TogetherintheUK

A Story-Telling 

Competition!

The TogetherintheUK’s Story-Telling Competition has now closed!

No further submissions will be accepted at this time

 

Thank you to those who have entered. We will keep the voting panel open for a further two weeks before selecting the winning shortlisted entries which will be presented to the judges.

You can still vote for your favourite stories, poems and essays for the next two weeks until Sunday, 16th May,  after which we shall close voting and shortlist the entries to be submitted to the judges to select our final winners in the various categories on the 8th July 2021. Good Luck all!

Please do read up on the judges below the submissions

An old newspaper print memory

by Susan

 

Nesting in a warm fluid of love with a heartbeat so strong it lulls me to sleep. I feel heat and recoil at once further into my warm fluid chamber. I taste the food she eats, the drink she drinks and wonder how she knows what makes me tick. I hear every night, the music she plays, muffled laughter, voices, dances and jumps that makes me kick.

 On a warm summer's day, I hear the long blast of a horn, quarrelsome sea gulls, distant chimes and sense a pulling away from a cherished island.

Mama though is happy about something, she keeps bringing up fluid, making me squirm and twist in my warm and comfy home, filled with love so strong it blinds.

Whoa…I sense sudden heat, temperature change, but wait a minute, so much laughter, so much love, and then all this sudden rush of heady endorphins through the cord that binds. I wonder where Mama is right now, the food she eats, movements she makes catapulting me into dreamless sleeps.

Fast forward 50 plus 3 years or more- I see a tattered photo of her, a newspaper print brown and yellow with age, hid in a dark corner for years and years and smells like ancient sage. There she is, my mama dearest, with a bump that is me, stepped off a ship sailed for weeks on deep blue sea. Mama may be in in her twenties or maybe more and beautiful as I imagined her to be, with almondy brown eyes, velvety smooth skin, medium dark hair tied back with something that spells ‘P’.

 I see my mama in this old and tattered newspaper print, on that day 50 plus 3 years or more ago and the feelings that I felt- the pictures in my developing brain of firing synaptic neurones, a tiny baby growing in mama’s womb- exactly how I imagined her to be.

She has travelled from England with dad to a land they used to call Gold coast, hope and pride, daddy standing proudly by her side. Mama is surrounded by family and warmth and to cries of ‘Akwaba ooo’, this means in Ghanaian ‘welcome welcome’- daddy standing proudly by her side.

I can now see 50 plus 3 years or more what was on the outside through a tattered newspaper print- a photo, faded, yellow with age and smelling like ancient sage, a precious glimpse of me in mama’s bump, stepped off a big ship christened Rift, a beautiful treasure so hard to find, no ultrasound photos in those days- so please be kind.

I am now back in this beautiful green country called England, where my life literally begun,25 plus years or more to date. The people, accents, food, smells, the music of the sixties that makes me cry and brings up memories of mum and dad and still do not know why.

Like mama, I have grown to love this Island, otherwise why does my heart jump when the plane emerges from the clouds, and see the land spread out right in front of my eyes?

I know that mama dear is proud of that little bump, I have grown to be in this England, a front-line health worker, just like mama was, serving in one of the greatest institutions in the world. I am now 50 plus 3 years and more to date, and know mama, will definitely agree.

 

 

Susan

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Meet the Judges

Sunder Katwala

Director, British Future
https://www.britishfuture.org/

Sunder is the Director of British Future, a thinktank with a particular interest in migration. His career includes working as a Commissioning Editor at MacMillan, he has worked as a journalist and leader writer for the Observer. His parents came to the UK from Ireland and India to work for the NHS. TogetherintheUK is very pleased that Sunder has agreed to be a judge as someone who will be able to judge what works on a literary level and who has a deep understanding of migration.

Sunder says, ‘Sharing and hearing personal stories can often be the most effective way to build empathy and understanding, so I very much look forward to seeing what the competition brings’.

Nazek Ramadan

Founder and Executive Director
www.migrantvoice.org

Nazek started Migrant Voice ten years ago when she identified that migrants were scapegoated and talked about and that migrants needed to speak out and be part of that debate taking place about them without them.  Migrant Voice is a campaigning organisation speaking out on issues of injustice and working to strengthen different communities.  Nazek is originally from Lebanon so understands migration very well both from her own personal experience and as a campaigner.  TogetherintheUK is very pleased that Nazek has agreed to be a judge on the Creative Writing competition as someone whose organisation has just published a fantastic ebook, celebrating Black History in the West Midlands and someone with deep insight into migration.  Nazek has kindly donated a place on her Media Lab programme to one lucky winner.  

Nazek says, ‘ Migrant Voice has led on lots of different campaigns over the years, all geared to developing migrant voices sometimes through arts and poetry, through engaging with the media or through images.   Its therefore obvious to me that I would want to encourage more voices, more creativity so of course, I want to be a judge on the TogetherinthUK competition.’

Lord Dubs

Member of the House of Lords
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alf_Dubs,_Baron_Dubs

Lord Dubs came to Britain from Czechoslovakia in 1939 on the Kindertransport. He is a Labour politician having spent many years as the Labour MP for Battersea and he is now in the House of Lords.

Lord Dubs says ‘I am delighted to be a judge for TogetherintheUk’s creative writing competition 2020. I know from my own experience how disorientating it can be to arrive in a new country and I think it is fabulous that the competition will give migrant children the chance to write about their own experiences. This is an opportunity for children to tell your own stories about what it was like for them and what helped them get through this challenging time. I am really looking forward to the difficult task of choosing the best poem or story and seeing all entries published by TogetherintheUK’.

Tyrone Roach

Public Relations  Officer of the NCBA
https://www.nationnews.com/

Tyrone Roach is the Public Relations  Officer of the NCBA – National Council of Barbadian Associations UK, an umbrella group for Barbadian Association in the United Kingdom. Where he has previously served as Chairman; He is also Chairperson of the Barbados Overseas Community Friends Association

Presently he is UK correspondent for the Barbados Nation Newspaper, a publication he has written for periodically over ten years, with responsibility for UK content, Editorial, advertising and Distribution  – Online and in print

He has been responsible for several large events in the Barbadian community in England, where he worked closely with the  Barbados High Commission. Events include the Independence Panel discussion, Barbados Forward Thinkers – Youth Seminar,  A lil bit of Bim and the Barbados day event in Ipswich, both EXPO of Caribbean culture and products

His experience of working with connecting migrants from the Caribbean to the UK with their country of origin has given him a depth of knowledge of the challenges and joys of migration, plus, of course, he knows good writing. Hopefully!

Tyrone says, ‘ I am looking forward to seeing the creativity in the under 18 category I know that these young people will have their own, unique perspectives – and this will enable me to see how society has changed significantly over the last year’.

Johnathan Portes

Professor of Economics and Public Policy
King’s College
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Portes

Jonathan is a Professor of Economics and Public Policy at King’s College, London. His current research is on labour mobility both within and outside the European Union. He is a much published author both of academic books and articles in the press. He is well qualified to act as a judge in the TogetherintheUK creative writing competition as someone who has lived in both the USA and the UK and whose many talents include synthesizing complex topics like migration into something easily understood by most of us.

Jonathan says ‘I am continually fascinated by how and why people migrate and their experiences so I am very much looking forward to reading the entries and I am sure that I will be inspired by what people write’.

David Marshall

CEO and Founder
Marshall’s Elearning
https://marshallelearning.com/

David Marshall founded Marshalls Elearning Consultancy in 2002. It specialises in diversity bringing together technology with experts in diversity. Marshalls provides all kinds of creative products to the market, all of which are designed to help organisations become more inclusive and diverse – constantly developing the ability to listen to different voices. David has very generously donated a Chromebook as the Marshall’s prize.

David says, ‘I am a sponsor of TogetherintheUK’s work as I love how they find different stories from different people, I have learnt so much from reading them about how people arrive in the UK and what works for them in building their lives here. I was delighted to be asked to be a judge on the competition as I want to know more’.

Consuelo Rivera-Fuentes

Publisher
Victorina Press
https://www.victorinapress.com

Consuelo is the publisher of the Victorina Press,  she is a writer of poetry and short stories both in Spanish and English.  She is Chilean/British and an academic and a publisher.  She came to the UK in 1992 and before leaving Chile, she was an active political campaigner against the regime of General Pinochet.  The mission of Victorina Press is to publish ‘inspirational books’.   TogetherintheUK is delighted that Consuelo has agreed to be judge, as someone with personal experience of migration, a publisher and an author. 

Consuelo says, ‘I love poetry and I love to read original work so I am very much looking forward to the creativity that I am sure will pour out of people when they sit down to write their entries’.