaghan, former Irish ambassador to Lithuania and Argentina; Dr Sirikorn Maneerin, former deputy minister of education; asst prof Suchada Nimmanmitr, former president of the English Teachers Association and director of the English Language Institute, Rangsit University; Prof Atchara Pradit, director of the Bachelor of Arts Programme in Literature for Children of the Department of Library and Information Science, Faculty of Humanities, Srinakharinwirot University; Pana Janviroj, president of Nation News Network; and Pimpimol Kongkriengkrai, editor of NJ Digital.
The essays submitted for the awards can be read at www.njdigital.net/dublin