I am pleased to announce the results of the writing challenge!
The task was to write a formal letter giving and requesting advice. You can see the details here: CHALLENGE_LETTER OF ADVICE
The topic was the following:
You have been tasked with organising a conference about security. You received an e-mail from Capt Jones, one of the speakers, asking for some information. Write an e-mail to the speaker 1) informing about the date, place and other details of the event, 2) asking for advice concerning the equipment or services he might need as a speaker (projector, screen, laptop, access to photocopier, etc) and 3) suggesting possible accommodation options. Write a minimum of 120 words.
The winner of the challenge is Mr Piotr Pabich and with the author's consent I publish below the winning letter.
THE WINNING LETTER BY PIOTR PABICH:
I am writing to respond to your question concerning the NATO Security Conference 2017 you are going to take part in.
At the beginning I would like to mention that as a member of the organisation committee I am personally honoured to welcome you as a speaker. We are glad that you decided to deliver a speech on the NATO Security Conference. I appreciate I can help with the questions you have.
First of all, the Conference will start on the 1st December 2017 and last till 3rd December 2017 and be held in the Headquarters of the Polish Armed Forces in Warsaw. The first part of the conference is the opening ceremony during which one representative from the delegation of each country reads out their previously prepared opening speeches. The next and substantial part are debates in the work groups which take part around one and half day. The final part of the conference is the Assembly of the Representatives during which the final conclusions will be presented. After all the issues have been discussed, the official part of the conference is brought to the end. On the 3rd December an unofficial part begins held in Marriot Hotel in Warsaw. Detailed information concerning the exact opening time of the conference will be sent to you in a further message.
Secondly, in order to maintain the highest possible level of your satisfaction, I would like to be advised about equipment and services you might need as a speaker. As the part of the organisation body I am aware that only accurate preparations met before the conference can contribute to successful conduct of the whole event. All equipment needed to conduct presentations (projectors, blackboards, screens, computers, etc.) are provided by organizers. Moreover, the access to fast and secure internet connection and the fully-equipped office facility is at your' s disposal during the conference.
Finally, I would like to offer you some advice concerning possible accommodation options. Even though there is a wide range and variety of accommodation possibilities in the high-quality hotels I would suggest staying at the area of the headquarters or choose an accommodation place located within a walking distance of the place where the conference takes place. The morning rush hours and traffic jams might disturb your on- time arrival and become an inconvenience. Fulfilling your expectations ,as the organizers, we are ready to act as an intermediary and support you in dealing with accommodation issues.
I do hope I could be of help and I have found an accurate answer to all of your questions.
Should you have any further doubts feel free to contact me.
This letter distinguished itself with the range and level of vocabulary as well as accuracy, organisation and the appropriate level of formality.
The only piece of advice which I would like to offer in this context is that I don't recommend writing letters which are so long. This one has 445 words, while the required number of words is 120. There is no upper limit, but for practical reasons I recommend sticking to the 120. Why? Simply because you will probably have not enough time to write so many words during the exam, as the time limit is 80 minutes and there is Task 2 in which the required number of words is 200 and which is harder to write due to all the analytical thinking you have to do to write it.
I would also like to distinguish the letter by Jaroslav Veselý who also gave me his permission to publish it here.
LETTER BY Jaroslav Veselý - THE SECOND PLACE
Dear Cpt. Jones,
I am writing in reply to your letter asking for information about the upcoming security conference.
First of all, the conference will be held on the 1st of December 2017. The meeting begins at 07:30 Pacific Time (UTC-8), in the building of Security Council, block C, on 455 Pacific street, Pacific 16206. Please be advised to arrive in advance due to security check and registration process.
Secondly, I would like to know, if there is any type of provision you will need to be provided with as one of the speakers. We can offer you IT technologies, such as laptops, projectors, or other equipment like a whiteboard, markers, etc. You will also be given one assistant who will help you with your presentation.
Finally, there are two possibilities concerning the accommodation. The first one is accommodation provided at the very same building where the conference will take place. The second one is staying in a hotel of your choice. I am pleased to inform you, that all costs of both options are being paid by the Security Council.
I hope this information will be of help. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have more questions.
This is also a very good letter. There is one remark I would like to make. Namely, the instruction requires us to ask for advice in the second paragraph, while the author asks for information. You are asked to follow the rubrics closely during the exam, therefore such an even slight divergence from the task might be treated as a mistake.
And last, but not least I would like to show you the letter which is also good, and ranks number three in our competition. The author wished to remain anonymous, but gave the consent to publish the letter.
THE THIRD PLACE
Dear Capt Jones,
I am writing with reference to the security conference in Poland where you are going to give a speech.
First of all, I would like to inform you that the conference will take a place on the 6th of December 2017 at the Palace of Culture in Warsaw., It is organized by the Council of Europe. There will be a car with our soldier waiting for you in front of the airport building.
Secondly, I would appreciate it if you could help with the questions I have. To begin with, could you advise me on what preparations you need to be made before the conference begins, for example, a projector, screen, laptop etc.
Finally, I would like to offer some advice concerning your accommodation. I would advise you to take Warsaw Marriott Hotel for these two days. The conditions in the hotel are very good, the distance to the Palace of Culture is short and the morning traffic will not become inconvenient.
I trust you will accept my recommendation and I hope that I could be of help. I am looking forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.
The main mistake in this letter is that the author signed it with a real name and surname (which I changed). It is a mistake which disqualifies the whole exam. You need to sign your letter with XYZ, not even with invented names or names of book or film characters.
CONGRATULATIONS AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION!
The winner will receive the book Speaking and Writing Expert. How to Pass STANAG 6001 English Exam. Level 3. as a prize.
The other distinguished authors will receive feedback and advice concerning the exam.
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to comment below ⬇⬇⬇ or contact me directly by email at email@example.com