Congratulations to the Smart Alex winners

Congratulations to the winners of the national 2018 Smart Alex creative writing competition for secondary school students. Read who they are and what the judges thought ...

Thanks to the Friends of the Turnbull Library

It was the Friends of the Turnbull Library's generosity that initiated and funded this year's competition. They have also scheduled another competition for 2019 — so keep an eye out for a major announcement in February 2019.

The winners have been announced to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Alexander Turnbull's birth on 14 September 1868.

Alexander Turnbull Library centenary

Competition entries

The competition's aim was to connect young minds with the taonga heritage of Aotearoa New Zealand through the Alexander Turnbull Library (ATL) collections.

Secondary school students had to select an item from the ATL collections and write imaginatively about it. And they certainly did! Hundreds of entries flooded in, covering everything from popular culture (Fortnite) to historical events. The eruption of Mt Tarawera proved a popular — and explosive — topic.

There were poems, drawings and stories, some even included photographic work. Many entries showed humour and a vivid sense of drama.

Unlocking creative minds

The winning and highly commended writers all had a common thread. They used their chosen item as a key to unlock and reveal the world in a fresh, creative way rather than just describe it.

These writers gave us imaginative insights into the human condition through beautifully crafted words or images. How fantastic to discover new talent and potentially the future of our literary landscape!

And the winners are ...

The winners, their entries, and the image they selected can be found on the Friends of the Turnbull Library website:

Competition winners