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
Came here when I was 10 years old.
Often heard that the English streets were paved with gold!
Not quite sure I knew what that meant, in all honesty,
It's just something I kept hearing, constantly,
From elders, obviously.
I assumed they'd seen stories about England on TV.
But, guess as time approached,
I'd have the opportunity
To see with my own eyes.
And when we arrived in January 1975 - "permission to swear?"...
Nothing but white, fluffy stuff everywhere!
This must be the gold I kept hearing about!
This must be it, this must be gold.
It has to be, cause I can't see the road.
But no-one said that gold was cold!
We arrived at our address in NW10.
This was home, where we'd be staying.
When my stepfather opened the door
Yummy smells were coming from the kitchen.
Thought he'd laid on a feast for us
But when I walked in, my face dropped!
Strangers! Who were this couple?
If I'd spoken, it wouldn't have been subtle
So I said nothing!
We walked into a tiny room, which only had 1 bed.
Then realisation hit!
This wasn't just our house.
We were all in the same boat
The kitchen, bathroom and toilet had to be shared.
I became more of an introvert!....
We did eventually find our own place
And I welcomed my own room, and much more space!
Many, many years have since passed - 46 to be exact
But when I look back,
I'd be lying if I said it didn't get a whole lot better
And not sure I'd want to change any of it either!
But, sadly, I lost my Mother, in 1984.
Hadn't experienced that kind of pain before.
I'd lost family members of course,
But Mum and me were tight!
Most times it was just the 2 of us.
I've been back to the Caribbean many times
And it's an important journey to make.
It helps me appreciate
All I've gained
Since migrating to England!
This journey has played a big hand
In who I am today!
I have an open mind.
Yes, I left family and friends behind, but what I've gained is so much more.
Coming here opened many a door!
And I'm doing things I truly adore - Writing, playing sports, visiting the Theatre. England offers an array of things to do and explore!
Dominica will forever be in my heart, my soul, my blood
Because it is where I was born!
But, arriving here in 1975, when I made my Journey
Doors were truly opened for ME!
I say it sometimes, albeit quietly,
But now it's on paper, for all to see - Thank You, ENGLAND!
Your streets were never paved with gold,
And I'm all too familiar with the cold!
But, small fish I say
'Cause the advantages far outway!
The only negative to this narrative
And my only alteration to this script
Is that Mum would be here, to see and read this master piece!
Thank you for allowing me
To share my story!
Meet the Judges
Director, British Future
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’.
Founder and Executive Director
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.’
Member of the House of Lords
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’.
Public Relations Officer of the NCBA
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’.
Professor of Economics and Public Policy
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’.
CEO and Founder
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 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’.