The inaugural CAPA NOVA Annual Essay Contest was a huge success!  Thank you to all the participants and to all who supported this event.  We received a total of 68 essays.  Every piece of them told a profound story that helped us, members of the Asian American community, better understand the challenges and struggles the second generation Asian Americans children have experienced, as well as the courage and strength they have demonstrated.  We are deeply touched by each single piece of these essays.  Many of them moved us to tears.

We’re proud to announce the top three places and two honorable mentions in each age group.  The top five essays will be featured in Chinese American Museum.

1st place: $500
2nd place: $300
3rd place: $100

All prices are sponsored by Chinese American Museum in DC.

Furthermore, the top ten winning essays in each age group will be featured on CAPA NOVA website.

Each participant will receive a certificate of participation from CAPA NOVA.

Top Ten Essays (title in alphabetical order) for Grade 10-12 Group

Bridges – Sun Liang

Chinglish – Philip Wang

Identity Crisis – Isobel Li

How do you pronounce that – Jiayi Wang

My Asian American “Poop Hands” – Lucia Koo

My Dumpling Loving Self – Emily Yu

My Grappling with Asian America – Jaden Wang

The Yellow Uncle Tom – Evan Yuan

Reflections on Growing Up Through Monolid Eyes – Fay Shuai

Walking a Tightrope – Vienna Cheng

Two Honorable Mentions:

Walking a Tightrope – Vienna Cheng

“This well-crafted essay showcases the diversity of the Asian American experience.”

Identity Crisis – Isobel Li

“This essay’s excellent first paragraph conveys the universal theme of the Asian American as caught between two lands, neither of which feels like home.”

3rd Place:

My Asian American “Poop Hands” – Lucia Koo

“This clever essay weaves disparate elements together to illuminate the positive theme that we’re all responsible for, and capable of, creating our own self-esteem.”

2nd Place:

Bridges – Sun Liang

“The author deftly carries the metaphor of a shaky bridge built on pontoon boats through this strong, fluid essay that speaks of the positive influence of culture.”

1st Place:

Chinglish – Philip Wang

“The uplifting theme of reading as a community activity that brings people together through mutual understanding is addressed effectively in this well-written essay that hooked the reader from its opening scene.”

Judge Bio:

Hilde Kahn, professional writer. Her recent novel, Head of School, grapples with issues of race, class, culture, and competition, while exploring the nature of intelligence, the power of privilege, and our drive to separate ourselves from others

Top Ten Essays (title in alphabetical order) for Grade 7-9 Group

Dear Chan Kim Hock…… – Michelle Liu

Eyeliner – Sophia Teng

My Kaleidoscope – Tiger Combest

On My Eyes – Sophia Lin

On the Apron – Aileen Zhao

Out of place in my own home – Angelica Wang

Realities – Teresa Wang

Stereotypes: Its Influence on Asian Americans – Leah Wu

Waipo – Michelle Wiant

Who I Am – Yamu Xi

Two Honorable Mentions:

Realities – Teresa Wang

“The author introduced us a struggle that is unfortunately far too common among Asian American children.  She showed us the reality of trying to fit in because they don’t feel they are accepted for being who they are.  The author skillfully articulated her experience of the epiphany, which painted a vivid picture of her emotion and pain.“

Eyeliner – Sophia Teng

”It saddened me reading the author’s experiences of racial discrimination and her internal struggles as a result.  Sharing these experiences must be painful, hopefully also healing.  I am proud of her for rediscovering herself and finding strength through the mayhem of anti-Asian hate crimes.  I cannot help but to picture her in my head as this brilliant, beautiful and strong young girl.“

3rd Place:

On the Apron – Aileen Zhao

“This essay has chaotic energy to it—rapidly switching from self-deprecating humor to sharp societal criticism and back again; it’s a literary version of what it’s like being a teenager. Addressing the issues of stereotypes and culture challenges in this framework make for a very powerful essay. This author may not be a dancer, but she’s certainly a writer.”

2nd Place:

Waipo – Michelle Wiant

“This is such a personal and tender essay. It speaks to the tight connection of family through generations, even as circumstances change. The author does an excellent job of “painting” the picture for us with carefully chosen words: We can visualize her grandmother in the garden and at the kitchen table. We feel like we’ve glimpsed the private moments that connect the two, making the message even more powerful. If the author hasn’t read this essay to Waipo, I hope she does soon.”

1st Place:

On My Eyes – Sophia Lin

“This essay takes us along on the author’s insightful journey of self-reflection, discovery, doubt and ultimately acceptance. The language is clear and direct, but the varied sentence structure and good pacing keeps the reader engaged. The conclusion of an article or essay is often the hardest portion to write, but this piece ends exceptionally strong by reflecting back to both the specific topic and what it represents to the broader community and society. This is excellent writing. Well done.”

Judge Bio:

Christine Barakat has been a professional writer and editor for nearly 30 years. A University of Maryland School of Journalism graduate, she has been on the staff of EQUUS Magazine since 1994, writing about equine research, stable management and life with horses. She is a multiple-time American Horse Publications award winner and host of the Barn Stories podcast. She lives in Falls Church, Virginia and has friends—horse and humans—all over the world.

Top Ten Essays (title in alphabetical order) for Grade 4-6 Group

Diversity in our World – Pippa Kim

From an Asian’s Perspective – Justin Yuan

Great Expectations –  Ellen Zhang

Hope – Elaine Zhang

Proud Being a Chinese American – Alexis Song

Proud of being an Asian American! – Gloria Lu

Stronger Together – Grace Yuan

The Beauty of Being Different – Sally Yu

The World and I – Anna Li

Things My Baby Chicks Taught Me – Mina Liu

Two Honorable Mentions:

The Beauty of Being Different – Sally Yu

“This submission starts with the magic of the celebration of the Chinese New Year and ends with the author realizing there is strength in our cultures.  This is very well organized.”

Great Expectations –  Ellen Zhang

“This well crafted essay is about the expectations parents have for their children and the difficulty of meeting them.  Excellent submission.”

3rd Place:

The World and I – Anna Li

“This interesting essay has unique word choice and mature insights.  There is power behind capturing the fear of a family who wants a safe passage to the grocery store.  Speaking out against injustice is suggested to build change.”

2nd Place:

Diversity in our World – Pippa Kim

“This submission explores the role of diversity in our lives.   The lunch time imagery created by the writer is outstanding and highlights the differences in cuisine.  It ends with a call for unity and equity.”

1st Place:

Hope – Elaine Zhang

“This brave poem celebrates the importance of having hope during difficult times.  This submission stood out for numerous reasons.  The imagery created by the young poet is remarkable and beautiful.”

Judge Bio:

Mr. Harris grew up in the Herndon area from a family with both parents English teachers. Mr. Harris has been teaching in FCPS for 23 years since graduation from UNC-Greensboro with a degree in English Education.  He has extensive educating experience teaching everything from third grade Language Art to SAT Reading/Writing.  He has helped many students achieve their dream of attending Thomas Jefferson High School and many students achieve a perfect score on the SAT Reading/Writing.  Mr. Harris is certified by the state of Virginia and endorsed by Fairfax County Public Schools to teach Advanced Academics. Mr. Harris is passionate about teaching.  He also teaches in Discovery Learning Center in Herndon, an elite private weekend school with hallmark of demonstrated outcomes.

 

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Yuyan Zhou
Yuyan Zhou
2 years ago

This is wonderful! Congratulations to everyone!

Lucia Koo
Lucia Koo
2 years ago

I really enjoyed writing to the prompt for this contest! I was wondering if you had the addresses of all the participants to send the certificates of participation as well as the prizes? Thank you!

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