Young writer finds motivation creating children's stories

March 26, 2023 - 08:55
Nguyễn Chí Ngoan recently established a name for himself when he won the Cricket Aspiration Awards 2020 with Rồi Nắng Cũng Lẻ Loi , a collection of short tales about children from Việt Nam's southwestern area who have physical flaws and have had a difficult life.

Nguyễn Chí Ngoan, 32, a Kiên Giang native, has three books published: Bến Chờ (Waiting Wharf), Mưa Miền Đất Mặn (Rain in the Salty Region), and Rồi Nắng Cũng Lẻ Loi (Then the Sun is Also Lonely). He is currently a primary school teacher in the commune of Thuận Hòa, An Minh District, Kiên Giang Province.

Ngoan recently established a name for himself when he won the Cricket Aspiration Awards 2020 with Rồi Nắng Cũng Lẻ Loi , a collection of short tales about children from Việt Nam's southwestern area who have physical flaws and have had a difficult life.

The Sports & Culture newspaper talks with him about his path to literature.

Inner Sanctum: You submitted Rồi Nắng Cũng Lẻ Loi to the Cricket Aspiration Awards. Tell us more about it?

During the initial phase of isolation to prevent and control the COVID-19 outbreak, I wrote the novel Rồi Nắng Cũng Lẻ Loi (formerly known as Mộng Giang Hồ).

At that time, I started to recall the past a lot. So, I sat at the table, with companionship only given to me by words. Then, one by one, the first short stories in the collection were created. I found out about the Cricket Aspiration Awards late, but it encouraged me to complete the work in time for the Awards.

Author Nguyễn Chí Ngoan

Inner Sanctum: Is there a gap between the draft and the finished publication?

Despite the fact that I wrote the manuscript and entered it for the 2020 Cricket Prize, I didn't get a copy of the finished book until the end of 2022.

Many things, in my opinion, play a role in the printing of books. For instance, why isn't the title Mộng Giang Hồ rather than Rồi Nắng Cũng Lẻ Loi ?

The panel of judges noted that I was "limited in capacity" because, as I said at the beginning, I found out about the Cricket Awards very late and so only had time to complete seven pieces. For this reason, I added three additional stories to the book and wrapped up what was left in my own mind.

Author Nguyễn Chí Ngoan (second from left) received the Cricket Aspiration Award. VNA/VNS Photos

Inner Sanctum: When did you decide to feature children as the main characters in your novels?

I believe my career has had an impact on my writing as well. My daily interactions with students are like looking back in time to my own youth. A simple look, a smile, or even a word might bring back a rush of childhood memories. It's simpler for me to put pen to paper when the subject is something I care about.

Inner Sanctum: Do you have any thoughts on what a children's book should provide its readers?

I was a reader first, and then a writer. When a book has lovely perceptions, witty details, an insightful lesson, or experiences I've never experienced in my own hometown, I'm typically excited to read it. That's what attracts people, in my opinion.

Inner Sanctum: Considering you've already written and published three books, do you see yourself as a children's author?

It seems like writing comes naturally to me. Knowing what to do is easier than actually doing it. And if my heart still doesn't feel "old", I'll keep penning stories for the young.

Inner Sanctum: Could you say a little bit about your future work?

I believe in the concept of "destiny", and so it goes with my writing. If I get the chance, I shall simply jot down the thoughts that have been growing in my brain. VNS