News Release: HAMILTON, Bermuda – Fifteen young Bermudians, ten of whom are students at Bermuda Public Schools, have had their work published in an online anthology (https://therockretreats.com/rockaccord/) after taking part in an international writing competition last year.

Two of the students from Bermuda – Eshe Holdipp-Lynch (CedarBridge Academy) and Evangeline Worsick (Bermuda High School for Girls) – were among the winners of the Rock Accord Young Storytellers Prize 2023.

The pair also won the right, with other winners from Gibraltar and Ghana, to have their work published in the hard copy of the anthology which is entitled “The Rock Accord Young Storytellers Anthology”, which can be accessed at the Bermuda National Library and the respective schools.

Bermuda’s participation in the competition resulted from a collaboration between the Department of Education, the Department of Culture and community partner, Creative Writing Club (CWC).

“This experience further developed Bermuda’s creatives, helping budding authors find their writing voice,” said Nekesha Holdipp, Department of Education Social Studies Education Officer. 

The competition’s themes included community, friendship and caring for each other. 

Winners of the international youth storytelling prizes were announced at a ceremony at the British Council in Accra, Ghana, the site chosen for the UNESCO World Book Capital.  

The competition attracted students from several Commonwealth countries and was judged by children’s author- UK based Ele Fountain,  Gibraltarwriter Jonathan Pizarro andGhanaian novelist Ayesha Harruna Attah

As a part of the storytelling and creative writing project, students had virtual author visits, including Bermudian Yesha Townsend, an English lecturer at Bermuda College, who spoke to the importance of writing from culturally grounded perspectives, and famed poet Benjamin Zephaniah.

The local celebration, held in November last year, had the Minister of Education, Diallo Rabain and Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Owen Darrell, recognise participants with certificates and award the winners trophies.

Minister Rabain stated: “Eshe Holdipp-Lynch and Evangeline Worsick have achieved something truly remarkable. Their international recognition is a testament to their talent and hard work.

“I extend my heartfelt congratulations to all the participating students and express my gratitude to the school leaders and local artists who offered invaluable guidance and feedback.”

As a part of the celebration, the students had a local peer feedback session with local artists, Margaret Giloth, Gavin Smith and Joanne Ball-Burgess.  

With the support of playwright Patricia Pogson-Nesbitt, one of the submissions, Through Shira’s Door, was converted into a play. Kisaye Bell, the young author who attended CedarBridge Academy, was later nominated for Community & Culture’s Literary Awards. 

Commissioner of Education, Mrs Kalmar Richards said: “I was excited to learn of the achievements of our students and congratulate all of them for making us proud.”