Song Qinglian, a junior college student who enrolled at Changde Open University in 2019, is a member of the Chinese Writers Association.

She has received accolades for her literary works, including the prestigious "Dingling Literature Award" and the "Tujia Minority Masterpiece Award," which recognizes exceptional writing from ethnic minority writers. Additionally, she has been honored with the "Jinjin Literature Award for Children's Books" and the "Bingxin Literature Award for New Works of Children's Books." Notably, she was recognized as one of the "Top 10 Book Reading Characters" in the 24th edition and was celebrated as one of the "Star Learners of 2019 for Ordinary People with Most Touching Experience."

According to the Publicity Department of the CPC, on 23 April 2023, Song Qinglian was awarded the prestigious title of "Village Reading Advocate" at the Second National Conference on Reading. It is noteworthy that she was one of only two individuals in the entire province to receive this honor. Song Qinglian hails from a small hill village and comes from a humble Tujia family, an ethnic minority group, in Guzhang, Xiangxi. As the eldest sister, she faced the responsibility of caring for her three younger brothers, which meant delaying her own elementary education until the age of 10. After completing high school, she married and relocated to Linli, a county far away from her parents' home. Despite the challenges of life, the couple shared a mutual dream of literature. Their most cherished moments were cycling together to the downtown library, located 15 kilometers away, which added a touch of romance to their happy marital life.


Afterward, she made the decision to migrate to Guangzhou and secured employment at a clothing manufacturing factory. Despite the demanding nature of her work, she remained committed to her passion for reading and writing, dedicating her time after work to pursue her literary endeavors. It was during this period as a migrant worker that she accomplished a significant milestone: the completion of her first collection of poems titled "Somniloquy of a Plowgirl." Following three years of working far from her hometown, Song Qinglian returned to her agricultural roots while maintaining her unwavering love for literature. She actively participated in various literary events, including the Creative Writing Forum hosted by Changde City, as well as workshops for young and middle-aged aspiring writers organized by the Maozedong Literature Institute and Luxun Literature Institute. These experiences served as a catalyst, allowing her to be "reborn" through the exposure to theories and thoughts put forth by esteemed literary masters. Motivated by their influence, she embarked on creating children's books, showcasing her prowess as one of the "fast and furious" writers in the field.

Song Qinglian was fully aware that her lack of higher education was causing a creative bottleneck. In 2019, she enrolled in the Chinese Language programme provided by Changde Open University. In 2021, after graduating from the university, Song Qinglian underwent a metamorphosis like a butterfly, with her first children's novel, Stars over the Red Land, being published. The novel showcases the vibrant practices of rural revitalization, the construction of red regions, and village tourism to help young readers perceive the harmonious rural life intertwined with nature's beauty.

Song Qinglian also entered a prolific period of her career. Her poem, The Morning Star over the Field, was published in a magazine, and her poem suite, On the Way to School, won the third Xiepu Children's Literature Award. She received prestigious titles such as the National Star Learner for Ordinary People and the National Reading Role Model in Rural Areas, successively. Moreover, her husband, Hou Lingjun, has also written a book of forty thousand characters titled Legend of Tai Fushan Mountain, which will be published soon.

Villages require culture, and even more crucially, they require individuals who can carry and preserve that culture. Thirteen years ago, Song Qinglian took it upon herself to transform her own house into a village library. Today, known as "the Village Library," it houses thousands of books and has provided a solution to the problem of limited access to reading materials for villagers and their children. Song Qinglian actively organizes reading activities in the library, offering guidance to children in their writing endeavors and assisting neighbors in resolving agricultural challenges. In this way, the small library has transformed into a "Wisdom Granary" for the village, serving as a spiritual haven where children can learn and read. Song Qinglian is sowing the seeds of literature in the rural area, illuminating the village's future with the power of books!


Reprinted by OUC News Network from Changde Daily