Organized by the An Bang Villagers Abroad Conference – in promoting the An Bang Culture.
One of the many goals of the An Bang Villagers Abroad Conference is to initiate or pass down the Vietnamese and An Bang cultures to the younger generation. The writing contest was within this scope. The Organizing Committee, along with the Culture Sub-Committee, organized this writing contest to identify young talents to serve the An Bang community in the field of literature. Previously, it was expected to have at least 30 essay entries. However, only 14 articles submitted. Perhaps, this writing contest was not widely spread or shared to all young talents.
There were 5 articles in Vietnamese and 9 in English. According to the Culture Sub-Committee, all of these 14 essays were excellent, made it harder for the Judge Panel to decide. In fact, one of the judges even said that all 14 candidates deserved to be first places. However, every contest must have a prize, so the judge panel was forced to follow the method set by the organizers. The grading method is based on 5 rubrics:
- Meet all the rules and requirements as stated on the Writing Contest Plan
- The depth of the article
- Language techniques, grammar and spelling
- Easy to follow (Judge’s take)
- Coherent thought
The results are announced at the Conference as follows:
Group A (Under 18 years old)
- First Place: Tiếng Biển Ngày Hạ – Văn Thị Thảo Ly, Orlando, FL
- Second Place: Part of the An Bang Community – MyLinh Nguyen, Lake Worth, FL
- Third Place: An Bang Roots – Ashley Dang, Sanford, FL
- Fourth Place: My Understanding of An Bang – Kathy Đào, Orlando, FL
Group B (18-24 years old)
- First Placet: The An Bang Fire – Bao Nguyen, Lake Worth, FL
- Second Place: Ấm Lòng Tình Quê Nơi Xứ Lạ – Văn Tấn Hải, Jacksonville, FL
- Third Place: Returning to Our Roots – ThuyMi Nguyen, Lake Worth, FL
- Fourth Place: 3.2.1 – Randy Trương, Port Orange, FL
- Fourth Place: Con Đường Đi Tìm Niềm Hy Vọng – Văn Thị Thanh Tuyền, Jacksonville, FL
- Fifth Place: Tìm Lại Cội Nguồn – Mi Ni Tran, Palm Coast, FL
- Sixth Place: Tôi Tự Hào Là Người An Bằng – Nguyễn Thị Ngọc Xuyến, Clinton, MS
- Seventh Place: We Are An Bang – Nguyễn Khánh Anh (Luna Nguyen), Aurora, CO
Group C (25 years old or older)
- First Place: Raised in America, But Anchored by My An Bang Roots – Van Truong – Methesda, MD
- Second: Proud to be an An-Banger – Quy Phan, Fort Meyers, FL
Prizes and Awards:
- All 3 First Places received $1,000 each and souvenirs
- All 3 Second Places received $500 each and souvenirs
- All 3 Third Places received $300 and souvenirs
- The remaining contestants received Consolation Prizes worth $100 each and souvenirs
- All contestants received small gifts from the organizers
In order to receive any prizes, contestants need to be present at the Conference. These contestants deserved the above awards. However, there was a special award offered to Luna Nguyen. She was recognized for designing the logo for the Conference and the front page of the newsletter.
It was organized that the first prize winners would give a speech in the program. However, due to limited time, this did not happen. In the near future, anbangnews will post all 14 essays on our website along with their speeches, if they are available to us.
Congratulations to these 14 young talents. We hope that you will go further in the field of literature in the future.
Mr. Loc K Nguyen, Head of the Culture Sub-Committee:
Cultures of mankind have been written on stone slabs for thousands of years. Written languages both affect and are affected by the cultures that accompany them. The writing contest was implemented in the An Bang Abroad Conference to encourage our future generations to preserve our heritage and our cultures: Vietnam generally and An Bang particularly.
There is an old saying, “there is no clear winner in literature and there must be one winner in physical fighting.” It was very difficult for us to determine the winner for this writing contest. However, to be able to award prizes, we had to set rules. The total scores did not differ significantly between contestants.
We realized that during the process of writing and being present here today, you have proved yourself to be an An-Banger. What makes us prouder is your participation in this contest. We hope that you will carry on this critical thinking throughout your life as an An-Banger.
Your life is a bucket containing many experiences. Those essays that you have written speak for part of that bucket: the awareness of the An Bang people and/or their homeland that you are proud of. We are sure that your parents are very proud of you about your achievement at this moment. The An Bang people would be even more proud of you if you devote your efforts and talents to the An Bang community. Please use your strengths and interests to promote the essence of An Bang people on your own. On this stage at this moment, you are evidently literature talents recognized by many An Bang people. Let this cherished moment activate your motivation to serve your people and your homeland. Let this moment be a cultural transmission from generation to generation in a sacred way. Finally, let’s continue exploring your talents with constant efforts to acquire, learn, give, and contribute to the society that you are living in while preserving the An Bang identity in you
Mr. Thai Le, one of the judges:
Ladies and Gentlemen,
To our 14 contestants who participated in our essay contest, my name is Thai Le. I am one of 14 judges to evaluate the essays about An Bang. We have tried our best to grade these essays despite our limited skills and knowledge. We had 5 essays written in Vietnamese and 9 in English, all of which were very well written. Unfortunately, we could only award three winners. As in any contest, some people win and some people do not; however, anyone can achieve greatness and be satisfied with the feeling that all your effort was given to the writing. Like the great American inventor Thomas Edison said, “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” All of you represent 14 beautiful flowers in the Cultural An Bang Garden today. We would like to see more flowers blooming in the garden of An Bang next time, as you are all talented writers and should continue to compose beautiful pieces. We may all struggle in the things we do, but we are winners in our hearts as people of An Bang. Good luck to all future contestants and thank you for listening. Have a wonderful evening!
It was cheerful at the Award Ceremony where everyone attended was filled with joy, especially the organizers.