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2019 Smart Alex creative writing competition for secondary school students

For a second year, the Friends of the Turnbull Library are running the Smart Alex creative writing competition. The aim of the competition is to celebrate the Centenary of Alexander Turnbull and his remarkable legacy. The competition will connect young minds with the Turnbull collections to excite the imagination, inspire creativity and generate new ways of looking at our past, present and future. 

Entry is free and there is $3,000 in prize money.

Secondary students are required to respond to or interpret an image from the collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library and produce either:

  • a piece of creative writing
  • an illustrated graphic story, or
  • a written song/waiata.

Entries can be in English or te reo Māori.

The competition is open to all secondary school and secondary home-educated students in New Zealand and the South Pacific.

There are two age-group categories for entries: Years 9-10, and Years 11-13.

The official entry form and competition details are available on the Friends of the Turnbull Library website.

The posters are also available on the National Library Services to Schools website, which has tips to help students find images and kick start their writing.

Updated on 3rd April 2019