Creative Writing Competition Finals, 8 June, The Mayflower School

Our young writers at large... taking a break during the workshop.

The morning was decidedly cold on Saturday, June 8th. With skies overcast and ever-threatening a downpour, our twenty finalists arrived in a steady drizzle up the road to the Mayflower School campus in Lo Barnechea, Santiago. Huddled at the feet of the Andes, all carried multitudes inside themselves, ready to be unleashed on the scariest of adversaries: a blank page.

In a sense, the Creative Writing Competition is the toughest of them all. “To uncover, you must hide” is the maxim of every creative endeavour, a razor’s edge act of pouring all of yourself into your creation and simultaneously making it dance in rhythm with an imaginary stranger. There is just so much at stake… and what if they don’t like it, is it because they don’t like me? The business of writers, of creators, is the business of learning to not take rejection personally. That takes a lot of courage.

But we are a friendly lot at ESU! Our goal is to help our participants discover their voices. In these last two years of our Creative Writing Competition, the finals have consisted of a Writing Workshop, which hopefully allows the finalists to learn something new, open hidden doors, or just make a couple of new friends with the same interests. Our focus is to provide an educational experience.

Of course, this is also a competition. The workshop this year was led by Dr. Julio Uribe, PhD in Literature and Teacher Extraordinaire, who showed them different ways to convey emotions through writing. This prompted the story they had to create on-site: a short story with an associated emotion. These were then given anonymously (code-named) to our judges who were able, right after lunch, to give their verdict on our top three places per category. You can read all top three entries per category by clicking HERE.


(L to R): Josefa Jara, Colegio Pumahue Temuco, 3rd Place; Amelia Fuentes, Andrée English School, 2nd Place; Sofía Lindhorst (The Mayflower School), 1st Place.

Mr. Peter Lacey, Mayflower School Headmaster, with Julieta Cárdenas and Sofía Lindhorst. Junior Category Trophy proudly presented in their school’s gallery!


(L to R): Julieta Cárdenas, The Mayflower School, 3rd place; Amanda Sangüesa, Andrée English School, 2nd Place; Ari Fernández, Colegio Pedro de Valdivia Peñalolén, 1st Place.

Mrs. Ruth Percival, Colegio Pedro de Valdivia Peñalolén Headmistress, and Ari Fernández, Senior Category Trophy in their hands!


Great many thanks to The Mayflower School, especially their Headmaster, Mr. Peter Lacey, for offering to share their campus (amazing views!) with us on the day. Everyone in the English Department, the IT Department, their student helpers and every internal collaborator who made the day a total success. Can we also say the food was delicious?

Our awesome Creative Writing Task Force: leader Nithiya Balasubramaniam, Verónica Cordero, Lynnann Lovejoy, Melanie Rowe (we’ll miss you!), Valentina Vergara and all the way from Villarrica, Christine Jeppesen.

Our hard working judges on the day, who gave up some very deserved resting time on a Saturday: Nathan Allen, Tamara Álvarez, Ariana de Andrade, Paulina de Vicente, Michelle Duggan, César Elgueta, Esteban González, Christine Jeppesen, Daniela Nova, Rodrigo Santos, Rodrigo Sirón, Jan Updegraff. Most of them also helped in Round 1!

Our judges from Round 1: Thamara Aravena, Russell Baker, María Eugenia Bambach, Denise Blanche, Jane Chambers, Neela Chatta, Claudia Esnouf, Sophie Esnouf, Billy Forward, Alicia González, Bernardita Latorre, Mónica Le May, Erika Mery, Anita Niemeyer, Sergio Peña, Virginia Pichilaf, Mark Taylor, Carlos Torres, Ezia Valenzuela, Eduardo Vásquez.

The Creative Writing Task Force. L to R: Valentina Vergara, Alejandro Dagnino (ESU Executive Secretary), Verónica Cordero, Julio Uribe (CW Workshop Leader), Nithiya Balasubramaniam, Lynnann Lovejoy (ESU Events Manager) and Melanie Rowe (yes, we’ll miss you!)


Andrée English School
Colegio Internacional SEK Chile
Colegio Internacional SEK Pacífico, Concón
Colegio Padre Hurtado y Juanita de Los Andes
Colegio Pedro de Valdivia Peñalolén
Colegio Pumahue Temuco
Instituto Hebreo Dr. Chaim Weizmann
San Nicolás Diácono
Santiago College
St. Margaret’s British School for Girls, Viña del Mar
St. Peter’s School, Viña del Mar
The Grange School
The Mayflower School
Villa María Academy