By British Council team, British Council in Singapore

28 June 2018 - 12:07

Our Primary students explored the topic of The Future in our first Primary Creative Writing Competition. Here are the winning entries along with their teacher's comments. 

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Winning entry by Gregory, Primary 3

‘Hoot! Hoot! The hooting of the owls broke the eerie silence of the night. A snail sitting on a green lily pad in the calm blue pond in the deep dark woods kept gazing at the bright glittering stars. He wondered to himself, 'Those stars are hanging safely in the sky.  Hey!  What if, in the future, all snails can evacuate and live in the embrace of the stars, safe from our mortal enemy, the cruel owl. Just yesterday, my poor Aunt met her tragic end, in the clutches of the owl. Oh, how I hate the owl!'

Just then, a brilliantly silly idea flashed into its puny brain! 'In the future, what if the snails in the stars come and pick me up? What will they be travelling in?'

At that moment, the silly mollusc saw two bright yellow headlamps and a pointed entrance. As snails aren’t known for their intelligence, the snail thought, 'Wow! My future just came two-thousand years earlier!' The closer the vessel came, the wider the entrance got. The snail quickly crawled towards the vessel, shouting, 'Safe stars, here I come!' It boarded the vessel … and met its future.

'Hoot! Hoot!' The satisfying hooting of an owl broke the eerie silence of the night.  

Teacher's Comments

I love how Gregory Ng has been able to create such a memorable character in his story of a snail dreaming of salvation from this world.  I love this snail!  He whimsically imagines a future safe from his arch nemesis, the owl, in comical musings that are cut abruptly with interjections.

'He wondered to himself, ‘Those stars are hanging safely in the sky.  Hey! What if, in the future, all snails can evacuate and live in the embrace of the stars, safe from our mortal enemy, the cruel owl.’'

The way he poetically delivers his thoughts ('hanging in the sky' / 'embrace of the stars') portrays a thoughtful and sensitive snail with his head always in the sky.

But he is, at heart, quite a stupid snail too.  The narrator tells us 'a brilliantly silly idea flashed into its puny brain!' This serves as a wonderfully funny line but is also a great lead up to the proof of his stupidity in the story. Seeing 'two bright yellow headlamps' coming towards him, he gloriously revels in his salvation, thinking his 'future' has come early. He fails to be cautious, and this complete lack of awareness of the real world is his undoing, as we are left pondering if he actually did meet his destiny.

Yes, you may argue that it is unclear as to what future he met. Was it actually a snail spaceship to save him? Was it a car zooming towards him? Or was it an owl swooping down to eat him? The 'pointed entrance' and the cyclical ending, changed slightly with the owl giving a 'satisfying' hoots, points more to him meeting his demise by owl.

However that is the story’s success. It is whacky, zany, and arcane. It has a powerful grasp of characterisation and boasts great creativity in imagining a future through a snail’s eyes.

I can’t get the image of the snail out of my head. Its hopeful and enlightened face. Its little snail arms stretched out in rhapsody. Its tiny heart bursting with elation. All just before he meets its future. Now, that’s a great way to go!

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Runner-up entry - A Modern World by Jovin, Primary 5

It’s the year 2050, A.K.A. the future. It’s not really the future, but my parents told me the people in the past call this year that (the future). So I just stick to it.

You would probably think of megacities, driverless cars and … but there’s actually more to it! Well I won’t be listing down all of the new modern works because you would think it’s boring and probably fall asleep while you are reading this. So I’ll just give an overview of them in my daily life.

As usual I walked out of school and waited for my parents to pick me up. You might feel like it’s boring as this is what most of our parents do, but trust me! You are about to reach the exciting bit now!

'Hey Dad …' I said as I sat down and switched on my new digital videogame. You are probably wondering what I meant by a digital videogame. It’s kinda like this thin transparent sheet of glass floating in mid-air showing a videogame that you can play, except that you can touch through it.

Anyways, I reached home after a few minutes or so as my father and I walked through out glass door, my robot dog 'Oreo' greeted us. Yes, I said 'walked through out glass door', not literally. My parents installed this door system where it needs your thumb print in order for you to sort of walk through the door.

Oh yes! I can’t forget to mention about my robot dog 'Oreo'. On my seventh birthday my Aunt had bought me it. Since 'Oreo' is just a robot I don’t have to spend my allowance on dog food and all the necessities, and the best thing is that you do not have to change the batteries!

'Lunch is ready!' Mom said as she placed plates of food on a tray.

The tray soon levitated and flew in the direction of the dining table, cool right? It’s like an invisible waitress serving you your food!

Now this is what I call a modern world!

Teacher's Comments

This short tale of a day in the life of a girl in the future is very conversational and relaxed in tone as it rejects describing the world of the future through the more common wider scope of the city and society.

'You would probably think of megacities, driverless cars and … but there’s actually more to it!'

Instead it opts for a more limited scope; a scaled down personal vision of the girls future. Her new video game, robot dog and newly installed glass doors. It’s an honest reflection that what is more important in a girl’s life isn’t how the world she lives in works, but how her dinner plate floats towards her 'like an invisible waitress serving your own food!'

Jovin ties all these observations together with a tongue-in-cheek style as she self-referentially tells you how she is going to deliver her story, keeping the reader comically in mind at all times.

'… and waited for my parents to pick me up. You might feel like it’s boring as this is what most of our parents do. But trust me! You are about to reach the exciting bit now!'

Nicely done if you ask me, making this anything but a boring story. Her enthusiasm of the things around her makes up for her choice not to have a narrative. 

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