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Write on!

Chinese Writing Contest

It’s time to be creative

Learning Chinese is to be creative!

Students toy around elements of Chinese language and create interesting stories or beautiful poetry. It’s like playing with small pieces of Lego. We are only limited by our own imaginations. This creative field should be open to students from day one.

However, the theme of learning Chinese is often dominated by the question “how many characters have you learned?” This question has led many students to focus on accumulating Chinese characters, spending so much time and energy either to look up characters or to memorise them. But accumulating characters for the sake of accumulating them does not enhance students’ learning experience, nor help them develop their Chinese skills, or bring any sense of delight. This is unfortunate.

The real question we should ask is “how much Chinese reading and writing have you done?” With this question, students’ focus is turned into reading for ideas and writing for creation. Amazing learning results can be achieved. 

Therefore, in order to encourage students to read more and to write more, learners of Chinese worldwide are invited to participate in this Chinese Writing Contest, and to show their creativity using 320 Chinese characters.

Beginner students are encouraged to compete with the advanced ones, and the older students are encouraged to compete with the younger ones.

This is a competition that no one suffers from stage fright. Have fun!

The prizes 2024

  • MC

    The winner wins one year subscription of NinChanese

NinChanese uses the best of technology, gamification and over 3500 online lessons to help students learn Chinese and reach a fluent level.

  • DC

    The first runner-up wins one year digital & print subscription of Babel Magazine

Babel Magazine is a quarterly language magazine that brings you cutting-edge linguistic research in an accessible and colourful format.

  • The second runner-up wins a writing application Calmly Writer

Calmly Writer is a distraction-free writing editor designed to focus on what you want to tell, with a simple, unobtrusive and ease-to-use interface.

  • MSL Master

    The best submissions will be published by MSL Master

MSL Master is dedicated to creating relevant and effective Chinese learning materials, helping students achieve Chinese language proficiency and develop Chinese cultural literacy. The best submissions will be assembled and published as a book with a registered ISBN. Contributors to the book win the rights to tell families and friends that they are published authors!


Character requirement

Writings are limited to using the following 320 Chinese characters only:


All 320 characters and their related words/combinations are presented in these free online video lessons

Words and combinations which use these 320 characters but are not included in the online video lessons are welcome.

What to write

Anything. It could be a short story, a mini play, a poem, or anything else a creative mind fancies.


299 - 1000 Chinese characters, excluding punctuations. Poetry is accepted at any length.

Sample writings

The following are available as sample writings:

The process

Time line

  • Aug 1, 2024 — Submission starts
  • Sep 16, 2024 — Submission ends
  • Oct 1, 2024 — Announce qualified entries & public voting starts
  • Oct 16, 2024 — Public voting ends
  • Nov 1, 2024 — Announce the winner

Method of selection

  • The initial assessment is done at MSL Master.
  • The qualified and quality submissions will be published on MSL Master website. 
  • The winner is selected by public votes on X (formerly known as Twitter).

(In the event of any unexpected scenarios, teacher April, the organiser, has the authority to make the final decision.)

Check your writing before submitting

If you wonder whether or not you have involuntarily used one or two Chinese characters which are not included in the list, you can check it quickly. 

Contributed by two talented Chinese language learners, two alternative ways are available.

  • The Demonic-Duck character checker

Click this link 

Paste your writing under “Text”. Characters which are not included will be highlighted, as the example shows.

  • The Betty character tool

Click this link: 

Paste your writing into the space provided, then click “Submit”. Characters which are not included will be screened out. If some punctuation marks also show up, don’t worry about them.  

The quest for excellence

Qualified and quality writings will show up here. Write on!

Feedbacks around the world

Thank you for letting us know about the contest. What a great idea! We will circulate the information to those who may be interested. — Liz B.

Thank you for letting us know the opportunity. This competition is a great encouragement for our Chinese school and students. — John L.

Thank you for holding such a great competition! I have learned how to be creative, and how to use the simple characters to write meaningful stories. I also got the chance to learn from others', which was a really good experience for me. — Trista W.

Thank you so much. I will encourage my students to patriciate. — Stella Y.

Thank you for sharing this information. I appreciate all your initiatives to promote Chinese language learning. — Jia F.

Limiting the number of Characters made it a very enjoyable challenge! — Josh T.

We were so excited because it’s such a great competition which students will definitely have fun. We promoted it in class and students are so keen to write the story/poem. So I am writing to show my appreciation. — Zoe H.

I think it is an awesome idea and I will strongly encourage my students, past and present, to participate. — Janine L.

Thank you so much for getting in touch with us. This is a very welcome development, we will do our best to get our students participate. — Gracious M.

As a mom, I'm so happy for her. It is not easy as the writing is limited to using 320 Chinese characters. Again, thank you for organising this Chinese Writing Contest so that more people have a chance to explore their "Han Yu". — Fiona Y.

I will forward this information to teachers. Thank you again for this opportunity! — Laura R.

Thank you for sharing the details of this competition. I will promote this via our usual channels! — Frances N.

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