4 award-winning human rights stories by student writers

In 2020, as the world was getting to grips with life in lockdown, we launched a writing competition for students at Warwick Law School, the home of Lacuna.

Despite the challenges of a year like no other, the response from student writers was tremendous and the quality of submissions impressively high. We are delighted to share here our four winners, who have each created stories we are proud to publish.

Winning the postgraduate prize is Ruby Turok-Squire with a story inspired by her experience of volunteer teaching.

Addressing the challenges faced by local refugee children – particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic – Ruby bikes from garden-to-garden delivering socially-distanced lessons and seeing the profound impact of investing time and patience in the children she meets.

Our undergraduate winner, Amber Shah, presents an engaging piece of creative writing, entitled Move.

Inspired by her volunteer work on a Save The Children campaign, Amber tells the story of a seven-year-old Rohingya child, forced to flee her home to live in the world’s largest refugee camp. Amber’s nuanced piece doesn’t shy away from the pain of persecution but is driven by human spirit, beauty and hope.

We were so impressed by the quality of submissions we selected two further pieces for special commendation.

Salma Eleyan’s memoir of fleeing Palestine with her mother is highly-commended for its powerful storytelling, describing the injustice faced by many refugees in their search for a new home.

Anokhee Shah created a well-researched blog post about police brutality in Kenya, showing how Covid curfews have exacerbated this age-old problem. Anokhee’s imaginative approach stood out as worthy of special commendation and we were particularly impressed to see this quality of writing from a first-year student.

Each student’s work is published alongside illustrations by Lacuna’s student artist, Oreofe Morakinyo, whose creative vision captures the essence of each story.

Every single submission to the writing competition was worthy of praise and together they have displayed a real talent for storytelling within the Law School. Effective storytelling is not easy, but it is a powerful tool in tackling injustice, communicating complex messages and campaigning for change.

We continue to nurture these skills in new writers and to encourage students to pitch their stories for publication.

Our special thanks goes to Dr Rebecca Limb for making the writing competition such a success.