Writing Skills

A Picture Speaks A Thousand Words

This is an interactive post where I invite you to comment on this lovely piece of writing by Anthony Padilla who is only 14-years-old. I will kick-start the comments with my own post in the comment section and anyone is welcome to follow suit to comment on both Anthony’s note and the photo he chose to accompany this note. I would like to remind everyone that this was written by a child. He has a remarkable command of English and that too despite hailing from a country where English is not the official language. So please be honest but kind.

Anthony became champion of a speech competition in Malaysia where he resides. The topic was ‘If you had three wishes, what would it be?’

He wished that poverty, war and selfishness would be eradicated.

What we are going to examine is not his winning speech, but the thank you note he published on Facebook to all who contributed to his win and learn some lessons on ‘inspirational’ writing. With permission from Anthony I have reproduced his post and accompanying photo.

Many authors are also bloggers. We live in a world of Instagram and Pinterest. The media regards photos as important as a great story. A picture speaks a thousand words.

When I was a journalist, to bag a cover page story, the PHOTOS were crucial. When I ran Agape magazine, the PHOTOs were crucial.  And when you are a blogger the most effective way to draw a crowd is to make sure you have the perfect photo to complement what you are saying. It doesn’t have to be the MOST BEAUTIFUL photo. It only needs bring home the message the story purports to send.

As an author of novels, this translates for me into a first class book cover. Of course, if the content is rubbish, the book cover won’t help, but to get someone to look at your first class content you need to have a first class presentation. Anthony Padilla’s post and photo below:


“I am extremely honoured to be winning this national public speaking event. I am earnestly grateful for the recognition I have received for my work, because I am very sure that every other nominee for this award was as capable if not more, of winning this award.

I have faced several challenges on my way here, but each one of them has only strengthened me to make me the person who I am today. Winning this award would not have been possible without the inspiration I have received from my loved ones and my teachers, for whom I have the deepest respect, and from whom I have derived the strength to challenge myself and perform better at each stage.

I sincerely thank each and every one of you for helping me reach a stage where I can proudlyhold up this award as a mark of my achievement. I also promise to only get better at my work so that you can see me here for such awards.

2 thoughts on “A Picture Speaks A Thousand Words

  1. There is humility and grace in Anthony’s ‘thank-you’ note. An attractive quality in a champion. He picked the perfect picture to convey his words. He could have done the usual photo-shoot – cradling trophy while sporting a smile as big as his win, but no. He chose instead to paint a picture of an exhausted victor who fought hard to win and humbled by the honour of victory.

    As a writer, I do want to make an observation that the first paragraph has unnecessary extreme adjectives, namely “extremely honoured”, “earnestly grateful” and “very sure”. An example of a more polished alternative for “very sure” would be “positive”.


  2. Outstanding writing skills considering that he is only 14 and that he is not an experienced or trained writer. His thank you note was very heart warming and relatable. An excellent choice of photo to accompany his victory in public speaking.


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