Lauryn Elisapeta Soti, of Samoa College is the winner of the Year 13 English section, of the Samoa Observer’s Schools Short Story competition.
Her story about climate change was among more than 650 entries from Upolu and Savai’i for the 2017 competition.
Posolo Uga, of Itu o Tane, won the Samoan Year 13 competition.
They were among the winners congratulated during the prize giving held at S.S.A.B’s Conference room yesterday.
The annual competition has been run by the Samoa Observer since 2011 with huge support from sponsors, Samoa Stationery and Books (S.S.A.B) who have been with the competition from the very start as a major sponsor, while Eveni joined the Samoa Observer and S.S.A.B. in 2016.
The idea for the competition came from the Editor-in-Chief, Gatoaitele Savea Sano Malifa and grew out of the ‘Newspapers in Education’ feature of the Monday edition.
“While the Observer powers the competition, we are fortunate to be aligned with two companies which strongly support youth and schools and see this competition as a way to highlight literacy and the education system,” said N.I.E Coordinator, Marj Moore.
“The competition has categories for stories in Samoan and English and entries are accepted from Years 6 through to Years 13. One of the aims of the competition is to get everyone writing, so the high numbers are important.
“And amongst those many entries, are brilliant stories from outstanding writers at all levels who we want to encourage and foster.”
This year it was very encouraging to see many entries and winners from Savai’i and it was evident from a massive block of yellow and green that students from Don Bosco dominated in numbers at the prize giving.
Don Bosco Principal, Father Mosese accompanied the 13 students early yesterday morning noting that it was a very exciting excursion for them and that they were very proud of their students.
Don Bosco is a relatively new school and it has been open for just seven years now. Speaking to the Samoa Observer Father Mosese said, “We had nine students who placed last year and this year we had 13 which is a good sign of improvement from our students. I was happy to hear what Fiti and Mata’afa said, “don’t give up” because it matches with the philosophy of our school and thats what we teach our students.
The only way forward for our Samoa of today is - don’t sit back and just keep going. It’s true our teachers work hard to encourage the students’ writing but thats our philosophy in Savai’i which is “we keep on” we don’t win but it will come. But this time we came first in two categories, I am so happy”
“You know Upolu is much different, I was a principal in Upolu for 12 years. But I saw Savai’i needs a little push and a pickup for the kids just to stir up their enthusiasm. Nowadays you encourage them in story writing and it helps them with their English and their imagination. The punch line is just do it with enthusiasm and blessings will come after it.”
In terms of the overall quality of the entries, Ms. Moore said it was important to take note of the comments from judges Professor Silafau Sina Vaai, Papalii Momoe Malietoa, Julie Perelini, Fiona Collins Toalepai and Asolelei Toalepai.
Notwithstanding the individual excellence of the place getters, the judges said many entries in both languages showed students do not write regularly.
There is also evidence in their writing that many of them do not read widely, nor are they required to be original and think creatively. The judges spoke of the tendency of many students to simply write to an essay formula by starting with a quote or proverb and following with several paragraphs rather than exciting the reader with an interesting hook at the beginning of the story.
Ms. Moore said that the topic, centred around Climate Change, drew both fiction and nonfiction accounts.
“Some of the students had done a lot of research which is great and they submitted more of an essay while others wove a story around characters and particular issues. “It is a credit to the students, teachers, parents and the many environmental organizations which have got the message out about this important topic and for the children to play a part in the discussion, of the problems and solutions.”
Moore said it should also be noted that this topic is one that many children are directly affected by in their everyday lives and they write with personal insights into the experiences they have had and are having.
PRIZE WINNERS 2017
Year 6 Samoan
3rd Fuatai Salani, Samoa Primary
2nd Vaasa Mulinuu, Samoa Primary
1st Anamaria Falepau, Nofoali’i Primary
Year 6 English
3rd Mahina Warren, Vaiala Beach School
2nd Ruta Leota, Samoa Primary
1st Maselina Hazelman, St Mary’s Primary
Year 7 Samoan
3rd Paul Sua Paulo, Samoa Primary
2nd Tamana Tanielu, Samoa Primary
1st Sainte Kolio, Vaimoso Primary
Year 7 English
3rd Sommer Lemisio, Robert Louis Stevenson
2nd Kathryn Tualaulelei, Samoa Primary
1st Rosa Meredith, Vaiala Beach School
Year 8 Samoan
3rd Malua Fidow, Asaga Primary
2nd Brendan Siliva, Lalomalava Primary
1st Anzarae Anzac, Lalomalava Primary
Year 8 English
3rd Rosemary Sulifoa, St Theresa’s, Fusi
2nd Alexia Slaven, Vaiala Beach School
1st Apaula Tafea, Vaiala Beach School
Year 9 Samoan
3rd Monika Musika, Don Bosco, Savaii
2nd Gloria Gaugau, Don Bosco, Savaii
1st Oecussi Fatialofa, Aoga Fa’amasani Amosa
Year 9 English
3rd Christina Sefo, Don Bosco, Savaii
2nd Angel Reti, Robert Louis Stevenson School
1st Lupe Va’ai, St Mary’s College
Year 10 Samoan
3rd Penani, Don Bosco, Savaii
2nd Ita Kasiano St Mary’s College
1st Gerri Tuifalesa, Don Bosco, Savaii
Year 10 English
3rd Malnnie Nofoagatotoa, St Mary’s College
2nd Sosoli Tupou, St Mary’s College
1st Vitolio Tiatia, Aoga Fa’amasani Amosa
Year 11 Samoan
3rd Afele Ameto, Itu o Tane College
2nd Merenaite Ropati, Mata ae vave College
1st Pitapola Ioane, Aoga Fa’amasani Amosa
Year 11 English
3rd Torise Tavita, Don Bosco, Savaii
2nd Jason Candelario, Don Bosco, Savaii
1st Nive Lui, Don Bosco, Savaii
Year 12 Samoan
3rd Nive Niko, Don Bosco, Savaii
2nd Keresoma Paul, Don Bosco, Savaii
1st Togisala Sauni Aana No 2 College
Year 12 English
3rd Laki Nafoi, Itu o Tane College
2nd Alica Faulualo, Don Bosco, Savaii
1st Quenjule Slaven, St Mary’s College
Year 13 Samoan
3rd Peato Makalio, Don Bosco, Savaii
2nd Sooautalavou Faatuiese, Itu o Tane College
1st Posolo Uga, Itu o Tane College
Year 13 English
3rd Sitivi Sooaemalelagi, Samoa College,
2nd Maraiakalala Ugapo, Don Bosco Savaii
1st Lauryn Elisapeta Soti, Samoa College
Most Samoan entries
Itu o Tane College
Most English entries
Vaiala Beach School.