Thinking about the effects of covid19, on our daily lives, Josh Hansraj became sad and started writing to express his emotions in a healthy way.
When he learnt of the Dragonzilla Short Story Writing Challenge, hosted by the NGC Children's Bocas Lit Fest, Josh decided to enter the competition and challenge his writing skills. The experience of participating in a writing challenge was a new one for him. He was confident and had good reason to be.
When the results were announced, in early December, Josh had won the five to eight age group with his story The Great Depression. The eight-year-old Marabella writer spoke to Newsday Kids about his story.
“I was very depressed to spend all that time at home because of covid19,” he said.
“The name of the story I write for the challenge was The Great Depression. The story was about how King Corona took over the earth with the virus covid19.”
The story reflected Josh’s frustration with covid19 and how it changed many aspects of his life which included: staying at home more, wearing a mask for long periods and having to stand in long lines.
While Josh wrote a story that wowed the challenge’s judges, he admits creative writing was not something he had done much of before.
A student at Grant Memorial Presbyterian School, in San Fernando, his experience was limited to writing a few short stories for class. Now that he has won the challenge, Josh plans to write more stories during the Christmas holidays.
He is calling on other children to begin writing stories. “You should write stories because it’s a good way of expressing your feelings, thoughts and ideas."
While Josh likes to write, he also likes to read.
Comic books and books where he can learn interesting facts, about the world, are his favourite type of books. His favourite comic books can be found in a series called Dog Man by Dav Pilkey.
But Josh isn’t only flexing his muscles to write, he’s doing so playing sports as well.
Getting his start in sports at the age of six, he plays football, cricket, wrestling, and American football.
“I like American football because you have to be skillful with a lot of speed and strength. I am skillful because I have a lot of speed and strength.
“Football was the hardest to learn because I had to learn special tricks with the ball. When I went to football training, I had to play against some older children.”
When Josh grows up, he wants to be a sportsman.
“I would like to be an American football player because I am good at it and I also enjoy playing it. An American football player also gets a good salary and I’ll get a scholarship to attend an American university.”
To relax Josh likes to watch TV and exercise.
He’s also learning about photography and videography. On some days, he uses his father’s digital camera to practise. For the competition, he had to submit a video of himself reading his story.
Josh has also been doing something interesting with the extra time at home. While covid19 vaccines were being developed in the US and UK, he was trying to make his own. He researched the types of vitamins that can help people be healthier and feel better and ease the symptoms. Though his idea may not have worked out, he is hopeful about the international vaccines.
For Christmas, Josh looks forward to opening presents and spending time with his family.
However, this year’s celebrations will be different.
“My family from aboard can’t visit for Christmas this year. I feel very sad because normally every year they will come, and we’ll gather.”
While he may be sad, Josh still wishes everyone a merry Christmas but with a reminder to not host parties to stop the spread of covid19.