The journal comprises a collection of student essays, short stories, and poems from the second annual Young Writers Competition for Qatari independent schools, which was held during the 2015/2016 school year.
The competition encourages students to read, write and think critically about important topics in education, culture and society. Over 230 students from 122 independent schools participated in the 2015/2016 competition, writing on themes of global citizenship and education.
The top five writing pieces from each participating grade are featured in this year’s journal, alongside artwork contributed by students from VCUQatar.
The Second Volume of the Young Writers Journal will be distributed to all of Qatar’s independent schools by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education during September and October along with the announcement of the 2016/2017 competition and guidelines.
The release of the journal was timed to coincide with the start of the new school year and the announcement of this academic year’s Young Writers Competition, which began with a workshop for teachers on September 29. The aim of the competition is to encourage students to read, write and think critically about important topics in education, culture and society, while practicing and improving their English writing skills.
The U.S. Embassy partnered with VCUQatar writing specialist Professor Sadia Mir throughout the fall and winter of 2015/16 to conduct a series of writing capacity building workshops for teachers and students at the independent schools to complement the program. This included three pre-competition workshops for teachers at the primary, preparatory and secondary levels, and six pre-competition workshops for students at select schools to improve writing and critical thinking capacity.
The Young Writers Competition is part of an ongoing partnership between the U.S. Embassy in Qatar and the Ministry of Education and Higher Education of Qatar, with significant support from VCUQatar.