13 March 2020

The Federation of Finnish-British Societies annual English Essay Writing Competition was held for the 37th time on the 15th and 16th of January 2020. The essay titles on these two dates were posted on the Helsinki Finnish-British Society Website for download on the competition day. Teachers then sent in the best essay from each class, and in all 55 shortlisted essays were received from a total of 14 schools throughout Finland.

The jury was composed of five judges, including representatives from the Finnish National Agency for Education, the University of Helsinki Department of Languages (English), and the Association of Teachers of English in Finland. The judges gave first prize to Jimi Mahonen from Jyväskylän normaalikoulu for his immaculate assessment of the controversial footballer Diego Maradona as a person he admires, faults and all. A special mention from the judges goes to Siiri Kannela – also from Jyväskylän normaalikoulu – for her vivid and coherent piece of fantasy writing on “the king of dragons”.

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

Mark Shackleton, Chair, Essay Writing Competition


First prize (500€ for a trip to the UK)

Jimi Mahonen Jyväskylän normaalikoulu

Runner up prizes (books)

Elliot Back Jakobstad Gymnasium
Juliana Bragge Porin suomalaisen yhteislyseon lukio
Siiri Kannela Jyväskylän normaalikoulu
Matias Kiiskinen Rauman lyseon lukio
Hilla Kontinen Porin suomalaisen yhteislyseon lukio
Kerttu Kyllönen Kallaveden lukio
Emilia Mattila Turun klassillinen lukio
Tuuli Salo Turun klassillinen lukio
Vilma Salonen Kuninkaantien lukio
Lotta Tasa Ressu Upper Secondary School


2020 Essay Competition Topics

1. Someone you admire.
2. Reasons to be cheerful.
3. What small countries can teach big countries.
4. If I could change one thing.
5. Write a short fictional story beginning with these words: "No, it couldn’t be.”


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