Would you win if you had the chance to square off against covid19 in a boxing match?
Well, 11-year-old writer Josse Franco from Diego Martin is confident he would. In his short story – The Big Fight – Josse sees himself fighting and defeating the virus in the boxing ring. His imaginative victory wasn’t the only win he scored. His story was judged the best among writers in the nine to 12 age group of this year's NGC Children’s Bocas Lit Fest, Dragonzilla Short Story Writing Challenge.
“I had done a few drafts (of stories for the contest) and I thought none were good enough," said Josse, a student of At Andrew's Private School, Maraval.
“I decided to put some more thought into the story I was writing and the idea for the Big Fight came to mind.”
Josse's former creative writing teacher Joanna De Gannes sent him information on the contest in November. “She thinks I’m a good writer and thought that I had a chance," he said. “Before the contest, in school, I usually wrote Christmas stories, biographies, reports and short narratives.”
So, he got to work and came up with the idea for The Big Fight. As a finalist he sent a video, which was more like a short film, of himself reading the story.
Josse admits he was nervous but felt relief when he was announced the winner earlier this month.
Inspiring his love for writing is his passion for reading non-fiction books like Harry Potter and The Hobbit. Reading has helped him to expand his vocabulary and improve his writing.
He is also learning to play the piano with musician Chantal Esdelle. He has been taking lessons since he was five and has performed in recitals alongside other piano students. Due to covid19, the classes are now virtual.
“I like playing Christmas music on the piano a lot,” said Josse who plays classical music. He recently wrote a song on the piano.
“I came up with the song in less than 30 minutes when I was just messing around with the keys.
“I’m still thinking about a name for the song but I’m thinking to call it The Chronicles.”
Josse enjoys keeping active and plays football too. He began training at age four and currently plays with Pro Series Football Academy.
“I watch football when there are important games, but I don’t watch much other sports.”
With a variety of interests, it’s no surprise Josse has a few things in mind when it comes to what he wants to be.
It’s a choice between being an author or going into the field of film production.
“I think they are cool jobs and I watch a lot of movies. I think it’ll be so nice to have my name in the credit of a movie.”
He has been catching up on his favourite films with the extra time at home. He's started drawing and learning how to mountain bike as well.
He has also tried his hand at helping his father – an architect – design buildings.
Over the Christmas holidays, Josse looked forward to spending time with his family.
His wish for everyone?
“Whatever is going in your life, whether good or bad, take at least one day of the year to spend rejoicing because there’s always something to be thankful for.
“Also, remember to eat your vegetables, stay in school, do your homework, wear your seatbelt, wear your mask and social distance.”