Write on!

Chinese Writing Contest

It’s time to be creative

Learning Chinese is to be creative!

Students toy around elements of Chinese language and create interesting stories or beautiful poetry. It’s like playing with small pieces of Lego. We are only limited by our own imaginations. This creative field should be open to students from day one.

However, the theme of learning Chinese is often dominated by the question “how many characters have you learned?” This question has led many students to focus on accumulating Chinese characters, spending so much time and energy either to look up characters or to memorise them. But accumulating characters for the sake of accumulating them does not enhance students’ learning experience, nor help them develop their Chinese skills, or bring any sense of delight. This is unfortunate.

The real question we should ask is “how much Chinese reading and writing have you done?” With this question, students’ focus is turned into reading for ideas and writing for creation. Amazing learning results can be achieved. 

Therefore, in order to encourage students to read more and to write more, learners of Chinese worldwide are invited to participate in this Chinese Writing Contest, and to show their creativity using 320 Chinese characters.

Beginner students are encouraged to compete with the advanced ones, and the older students are encouraged to compete with the younger ones.

This is a competition that no one suffers from stage fright. Have fun!

The prizes 2022

  • MC

    The winner wins one year subscription of The Chairman’s Bao

The Chairman’s Bao is a comprehensive news-based graded reader, featuring real-life evolving stories to facilitate students’ language study.

  • DC

    The first runner-up wins one year subscription of Du Chinese

Du Chinese is a powerful Chinese learning app. Many built-in features help students practice Chinese naturally and provide assistance when they need.

  • MA

    The second runner-up wins one year subscription of SuperMemo

SuperMemo is a powerful SRS (Spaced Repetition Software). This platform offers 200 quality courses covering 19 languages.

  • MSL Master

    The best submissions will be published by MSL Master

MSL Master is dedicated to creating relevant and effective Chinese learning materials, helping students achieve Chinese language proficiency and develop Chinese cultural literacy. The best submissions will be assembled and published as a book with a registered ISBN. Contributors to the book win the rights to tell families and friends that they are published authors!

Guidelines

Character requirement

Writings are limited to using the following 320 Chinese characters only:

〇一二七九了儿人入八几力十又万三上下个么也千口大女子小山工己已干才门飞马不中为之书五什今从以六分午天太少开心手文斤方无日月比毛气水见车长业东主乐他们写冬出加包北半去发只叫可右号四处外头对左平打本生用电白让边买价会先全再动华吃同名后向吗回因在地场多她好如妈字师年当成收早有机次欢此江百红网老自色行衣西过问两住体作你冷别吧听员坐块声完弟快我找把报时条来步每汽没男花走身还这进远那里间饭事些京其到卖呢和国妹姐姓学定宜实店往所拐放明果河法泳爸现的直知空经英话雨鱼便信前南孩客差带很怎思总星春昨是点看秋种穿给美要说贵面候哥哪夏家拿校样海热班真能被请读课谁起钱饿高做常得情教晚球理着第累绿船部都雪黄最喜喝就期游然短等裙裤谢跑道黑想意新楼矮蓝跟路零慢赚颜

All 320 characters and their related words/combinations are presented in these free online video lessons

Words and combinations which use these 320 characters but are not included in the online video lessons are welcome.

What to write

Anything. It could be a short story, a mini play, a poem, or anything else a creative mind fancies.

Length

299 - 1000 Chinese characters, excluding punctuations. Poetry is accepted at any length.

Sample writings

The following are available as sample writings:

The process

Time line

  • Aug 1, 2022 — Submission starts
  • Sep 16, 2022 — Submission ends
  • Sep 25, 2022 — Announce the qualified submissions
  • Oct 16, 2022 — Public voting ends
  • Nov 1, 2022 — Announce the winner

Method of selection

  • The initial assessment is done at MSL Master.
  • The qualified and quality submissions will be published on MSL Master website. 
  • The winner is selected by public votes on Twitter.

(In the event of any unexpected scenarios, teacher April, the organiser, has the authority to make the final decision.)

Check your writing before submitting

If you wonder whether or not you have involuntarily used one or two Chinese characters which are not included in the list, you can check it quickly. 

Contributed by two talented Chinese language learners, two alternative ways are available.

  • The Demonic-Duck character checker

Click this link https://regexr.com/60vqa 

Paste your writing under “Text”. Characters which are not included will be highlighted, as the example shows.

  • The Betty character tool

Click this link: https://bettyjj.github.io/limited-characters/ 

Paste your writing into the space provided, then click “Submit”. Characters which are not included will be screened out. If some punctuation marks also show up, don’t worry about them.  

The quest for excellence

27 best entries have made into the final round!

Feedbacks from Chinese Writing Contest 2021

  • Thank you for letting us know about the contest. What a great idea! We will circulate the information to those who may be interested. — Liz B.

  • Thank you for letting us know the opportunity. This competition is a great encouragement for our Chinese school and students. — John L.

  • Thank you for holding such a great competition! I have learned how to be creative, and how to use the simple characters to write meaningful stories. I also got the chance to learn from others', which was a really good experience for me. — Trista W.

  • Thank you so much. I will encourage my students to patriciate. — Stella Y.

  • Thank you for sharing this information. I appreciate all your initiatives to promote Chinese language learning. — Jia F.

  • Limiting the number of Characters made it a very enjoyable challenge! — Josh T.

  • We were so excited because it’s such a great competition which students will definitely have fun. We promoted it in class and students are so keen to write the story/poem. So I am writing to show my appreciation. — Zoe H.

  • I think it is an awesome idea and I will strongly encourage my students, past and present, to participate. — Janine L.

  • Thank you so much for getting in touch with us. This is a very welcome development, we will do our best to get our students participate. — Gracious M.

  • As a mom, I'm so happy for her. It is not easy as the writing is limited to using 320 Chinese characters. Again, thank you for organising this Chinese Writing Contest so that more people have a chance to explore their "Han Yu". — Fiona Y.

  • I will forward this information to teachers. Thank you again for this opportunity! — Laura R.

  • Thank you for sharing the details of this competition. I will promote this via our usual channels! — Frances N.

Published best entries

Collaborative Partners

I’m Learning Mandarin Podcast & Blog

A podcast & blog that offers reflections on learning Chinese and tips on what works and what not.

Almond Press

Provide the most comprehensive list of writing competitions available online.

Teacup Media

The best China history podcast that offers a wealth of compelling and insightful stories from Chinese history.

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CONTACT

April Zhang
Chinese Teacher
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(852) 9739 8065

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