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

Growing up “different” to my mum

by Erica

Born in Hong Kong but raised in England. 

It was a big change but I knew no different. 

You see, my parents just wanted something different, something more. 

I understand it so much better now, than I ever did before. 

I never even knew I was “different” until people would tell me “it’s a cold sore”... not coleslaw. It’s “switch of the light” not “close the light”. 

 

To think I grew up only speaking one language and now I think in another. 

To think I grew up speaking one language to parents but another to my sister and brother. 

Oh, the loss of cultural identity. That was hard for my mother. 

 

Cultural identity. It runs deeper than mere speech and language. 

It’s being proud of who you are, but I grew up feeling different and ashamed and it caused my mother so much anguish. 

High school was difficult, I just wanted to be like my friends. 

I felt she didn’t understand me, we would drive each other round the bend. 

I would say “why don’t you show me physical affection? like the mothers of my friends” 

It must have made her feel terrible but she knew there was a positive end. 

“Baby, don’t you understand, I don’t need to give you cuddles to show I love you” in other words “please understand, that I work so tirelessly so that you can do whatever you want to” 

And now I am living my best life and I am the happiest i have ever been, 

My mum went through tough times to get here, to support me, make me independent so that I can live my dream. 

 

You see, she was so selfless that she never expected affection or love back from her children. 

Her sole purpose as a mother was to provide them with everything they could have ever needed. 

 

Now I am proud of who I am and my cultural identity, 

I understand that this parenting is what was best for me. 

 

I could have never done half the things I have done, if it wasn’t for the bravery of my mum.

Erica

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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’.