Home / News / Entry by Kayla Lee – Young Writers Competition 2018 Final

Entry by Kayla Lee – Young Writers Competition 2018 Final

Posted in : News on by : Around DB , , Comments: 94

Voting is now open in the 2018 Around DB and Life on Lantau Young Writers Competition, sponsored by Bookazine. Kayla Lee, a student from YMCA of Hong Kong Christian College, has been shortlisted for the final, along with two other entrants.

To vote for Kayla’s story, head to the Around DB Facebook page and comment on the pinned post at the top of the page, with Kayla’s name, or alternatively click ‘like’ or comment on the individual Facebook post linking to Kayla’s story. You can also cast your vote by commenting on the comment section of this page.

By Kayla Lee – YHKCC
Mentored by Peter Sherwood


The southern winds have no power here.

Small island utopia, home to magnificent water buffaloes and blue skies. Built on vast swathes of tussocks, it is home for the old man across the street, the dog that begs for scraps every evening. It’s home for all of us.

We grew among the trees, free from the smoke machinations of surrounding lands.

Slumbering volcanoes lie in repose along the coast, a cradle for the woodland creatures that now roam through the bushes and shrubs. Hundreds of millions of years ago, they battered and shaped the land into the near paradise it is today – an oasis in an urban world. The small scatterings of modernity have managed to peacefully coexist with its rural counterpart so far. Complacent and warm; the quintessential sun-warmed incubation of childhood.

Underneath the iridescent surface, there lies the sinister encroachment of greying skies, ones that carry both the stench of pollution and corruption. For all the time that our kind have lived in this world, species have been born and died, both noticeably and silently. Sailors could once, on any given day, glimpse white dolphins leaping through the skies. Pods that engaged in play with tourists, careening and pirouetting for joy.

But humans have not been kind.

We’ve destroyed their habitats. Denied our faults. And still claim they live, despite none being seen since. Soon, perhaps, it may be our turn. Karma does have its repercussions. In our time, the hourglass drains faster.

Gone by the multitudes, dying by the millions. We do not notice it until too late, until our ignorance has paid the price. We are but an island in a sea of skyscrapers, Atlantis against the world. A paradise soon to be lost.

I see skies choked with dark smoke one day, then fleetingly pale and devoid of anything the next. Even the acrid smell is better than staring at the emptiness of the purely colourless dome overhead.

The water buffaloes are gone, sunken into the deep bogs and fields that once grew wild until now. Presently, they lie trapped with every leaf and every blade of grass beneath a cobblestone surface.

Big Buddha is gone, razed, and in its place, corporate beasts, a thousand feet tall and twice as wide.

We question if we have the power to stop what is coming for us. Of an age dark and terrible, when all that we’ve known will be forgotten from history – as easily as slipping into quicksand.

It may be an inevitability, but we have the choice to delay it. We play deities both cruel and benevolent, after all; to the animals below us, it seems almost as if we have all the power in the world.

The lilies in the next-door garden and the coalescence of stars in the night sky that I weave my irises through at night tell me otherwise. We are merely human; susceptible to beauty and alone in the universe. It’s not too much to ask; the simple act of joining our hands to protect a single island.

I am a jaded person, but a starling on my window sill never fails to let a smile play on my lips, if only for a few moments.

I may be tired, but not enough to forget that I am angry. It is our fault, our inability to prevent the oil-slicked tide that allowed this to happen. We have caused the Sixth Extinction, a mass extermination of all we once took for granted. The next Ice Age will come, felling us by the dozens. We will retire into a cold slumber, all we’ve made taken back by the tides, until we’re as lost as the volcanoes of old. The starlings will no longer sing in their high sweet tongue- all thanks to being afraid of making a bit of noise.

We may be one island amongst millions, but this is our home- the home of your neighbours, your friends, and your families. If not for you, then raise your voice for them.

Photo: Portrait of Kayla Lee by Baljit Gidwani – www.evoqueportraits.com

You can read the entries from the other two 2018 finalists via the links below:

Eleanor Lambert – Young Writers Competition 2018 Final

Serena Wong – Young Writers Competition 2018 Final

Tags: , ,

94 thoughts on - Entry by Kayla Lee – Young Writers Competition 2018 Final

  • Melody Chiu Reply

    I vote for Kayla

  • Rayy Yuen Reply

    Vote for Kayla

  • Geraldine Anne Reply

    I vote for Kayla

  • Dewi Reply

    Vote for Kayla Lee!

  • vote for KAYLA Reply


  • Airen W Reply

    Vote for Kayla

  • Erryn Sutowo Reply

    Vote for Kayla

  • Baby Silvana Reply

    Vote for Kayla… go Kayla go…

  • lena gustiana Reply

    i vote for kayla..she is a passionate young writer.

  • Sofi Reply

    I vote for Kayle Lee

  • Amelie Verreault Reply

    vote for kayla??????????

  • Sofi Reply

    Kayla Lee… Kayla Lee… Kayla Lee…

  • Sonia Chiu Reply

    Vote for KAYLA!!!!!1

  • Eli Verro Reply


  • Patrick Ng Reply

    I vote for Kayla

  • rina Reply

    Vote for Kayla Adara Lee

  • Bonnie Reply

    Vote for Kayla Lee

  • Sheetal Ganeriwal Reply

    Vote for Kayla

  • Beverley Reply

    Vote for Kayla Lee

  • Sparty Reply

    For Kayla… Bcos they took away my big Buddha… ☺️

  • Schnabl Reply

    Vote for Kayla Lee

  • Schnabl Reply

    Vote for Kayla…..

  • Swapna Reply

    Well written Kayla
    Voting for Kayla lee

  • Yuni Reply

    Vote for Kayla lee

  • Kenneth Harley Reply

    I vote for Kayla

  • Mary Joline Buenafe Reply

    i vote for kayla

  • Nam Angie Guo Lin Reply

    I’ll vote for Kayla .

  • johnny Reply

    i will like to vote for kayla for the young writer competition

  • Marc Reply

    i vote for kayla

  • Reisya Reply

    I vote for kayla

  • Lindy Reply

    I Vote for Kayla

  • Isaac Reply

    I vote for Kayla, she is the best !!!!!!!

  • Anusheel Reply

    I vote for Kayla, as her writing is unique and extraordinary

  • Rita Reply

    Vote for Kayla

  • Rita Reply

    Vote for KAYLA Lee

  • Anurag Chaudhari Reply

    Vote for KAYLA Lee

  • Lesanti Adnan Reply

    Kayla Lee.. beautiful depiction!

  • Anurag Chaudhari Reply

    Vote for – KAYLA Lee

  • Bernard Reply

    Kayla Lee!!

  • Suzuki Kaori Reply

    I want to vote for Kayla, her writing is always fantastic!

  • JC Baradas Reply

    I wanna vote for Kayla! ^w^

  • Michael Reply

    I’m voting for Kayla

  • Rinny Reply

    Kayla for the win

  • Chelsea Reply

    I want to vote for Kayla!

  • Henrietta Reply

    i wanna vote for kayla

  • Rinny Reply

    The amazing writer! Kayla Lee

  • silvia Reply

    vote for Kayla

  • Jayda Alexandra Reply

    Go Kayla Go Kayla Go!

  • Yenny Reply

    Vote for Kayla

  • Dian Sundari Reply

    Vote for Kayla

  • jessika pal Reply

    i wanna vote for kayla

  • KAUR Amreet Reply


  • Cherine Reply

    Vote for Kayla Lee –
    big insights from a “you’re much too young to be jaded” girl. Sad but True about the dolphins amongst other inhabitants.

  • Doulos Reply

    I vote for Kayla

  • Nissa Burg Reply

    Vote for Kayla!

  • Jayne J. Reply

    A Vote for Kayla Lee! A talented young woman with a bright future ahead!

  • Abu Hasan S Reply

    Amazing and brilliant writer in her age,prospective Writers for her future..I vote for Kayla..

  • Teresa Ng Reply

    I vote for Kayla.

  • Ferrina Cheung Reply

    Vote for Kayla

  • Stephanie Cheung Reply

    Vote for Kayla

  • Yudha Reply

    Vote for kayla lee!! Gooo kayla goooooo!!!!

  • CC Lee Reply

    I vote for Kayla.

  • Eliza Chan Reply

    I vote for Kayla

  • Eliza Chan Reply

    Vote for Karla

  • BUSTOK Reply

    Go Kayla…Go!

  • BUSTOK Reply

    Go Kayla..maju terus!!!

  • Bradley Tuff Reply

    I vote for Kayla

  • Rinna Reply

    *From TRZ

  • Andry Reply

    Vote 4 Kayla..!!!

  • Margaret Harrison Reply

    Poetic and poignant yet empowering. Well done, Kayla, you’ve got my vote.

  • Julie Reply

    I vote for Kayla

  • Tanya Reply

    I would like to vote for Kayla

  • Trisha Reply

    I want to vote for Kayla!

  • Harneet Reply

    Lezzo gooo kaylaaa!!


    I vote for Kayla

  • Grace Lee Reply

    I vote for Kayla Lee because it is such a poetic and poignant piece! It’s an extraordinary work written by an insightful youngster. A bright future ahead! Well done

  • aalia Reply

    I vote for Kayla

  • geny Reply

    i voted for kayla

  • Mia Reply


  • Antonius Undyantara Reply

    I vote for Kayla!!
    Kayla’s writing very effectively takes the readers into understanding the surrounding, the environment, and the atmosphere where she wants us to see ourselves with our mind. Her evocative writing style helps us understand why we need to care and what the consequences would be if we stay ignorant.

  • Mary Kam Reply

    I vote Kayla Lee

  • Aunty Helen Reply

    A writer in the making!

  • Sarah L Reply

    Please count my vote in. Kayla for president!

  • Bustomi Reply


  • Skumar Reply

    Vote for Kayla

  • Charu Dutt Reply

    Well done, Kayla!
    My vote is for her.

  • Suhail Reply

    Vote for Kayla.

    Tremendous work and talented young lady!

  • Dion Chen Reply

    Well done! Vote for Kayla!

Add New Comment


× Thank you for your comment. Your feedback has been submitted to an administrator for approval.