A High School Student Wins an Essay Contest with Work that Plagiarized YooA’s ‘Bon Voyage’ Lyrics

Credit: WM Entertainment

YooA’s song surfaced in an unexpected place.

On Jan 24, Yeongnam Daily reported that one of the winning works of the Daegu Writers Association’s “Dalgubul Essay Contest” was nullified due to plagiarism issues.

According to an official from the Daegu Writers Association, it was pointed out that the work that was elected at the “Dalguba Essay Contest” held last year shows great similarity to the lyrics of the song released the same year. However, the real issue surfaced when the work suspected of plagiarism was published in the “Collection of Works of the Dalgubul Essay Contest” without proper verification.

The title of the poem that won the award in the high school category is “Girl of the Forst.” From the title to its content, more than 40 percent was a perfect match to YooA’s solo song “Bon Voyage” (the Korean title is “Child of the Forest”). Some even pointed out that you can out the melody to the song and sing it just like “Bon Voyage.”

Credit: Daegu Writers Association
Credit: Melon

Poet Sa Yoon Soo pointed out, “I heard that the award was canceled belatedly after it was already published in the collection, but if someone hadn’t raised the issue, this plagiarized work would have remained as the winning work. Of course, amateur applicants may lack awareness of plagiarism. The organizers should pay keen attention to the verification by stating ‘if plagiarism is revealed, the award could be nullified’ in the application.”

Currently, the student in question has returned the prize money after her award was canceled. Yet, it’s still very unlikely for her to avoid criticism because the lack of awareness of plagiarism cannot be explained by the fact that she is a student.

With this incident, another shocking plagiarism case in the literature circle surfaced. Earlier, it was reported that Kim Min Jung, who received the White Horse Culture Award for her short story Root, is taking legal action against author Song, who won five contests by stealing her work last year.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said today that they will launch a penetrative survey into Korea’s literature awards.


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