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A whole new universe created with 320 Chinese characters and time to vote!

Written by April Zhang on Friday, 29 September 2023. Posted in Chinese Writing Contest

A whole new universe created with 320 Chinese characters and time to vote!

Chinese Writing Contest 2023 was closed on Sep 16. A total of 23 entries were received.

These aspiring writers are from Trinidad and Tobago, South Korea, Switzerland, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, France, New Zealand, the United States, and China. Thank you all for participating!

First of all, I’d like to acknowledge that all participants have made their effort. And I’m sure your effort is not wasted regardless whether or not your submission is selected. I hope you’ve had great fun, and gained valuable insight into yourself and the Chinese writing system. Also, all of you are invited to come back and give it another go next year!

Secondly, I’d like to congratulate the 16 entries which are selected for the next round - pubic voting. They have collectively created a new universe using only 320 Chinese characters.

Different people create different universes. There are probably millions of them.

For a mathematician, the universe is created with numbers.

For a chemist, the universe is created with chemical elements.

For a musician, the universe is created with music notes.

For a painter, the universe is created with colours.

For a Chinese language learner, the universe is created with Chinese characters. As nascent as this universe is, it has all the potentialities. 

Chinese language is extensive and profound. Each character has so many potential meanings. To use the right character in the right place is always something to be seriously pondered. This is the task of writers. This is the attitude and professionalism of writers.

In this Chinese Writing Contest, only 320 characters are allowed to use, roughly 10% of 3000 - 3500 Chinese characters commonly used in today’s print. With this limited number of characters available, we are asking writers to show more of this attitude and professionalism, not less.

These aspiring writers did just that, and demonstrated that creativity has no boundaries. 

Although this year’s Contest stopped receiving submissions, learning Chinese does not. 

Knowing 320 Chinese characters is only the beginning. There are thousands of more characters waiting to be learned. And an advice for all Chinese language learners, only the characters you know how to use are the characters you really learned. So focus on using characters as much as you can.

With that being said, the next stage of this contest begins. Your votes will determine who the winners are.

Please follow these steps: 

  • Read all the qualified submissions.
  • Select the best FOUR that impress you the most, and write down their designated numbers. 
  • Go to X, formerly known as Twitter. At the comment section of the pinned tweet, write down the four numbers you’ve selected.

Voting ends on Oct 16. 

Your voice matters! 

About the Author

April Zhang

April Zhang

April Zhang is the founder of MSL Master and she enjoys teaching and interacting with students. She constantly explores new and interesting ways of teaching Chinese through creative and imaginative activities.

With her help, many students have achieved outstanding result, which has enriched their understanding about China and has significantly contributed to their work.