3 award-winning short stories about human rights by young writers

3 award-winning short stories about human rights by young writers

Student writers have produced creative non-fiction about Palestine, memoir about art as protest, and journalism about the right to health in response to the annual Lacuna Writing Competition’s call for short stories about human rights.

Lacuna Magazine is always proud to feature human rights stories by new writers alongside articles and photography by established and award-winning journalists around the world.

And the stories written by students since we launched the Lacuna Writing Competition four years ago are proof of the talent and vision of young writers.

The annual competition is open to undergraduate and postgraduate students at Warwick Law School, the home of Lacuna. And this year entries were also welcomed from students of the Warwick Writing Programme.

The resulting stories represented a diverse collection of themes and forms and our editors have enjoyed working with the winning students to publish their stories.

This year’s joint winners both wrote about Palestine. English Literature and Creative Writing student Eli Langfere wrote a powerful piece about Gaza’s vlogger turned war reporter, Bisan Owda. Speaking directly to the reader, Eli focuses on one individual to tell the stories of many, and uses an imaginative approach to analyse how we view, understand and respond to conflict through our phone screens. Find Eli’s winning story here.

Joint-winner and Law student Jaskiran Sandhu penned a heartfelt tribute to the West Bank where she spent a summer completing a legal internship. Using the art-adorned Separation Wall as her focus, Jaskiran paints a picture of the land and the people she met, drawing on the work of the poets, writers and visual artists. Find Jaskiran’s winning story here.

Law PhD student Maria Weickardt Soares was named this year’s runner-up for her story about the right to health in Brazil’s favelas during the Covid-19 pandemic. Maria impressively rooted her piece in direct journalistic work, sourcing quotes from activists and academics, and describing the communities she visited during the two years she lived in Brazil. Find Maria’s story here.

Special commendation was given to undergraduate students Louiza Boyadjian and Leo Rudd who both submitted imaginative and well-crafted stories. Both students wrote fiction, with Louiza telling the story of children in enforced labour and Leo bringing to life a refugee camp and its inhabitants.

Last year, Master’s student Elle Gundry won with her raw and affecting story about her personal experience of maternal healthcare. And the year before, Amanda Kowalczyk won with a short story reflecting on the Covid pandemic and the trend of putting rainbows in windows. More previous winning stories can be found here.

Find this year’s winning stories below.

Main image by Ellie Stocker