‘Lockdown Lowdown’ writing competition winners revealed

Published: July 7, 2020

The winners of Telford College’s ‘Lockdown Lowdown’ creative writing competition have been revealed.

The college teamed up with local company Thermserve to launch the competition, with a prize pot worth more than £200.

Students were invited to explain, in up to 500 words, what life in lockdown had been like for them, under the theme ‘inspiration in isolation’.

The competition was split into three sections – one for part-time adult learners, one for full-time students studying English, and one which was open to all college students.

Each category had a first prize of a £50 Amazon voucher, with a £20 Amazon voucher to the runner-up.

The adult category was won by Yasmin Lumantas from Donnington with her story called ‘When All This Is Over’.

Yasmin Lumantas from Donnington, who won the adult writing category

Isobel Mockett from Gnosall won the category for full-time students studying English, with Callum Brookfield of Newport as runner-up.

And the top prizes in the section open to everyone went to A level students – Emma Underwood of Woodside took first prize, with Thomas Singh from Wellington as runner-up.

Jo Hodgkiss-Wilson, English lecturer and facilitator at Telford College, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic took us all by surprise. Overnight the world changed, challenging us in ways we hadn’t anticipated.

“College was closed, exams cancelled, and the daily contact that we took for granted was put on hold. This did not mean, however, that the business of education and learning had to grind to a halt. It had to change shape – to evolve in response to the virus.

“One way of maintaining a meaningful connection between staff and students was to turn to the age-old tradition of storytelling. Thus the idea of ‘Lockdown Lowdown: Inspiration in Isolation’ was born.

“The winning entries showcase the ways in which some of our learners have embraced the opportunity that these unprecedented times has afforded them: creativity in the face of adversity.

“They gave us a wide range of perspectives and creative styles, sharing with us a sense of the personal struggles encountered due to the lockdown, the changes in our routines, ways to reinterpret ourselves and the world given the strangeness of the situation, and indeed ways to escape the situation through the medium of narrative.

“Their work also provides us with a lasting record of the responses from our diverse learning community to such a significant historical event.”

Telford College principal and chief executive Graham Guest said: “This was a chance for our students to let their creativity loose during these very strange times – and they certainly rose to the challenge.

“We’d like to say a big congratulations to all the prizewinners, and thanks to the team at Thermserve for their support, which is really appreciated.”