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ServiceScape Incorporated
ServiceScape Incorporated

Announcing the Winner of the 2023 ServiceScape Scholarship

We are proud to announce that Alice Ripa from Manchester, United Kingdom is the winner of the 2023 ServiceScape Scholarship.

 Alice Ripa
Alice Ripa is the winner of the 2023 ServiceScape Scholarship

Out of over 22,000 entries, this essay was chosen for several reasons:

  • Emotional Resonance: The essay beautifully captures the depth and nuances of human emotions and relationships. It touches on themes of love, loss, grief, and joy, making it relatable and engaging for readers.
  • Descriptive Language: The use of descriptive language brings the narrative to life. Phrases like "her dysfunctional washing machine" and "mundane aspects of someone else's life" paint vivid pictures and add a personal, intimate touch to the writing.
  • Universal Themes: The themes of maintaining connections despite physical distance, and the timeless nature of written communication, are universally appealing and relevant. Many readers can relate to the experience of moving away from friends and the challenges of keeping in touch.
  • Reflective and Insightful: The essay provides thoughtful reflections on the importance of written communication in an increasingly fast-paced world. It delves into how writing allows for deeper contemplation and connection, which is often lost in more immediate forms of communication.
  • Clear Structure: The essay is well-structured, with a clear beginning, middle, and end. It flows logically from the personal anecdote to broader reflections, making it easy to follow and understand.
  • Engaging Narrative Style: The first-person narrative creates a sense of intimacy and immediacy, drawing readers into the writer's world and experiences.
  • Resonant Ending: The concluding lines, "Written words are what wait for you when the rest of the world doesn't," effectively summarize the essay's central theme and leave a lasting impression.

Overall, the essay's combination of emotional depth, vivid language, relatable themes, and reflective insights contribute to its effectiveness as a piece of writing.

Alice's winning submission can be found below. We hope you enjoy reading her essay and we look forward to reading more submissions for our 2024 Scholarship.

"He told me he loved me today."

That's one of the many things my friend has written to me since I moved away. In our monthly emails, she talks about love and loss, grief and joy, her favorite foods, and her dysfunctional washing machine. She discusses all the big things and many of the small things, everything that constitutes a life. Her words in my hands make every day now feel just like every day then.

I moved across an ocean to pursue my dreams of seeing more of the world. With time differences and costly flights, it sometimes feels like the distances between us grow larger as the rest of the world seems to shrink. But when my service is poor, or when I'm feeling lonely in the middle of the night, it's incredibly comforting to read about the mundane aspects of someone else's life, where the small and big things blend, sometimes making them nearly indistinguishable. These are the things that might not have been said in a phone call, or discussed during an airport reunion.

Written words provide us time. Time to reflect, to revisit, to overshare and sidetrack, to joke and question, and so many other things. They give us time to tell and to understand. In a world that moves so quickly, writing and being written to are sometimes the only things keeping me sane. Being able to share and connect across oceans, land borders, language barriers, and time differences is what has allowed me to chase my dreams for the future without sacrificing my friendships to become something of the past. Written words are what wait for you when the rest of the world doesn't.

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