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Korea, Old and New;TES Competition;Winners

(Photograph) - HOW DO you write a prize-winning essay? Earlier this year, The TES invited students to submit contributions, on the theme of Korea, Old and New, with the incentive of a week's free holiday in South Korea to the winner, writes Jeremy Sutcliffe.

The competition was divided into two age groups, with three runners-up prizes for each category - 13 to 15-year-olds and 16 to 19-year-olds, plus an overall Grand Prize winner.

Our overall winner was 14-year-old Samana Fazel, of Babington Community College, Leicester, whose essay linked careful research into the effects of social change in Korea with an imaginative account of the lives of two children born 70 years apart.

"I found this a refreshing and imaginative way to write about old and new Korea, with a very positive point of view," said Dr Youngsook Pak, chairman of the Centre of Korean Studies at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies, and a member of the judges' panel.

Her view is echoed by Caroline St John Brooks, TES editor, who also took part in the judging: "At first sight, Samana's essay looks very simple - but this is deceptive. What really stands out is that she has transformed the facts she has gleaned from different sources into a readable and thought-provoking piece."

Her winning essay is reprinted here.

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