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English Essay Writing Competition 2009

The Federation of Finnish-British Societies annual English Essay Writing Competition was held for the 26th time in November 2009.  An invitation was sent out to the first class of all sixth forms (“lukios”) in Finland.  Teachers then sent in the best essay from each class, and in all 130 essays were received from a total of 61 schools.

The jury was composed of five judges, including representatives from the Helsinki Finnish-British Society, the Finnish Matriculation Examination Board, and the University of Helsinki Department of English. 

The judges gave first prize to Riku Määttä from Tammerkosken lukio for his essay on what makes a good friend.  Riku’s essay was personal, nicely phrased and communicated a sense of genuine emotion and feeling for a close friend.  Well done Riku! 

The judges also wished to specially commend Martti Kaipiainen’s sophisticated essay.

The standard of essays was as usual high, and the judges would like to congratulate the ten runners-up and thank all those who took part in the competition.

Mark Shackleton, Chairman, Essay Writing Competition.

Essay topics:

  1. What I like/do not like sports.
  2. Begin a story starting “I really can’t imagine how it could have happened…”
  3. What makes a good friend?
  4. Write a composition that ends with the following:  “It was fate that brought us together.”
  5. There’s no place like home. Do you agree?
  6. When I am a father/mother…


First prize, a trip to England:

Riku Määttä (Read the essay)

Tammerkosken lukio Topic no 3.

Runners-up prize, an English dictionary:

(in alphabetical order)

Anniina Hyppölä Rauman lukio   Topic no. 5.
Mari Juusola Kallion lukio     Topic no. 4.
Martti Kaipaiainen Joensuun normaalikoulu Topic no. 3.
Timo Kalliokoski Vaasan lyseon lukio  Topic no. 5.
Jarno Keinänen   Siilinjärven lukio       Topic no. 6.
Tuomas Kekkonen Viitasaaren lukio    Topic no. 5.
Antti Kuosmanen Tampereen klassillinen lukio Topic no. 1.
Aksel Mägi    Lohjan yhteislyseon lukio  Topic no. 1.
Minna Uutela    Valkealanlukio   Topic no. 2.
Sakari Väkevä  Mikkelin yhteiskoulun lukio Topic no. 4.


English Essay Writing Competition 2009

What makes a good friend?

If you asked what an ideal friend is like, people would say that they would have to be fun, kind and caring and let you cheat off of them, and let you copy their homework. To me a perfect friend is someone who will stick with me until the end, no matter what.
Four years ago I was in an accident, I was hit by a car. I woke up in the hospital, alone. My parents rarely visited because of work, but my best friend came to see me everyday, making sure I was alright. She came faithfully every single day, and cheered me up, hlade me laugh and made things easier for me. Even today I feel she was a vital part of my recovery.
It was hard at first, moving around after surgery, I was depressed and felt useless and weak. She was there, even in my self-loathing and misery. She gave me the strength to go on. It was painful, and I would have given up, if it wasn 't for her. I'm so grateful for everything she did for me I don't even know how to express it. She was my hero, my angel who lifted me up from the abyss.
So if anyone asks me, what my ideal friend is like, I would just tell them I have one. The person most important to my heart. My savior and caretaker, my best friend.
I know she'll always be there for me, through thick and thin, always and eternally.

Writing Competition 2009 - the winning essay by Riku Maatta.