The winner of this year’s International Letter-Writing Competition (ILWC) has been announced on the final day of UPU Congress (August 27) in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. The 2021 ILWC event represents the 50th anniversary of the competition for young writers.This year 14-year-old Nubaysha Islam from Sylhet in Bangladesh received the top prize in the competition for her letter to her baby sister about the struggles her family faced during the Covid-19 pandemic. The theme for this year’s event was to “write a letter to a member of your family about your experience of Covid-19.”
Nubaysha wrote about her experiences during the pandemic including dealing with lockdowns, her mother’s depression and the passing of her aunt. She also encouraged her younger sister never to lose hope during tough times.
Speaking about her passion for reading and writing, Nubaysha says, “I love spending time with books. I try to read books and stories whenever I can. Every year I look forward to reading the winning letters [from the ILWC] as they keep inspiring me.”
Bruno Ivanovski, a 14-year-old from North Macedonia received the second prize for his letter to his grandma about how he hasn’t seen her for a year and misses her greatly; and from Vietnam, Dao Anh Thu, also 14-years-old, received the third prize for her letter to her younger sister.
Launched in 1971, the International Letter-Writing Competition is held annually and encourages young people from around the world to write letters based on a specific theme. The aim of the competition is to both raise awareness of the role postal operators’ play in society and to promote literacy among the world’s children through the art of letter writing.
More than 60 countries participate in the competition each year, with judges choosing three letters to take the gold, silver and bronze prizes. All winners receive a medal, a letter from the UPU Director General, a certificate and some small gifts.
Speaking at the ILWC Congress event, Director General, Bishar Hussein said, “Each of the winners of this esteemed competition—now 50 years old—is an individual whose talent quite literally is a bright beacon for everyone to see.”
“My warmest congratulations to Nubaysha and my colleagues will invite her to Berne as soon as possible,” he added.
To read more about the history of the International Letter-Writing Competition, click here.