Writing Competition Winner

Writing Competition Winner


Writing competition entries have been received from as far and wide as the USA, Pakistan, Albania, Malaysia and Finland. Our panel of writers at Writing Retreat Bali have selected Emily’s poem, ‘IT’, as the winner. Well done Emily. Emily is a Content Journalist based in Kuala Lumpur and she’s currently writing a poetry book about the plight between man and machine.


Emily’s poem absolutely smashed the brief and she combined words creatively, artfully and imaginatively. Emily’s intimate, engrossing and deeply thoughtful scenarios resonate with incredible empathy, sensitivity and charm, and they evoke vivid mental images from a broad range of influence. Emily’s submission to Writing Retreat Bali was engaged and specific and we’ve really been blessed to read her brilliant words. Thank you, Emily.


Our winner will be welcome at Bali Swasti Eco Village for the retreat, she’ll be fed from Swasti’s awesome organic kitchen, she’ll be free to attend all of the writer workshops and yoga, and she can choose a 1-2-1 with the writer of her choice. Emily can also splash around in the pool and fool around with the on-site animals until her delight overflows.


IT by Emily Devonald

It was dancing alongside the first screams of a dishevelled young woman, dressed in delicate blues and basking in luminescent lights.

It was sewn into a shrunken red cardigan, an embolisation of the first steps into education- riddled with threads and societal expectations.

It was heard in the slam of a door and ten cardboard boxes piled up against each other, desperate to build a bridge from the window to another world.

It was jumping from hopscotch to whisky on a cruel evening of spring, tasted through fermented grain mash and dandelion flower heads.

It was laughing in the eyes of a pillar that crumbled in the car, after the church bells had wallowed and the hors d’oeuvres were over. 

It was smothered in carefree spirits of white and red, gasping for air but succumbing to the pressures of parklife peers.

It was laced in the lines of newly bought lingerie, the rite of passage- the wrong walk home.

It was basking in the humid drops of the tropics in a fast-tracked train, the awakening of adventure, the unleashing of an untameable soul.

It was ground into the turquoise paint pot by trusted fingers, but as the sunlight touched the school walls, the devil’s colours shone. 

It was reflecting in the mirror, when media’s imagery scratched too deep and the candles of affection began to blow out.

It was trading with the consciousness when the third goodbye was made, knowing that ultimate freedom had a heavy personal price.

It was voiced throughout campus speeches and blaring concerts, youthful pleas for humanity and peace to coexist.

It was nestled within every strand of mascara and every hand pushed away from underneath the dinner table.

It was trembling under the force of reality, when work hours fought against double figures and hungry pockets. 

It was filling up the needle as it unapologetically begged for more, thirsty for lust, fighting for attention.

It was smirking in the face of neglectful narcissism, the empty seats and the lonely shells of Sunday night pasta.  

And it was printed on these pages, inscribed by a writer with a voice yearning to be heard.

Courage- a word that is there for us all- but sometimes struggles to be seen.


Our panel would like to send special thanks to Michelle Roberts-Garcia, Carolyn Lenz, Ashwati Suresh and Maisha Rachmat for their soulful, unique, touching and courageous entries.


Loretta Jessop and Myriam Raja scored as 2nd and 3rd respectively. Well done, Loretta and Myriam.


Stay tuned for the Ebook which will we’re hoping to have available to download this week. The Ebook will be downloadable for a small fee that will support SEA Scholarships to Writing Retreat Bali.

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