Dubai: Indian teen wins story writing contest at Emirates LitFest for fourth consecutive time

Her story will be published in an anthology of winning stories

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A Staff Reporter

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Published: Sun 6 Feb 2022, 1:45 PM

An Indian teenager in Dubai has bagged the first prize at the Oxford University Press Short Story competition hosted by the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature.

Anyka Chakravarty, a Year 13 student at the GEMS Wellington International School, was awarded the prize at a glittering ceremony at Hilton Habtoor City on Saturday.

This is the fourth consecutive time that Anyka has won a prize in the competitive event. Her story will be published in an anthology of winning stories.

“It is so humbling and gratifying to know that my words resonated with someone, and my efforts were recognized,” she said. “I would like to thank my parents, my teachers and Emirates Literature Foundation for creating such a wonderful platform for aspiring writers like me,” she added.

Anyka said her story, Going For Gold, was inspired by the culture of buying gold in Indian households.

“It’s common for people to purchase gold for different occasions. How the precious metal intersects with empowerment and social mobility was especially intriguing to me and formed the base for my story and my protagonist Sana's emancipation. I used the motif of a sun pendant in the story to reflect this year’s theme 'Here Comes the Sun'.”

The 17-year-old won first place in the 2021 edition of the contest, which was held under the theme ‘Change the Story’. Anyka’s story, Arabian Nights Retold, was inspired by the stories of resilience and optimism amid the pandemic.

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In 2020, she won first place for her story Waiting for Tomorrow and second place in 2019 for her story Mariam’s World.

An Academic Scholarship recipient at GEMS Wellington International School for two years straight, Anyka is the founder and editor of The Corridor, the magazine of GEMS Wellington International School, and Environmental Writes, an e-zine for the school’s eco club.


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