Nguyen Hanh Phuong, a 13-year-old student in Hanoi, has been named by the Vietnam Record Association, Vietkings, as Vietnam’s youngest writer to have penned a fiction in English and released it as a bilingual English-Vietnamese series
with her novel entitled ‘Star Team: A Quest for the Greatest Power.’
|Nguyen Hanh Phuong has been named by the Vietnam Record Association, Vietkings, as Vietnam’s youngest writer of fiction in English. (Photo courtesy of Nguyen Hanh Phuong)|
The book series tells the story of four English adventurous children aged 12. They are classmates and each of them has a gift, such as reading old language, navigating, wizardry, and robotics.
According to Phuong, whose pen name is Rosy Black, she started writing the first lines of her novel in July 2019 when she was just 10 years old. She first made a rough draft to explore the story and then go through the finer details. Phuong writes her books of her in English first and then translates them into Vietnamese.
The Kim Dong Publishing House has published the first volume of the novel, named ‘Back to The Past’, while the subsequent three, ‘To The Future’, ‘Up to Heaven’ and ‘Down to Hell’, will be introduced to readers in the future.
The series praise friendship, courage, solidarity and the determination to overcome challenges. With her clear and flexible expression and writing style, Phuong’s book has drawn great interest from readers of her same age.
Having a passion for reading books since childhood, especially those on science and literature, Nguyen Hanh Phuong has read many books in various genres in both Vietnamese and English. She is also interested in scientific experiments and writing.
She was taught English when she was three by her mother – an English-language teacher. At the age of four, she could read both Vietnamese and English.
Phuong won gold and silver medals at the Asian Science and Mathematics Olympiad in Vietnam in 2020 and 2021, and has won many scholarships at her school. She is also a contributor for English teaching program on Vietnam National Television’s Channel 7.
In the coming time, in addition to complete the three remaining volumes of the series, Phuong plans to publish audiobooks and access the world market.
|The cover of the first volume ‘Back to The Past’. (Photo courtesy of Nguyen Hanh Phuong)|
In recent years, children’s literature in Vietnam has witnessed many encouraging signs with the increasing numbers in both books for children and young child authors.
Prominent among them is Cao Viet Quynh, who wrote his first fantasy adventure novel, ‘Nguoi Sao Choi – Cuoc Chien Vong Quanh The Gioi’ (Comet Man – The War Around the World), when he was 12 years old; Nguyen Khang Thinh, who was only 13 when he received the 2020 Sach Hay (Good Book) award for his first book titled ‘Nhat Ky Cua Nhoc Alvin Sieu Quay’ (Diary of Naughty Alvin); and Cao Khai An, who won the De Men (Cricket) Desire award for his story titled ‘Chuyen Cua Bap An Mo Va Xom Doi Rom’ (The story of Bap and his de el Doi Rom hamlet) at the age of 11.
Most of the child authors choose fantasy literature to promote their imagination and creativity while expressing their own personality in writing.
According to Chairman of the Vietnam Writers’ Association Nguyen Quang Thieu during this tenure, the association will place priority in children’s literature because child authors are the future owners of literature.
He revealed that the association has a detailed plan to awaken creativity and inspiration among child authors while supporting publication of children’s books and organizing children’s writing competitions to discover and foster young literary talents.
Nine-year-old triumphs at writing competition
She may only be nine-years-old but young writer Bui Mai Khue is already heading on the ‘write’ path in the world of literature after winning a top prize in a competition.
Children’s book industry needs more attention
While there are multiple books for children to choose from, only a few of them are written by young, local authors.