Discover English student, Ana Jimena Hernandez, wins at the Melbourne Writers Festival 2018!
For more than 30 years, the Melbourne Writers Festival opens a space for international students who are also budding writers to get inspired and share beautiful pieces of writing and images. An experienced jury selects the best entries to be part of the shortlist. The most voted entries in a period of time will be awarded the 1st place in each category. After the votation closes, the winners are announced on stage at Fed Square, one of the most iconic venues in Melbourne.
We couldn’t be prouder of our former student, ex-ambassador, and blog collaborator, Ana Jimena Hernandez from Colombia, who obtained the 1st place in the Vocational Education and Training Category last Saturday, 1st of September, 2018.
Ana Jimena started her English lessons at Discover English at the Intermediate level and graduated from the EAP Advanced class in only six Months. After the awards ceremony, Ana shared with us how she’s got the courage to participate in this contest: “It's funny because I think it's great that people can relate to my stories but I'm a bit embarrassed knowing that they read them! Sometimes I even avoid saying that they're mine. I think this contest gave me that anonymity because here in Melbourne very few people know me, and the truth is that I just wanted to participate for the pleasure of doing it. I did not feel afraid, I felt that if my passion is to write, I should pursue that dream”.
Not only did she prove to be an incredibly dedicated student, after graduating from her English courses, Ana Jimena also volunteered as a Student Ambassador were she assisted new students and guided school’s social activities. Gaining experience in this field resulted in her motivation to share positive messages with international students. “A part of me stays in every piece I write, and I like to feel I can connect with other people in that way. Since I got to Melbourne, writing in English became a challenge for me. I found it wonderful to be able to reach more people now that I'm writing for my school’s blog, which topics are useful to international students. Writing in English has given me more tools to write better because the style is completely different from the one I learnt, so I must practise more to do it better” - she said.
Also, as Discover English’s main blog collaborator, Ana’s posts reflect her passion towards life, her positive mind and commitment: “Discover English gave me many tools to start writing in English. Beyond the grammatical aspects, which are very important, of course, I think the most stimulating thing was the confidence that teachers give us to do it well. I really enjoyed that the teachers were demanding and dedicated, but I also found it great that at the same time they incited spontaneity in the students. They taught me to love and to understand English, and that’s why I felt I could start writing in this language”.
We celebrate Ana’s achievement and congratulate her for being a role model and an exceptional human being! She’s actually got some advice for other international students who are hesitant about going the extra mile in their writing: “If you sense a genuine passion for writing, always let it flow. Actually, being far away from home is excellent for creativity. Each experience is a story waiting to be written. Beyond the awards or recognition, which of course are a huge motivation, writing is an everyday exercise. Only by practising is it possible to be better and if you feel that you love doing it, do not hesitate, the moment is now”.
Ana Jimena is the second consecutive DE student who wins in this writing competition! And if you’re keen to read Ana Jimena Hernández’s ‘In Her Stomach a Flock of Butterflies and Bumblebees ‘, please read on below: