It's not very often that you see a competition on a teen writing website inviting young people to write a piece of journalism on politics- in any case without there being a dedicated crowd of judges ready to burn their eyes off with articles like 'Bieber For President!' or the embarrassment of receiving no entries at all, with the familiar teenage mumble of, "I don't get politics." However, the team at movellas.com, an online writing platform for teenagers across the globe, didn't fail to surprise us with their latest competition results, with hundreds of teenagers sending in short pieces of journalism on issues in the news that they felt important to share.
The popular writing website, renowned for their original and exciting competitions, didn't hide their delight about the sheer quality of the entries they received, stating that "many entries encapsulated the persuasive style, engaging content and unique flare that we see from the professionals". The pieces themselves were about a wide range of topics; varying from a piece on the GCSE system changes by Michael Gove, to the issue of Scottish Independence, to the atrocities of the hidden messages in Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines.
I mean, I can't imagine how the adult judges must have been feeling, as myself as a teenager I felt like I had been abandoned and left behind as the rest of my age group sauntered off down the yellow brick road of political awareness and insight into this murky, adult-seeming world of diplomacy. Once I read a few of the entries, I was astounded at the care and consideration that had obviously been incorporated into these pieces- as if we were actually involved in every single issue that they discussed. As teenagers, we don't get a say in whether Scotland gets independence, or if the death penalty should be legal, but if we can show the world that we care about these things, then maybe we might earn a better reputation.
All of this got me thinking. At the moment there are political debates going on in the world that directly affects but don't involve us: whether 16 year olds should get the vote, whether the age of consent should be lowered to 15, should women and girls be able to wear face veils. If teenagers can succeed in writing amazing, gripping and thoughtful pieces of journalism, shouldn't we consider involving teenagers in the real political world? I highly doubt that David Cameron is reading this. But if you are, Mr. PM, do you think that we could give it a shot?
The winner of the competition was described by one of the judges as a "hard-hitting" look at the pressing, atrocious issue of Female Genital Mutilation, written by Movellas user B. Anonymous, who won a typewriter (as chosen by the Movellas community) for his efforts. The piece, thoughtfully entitled, 'Mummy'll Fetch The Scissors', spoke a thousand words for me, and set the tone for the entire piece; a piece which I thought was incredibly sensitive yet thought-provoking. It's amazing how one teenager living in the United Kingdom can have such awareness about an issue with such complex strings of culture and religion that seem to exist in another world.
That's the thing about politics. You may think it's confusing, and not relative to us at all. But all it takes is a teenager with a laptop and a story to share, and it seems a completely different story.
Visit Movellas here- http://www.movellas.com/
See the winning entry- http://www.movellas.com/en/book/read/201311151506157178-mummyll-fetch-the-scissors
View the other entries- http://www.movellas.com/en/blog/show/201311151904337714/political-winners