Papali’i wins 2018 Samoa Observer Tusitala Short Story Competition

Papali’i Momoe Malietoa von Reiche is the overall winner of the 2018 Samoa Observer Tusitala Short Story Competition. 

The Artist, Poet, and now Author, won two main prizes last night, the Samoa Category and the Overall Category, claiming US$2,000 in prize money.

The announcement was made during the prize giving hosted by the Samoa Observer News Group at the Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel.

The occasion marked the launch of two publications from the competition.

The first was the translation of the 2016 Samoa Observer Tusitala Short story competition book, “Only the Word Survives” in Chinese mandarin by China’s Ambassador to Samoa Wang Xuefeng and his wife, Madam Tong Xin. The book of stories from the 2017 Competition called the “Pacific is Rising” was also launched.  

Papali’i’s story is titled “Avea-Taken” and talks of traditional Samoan beliefs about the spirit world and the dream like child experience, involved in being taken by evil spirits, which form the intriguing thread of the fascinating story. 

“I thought it was not worth a story because it was too short,” she said. 

“But I feel that it is something that we really have to acknowledge living in these times, that we do have our ancestors and our belief in own selves and our spirits and in our family.

“I feel that we need to remember that whoever went before us have left a lot of legacies that we live by.” 

She thanked the organisers and encouraged writers out there to come forward and write for the sake of the children. 

“I started off as a poet and I didn’t know I can write a story. I’m a poet, and I’m very proud to be acknowledged at least as a writer.”

Ambassador Wang Xuefeng, who delivered the keynote address, presented the award. 

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He acknowledged the Samoa Observer’s Editor-in Chief, Gatoaitele Savea Sano Malifa, who started the Pacific wide competition in 2015.

Mr. Wang also thanked organisers of the competition and the participating authors for channeling people to their roots through the publications. 

Other speakers on the night included the Chief Executive Officer of Digicel, Farid Mohammad, who launched the “Pacific is Rising” and Chief competition Judge, Professor Silafau Sina Vaai.

See tomorrow’s edition for more reports and photos. 

 

THE WINNERS: 

Regional winners, who also received US$1,000 each, are: 

Australia – New Zealand category 

Home by Caroline Hunt 

Rest of the Pacific category 

Her Glittering Act by Lusiana Mulo

Samoa Category

Avea – Taken by Papali’i Momoe Malietoa von Reiche 

Overall winner – US$1,000 

Avea – Taken by Papali’i Momoe Malietoa von Reiche 

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