English Department

British Embassy Cup St. Gabriel’s

By Mr Matthew Jones, Head of English Department

As the US short story writer George Saunders explained, “when you read a short story, you come out a little more aware and a little more in love with the world around you.”

It was with this in mind that the British Embassy Cup 2020 focused on short story writing, and St. Gabriel’s school pushed ahead with the competition and overcame the challenges faced by the pandemic to ensure that we continue to offer opportunities for senior students to promote their written skills.

In total, 11 schools participated and the online format worked well despite sacrifices to the social element of the event, where students and teachers alike usually enjoy the talks and the workshops. The event opened with a talk by Maria Paz Yañez, St. Gabriel’s Santiago, who spoke about the importance of writing through the ages and especially those who develop their ideas and style while in prison. Perhaps an exaggeration of our current lockdown experiences, but informative, thought-provoking and inspirational nonetheless. Maria Paz reminded us all that creative writing is a great outlet for students, especially in a second language, and in these reduced times it is a great opportunity to let the mind wonder even if the body can’t.

This year, Year 11 B pupil María Jesús Caldera represented the Senior Section and Craighouse School at the event, chaperoned by Miss Geiger. María Jesús wrote a gripping and tense short thriller in response to one of the three prompts. The section was incredibly proud to see María Jesús represent the school in such a strong way, and we recognise that it is a powerful thing to nurture your passion for writing at competitive events like these. It is also a huge challenge to bravely perform in solo competitions where there is no team to support you. Well done!