Remarks at Samoa Observer Story Competition N.U.S.
Reverend Ruperake Petaia, Vice Chancellor of N.U.S., sponsors, parents, teachers, honoured guests, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. It is my distinct privilege to say a few words on behalf of the judges for this 2016 short story competition.
The theme of this year’s competition was ‘My World’ inviting the candidates from primary, secondary and tertiary levels to approach the theme in whichever way appealed to them, whether from the mundane and routine of realism or the everyday, whether from myth, science fiction or on the wings of imaginative fantasy.
We would like to congratulate all students who made an effort to enter a short story and to their teachers and parents who supported them.
The quality of the stories, especially the prize-winners continue to impress and we would like to applaud and encourage everyone for their efforts to promote literacy and the literary cultural capital of the nation.
The desire for story as a vehicle for contemporary cultural values and contextualising ‘the now’ is as old as time, and the well-told story is guaranteed an appreciative readership and longevity.
Our thanks particularly to Marj Moore, the coordinator of Newspapers in Education (N.I.E.) who sets out clearly in the pages of the Observer every year, the guidelines and features of the short story, as well as doing the hard-yards in coordinating the competition and prize-giving. We have had several entries which do not fit these features and form, they more approach the short novella and this deserves a note of caution for the future.
We would like to acknowledge the sponsors, his Excellency, the Chinese Ambassador Wang and the Chinese Embassy, Fiti Leung Wai & S.S.A.B., Bluesky, Eveni and the Samoa Observer Team as well as N.U.S. for this fale to host the prizegiving, without whom the competition would not have its attractive prizes, appeal and prize-giving venue.
Once again, congratulations to all students who entered this year’s competition especially the prize-winners, and our best wishes for your future writing endeavours. Fa’afetai ma ia manuia.