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Teen wins Day of the Disappeared writing competition

28 August 2014

When she entered our writing competition, Holly Snowdon channelled her own feelings of loss to create a powerful poem that proved a winner.

The 14-year-old wrote a moving piece about the search for a missing loved one. It was partly inspired by her own feelings of loss after the death of her father, Richard, two years ago.

Now Holly’s mini-masterpiece has won the young persons’ category in this year’s Day of the Disappeared creative writing competition.

Sense of hope

The Swindon teenager said: “I was jumping for joy when I heard I’d won. It was quite a surprise. I feel honoured and it’s good to know that writing it will help the Red Cross in its work.”

Holly added: “A few years ago I actually lost my dad so I was thinking of a character who had lost someone, but just wanted to give her a bit of hope to see them again.”

The winning poem – When you are found, I am found – explores feelings of sadness and loneliness.

‘Worthy winner’

These themes perfectly capture the spirit of the Day of the Disappeared, and the sense of longing found in those forcibly separated from loved ones. But importantly, Holly’s poem does offer a sense of hope for the future.

The competition judges said: “Holly showed real skill and a technique beyond her years to create a strong and moving poem. It was a worthy winner.”

Holly’s mum Karen added: “I think the poem’s amazing. When I read it I could tell she’d based it on the loss of Richard. I’m very, very proud of her.”

Read all the winning entries

Find out more about the Day of the Disappeared