21 August 2020, Apia Samoa. The Samoa Observer Tusitala Short Story competition continues to grow from strength to strength and this year, received 1,315 entries from schools across Upolu and Savaii.
Samoa Observer editor Mataafa Keni Lesa said there were 625 and 690 respective entries for the Samoan and English categories.
“Stories written in Samoan came from 56 different schools, and over 40% of those were from Savaii;
“By contrast the stories written in English came from 61 schools, with 75% of them from Upolu”.
Now in its 9th year, Samoa Observer partnered with Samoa Stationery and Books, Vodafone Samoa and Eveni, and the prize giving ceremony held in the SSAB conference Friday morning was a celebration of student winners from schools across Upolu as well as Savaii.
Over 60 award winners from Years 4 to 13 received prizes including gift vouchers and handsets with student sims.
This year’s competition theme was centered around the COVID-19 pandemic now impacting the world over. Students were asked to write an imaginary story, or one from a real life experience, about the global pandemic.
Winner of the Year 13 English category Tupulua Pelenato of Faatuatua College said she based her story on everyday life during the coronavirus state of emergency lockdown.
“Usually the buses are full and I have to sit on a stranger but the best thing about lockdown was you weren’t allowed to have a full bus.., so I get to have a seat all to myself,” she smiles and says in an interview with Mataafa.
As keynote speaker for the prizegiving event, His Excellency the High Commissioner of Great Britain in Samoa Mr David Ward thanked the Samoa Observer for the initiative and acknowledged all students who submitted entries.
His Excellency highlighted the importance of the annual event, and quoted from the Scottish author who made Samoa his home: the Tusitala, Robert Louis Stevenson..”The difficulty of literature is not to write, but to write what you mean; not to affect your reader, but to affect him precisely as you wish”.
He told students to find themselves, and encouraged them to be unique in their writing.
“You need to find your own voice and send your stories out to touch people on the other side of the world.. just as the Tusitala had said….you have to know what you mean, and to know what you mean, you have to first know yourself..”
Notable this year was the overwhelming interest from schools in Savaii. Mataafa highlighted that the increased entries from Savaii has been well reflected in the number of students from Savaii schools amongst the prize winners of this year.
“O lo tatou faamoemoe o loo taumafai pea, ae pei ona faafofoga iai i le aso lenei, o le tele o tamaiti manumalo i faailoga, e omai mai Savaii”.
The annual short story competition aims to improve literacy levels throughout schools in Samoa and to encourage all students to write and read in both languages.
“It is also an opportunity to showcase our writers from Samoa to the world, by publishing their work”.
Four esteemed Samoan writers judged the competition; Afioga Silafau Professor Sina Vaai, Afioga Papalii Momoe Von Reiche, Fitima’ula Donna Aiono Le Tagaloa Ioane and award winning writer Jenny Bennet-Tuionetoa.
Tupulua Pelenato of Faatuatua College topped the Year 13 English category whlie Le Amosa Salevavau’s Tilitilimai Ah Kuoi took out the Samoan category.
Fusita Tupu of Itu o Tane claimed the first prize for Year 12 Samoan while Peta Toleafoa of St Mary’s College won the English category.
Year 11 English went to Sonja Tuaumu of Mata-ae-vae College while Loveni Ah Kuoi of Le Amosa Salevavau took the prize for the best Samoan story.
The Year 10 top English story was awarded to Luzaria Tiresa Vaai of St Mary’s College while Taunapo Mohr of Leulumoega Fou College claimed the first prize for the Samoam category.
Mataua Sue of Itu o Tane was the best English story for Year 9 and Jalesofalita Lepule of Pesega College took the Samoan prize.
Ilevet Taupau of Divine Mercy School won the best English story for year 8 and Mahabi Malofou of Lalomalava took the first prize for the Samoan story.
The Year 7 top English story was won by Tausiva Fepulea’i Pita of Vaitele Primary while Bructaness took the Yr 7 Samoan.
Salanatessa Hansell of Vaiala Beach School claimed the 1st prize in the English competition for Year 6 while Sita Posi of Vailoa Faleata Primary School won the Samoan story.
Antonia Ah Him of Samoa Primary took the prize for Year 5 English while Adel Seumanutafa of Vaitele Uta Primary School won the best Year 5 Samoan Story.
And for Year 4, Vaiala Beach School’s Jackson Mc Leod won the English while Jacqueline Tevaga of St Mary’s claimed the best Samoan story.
The full list of 2020 Short Story Winners includes those who missed out on the top 3, but rated as HC-Highly Commended stories.
Year 4 English:
HC- Travis Betham, Vaiala Beach & Tausilioalii Lam, Samoa Primary
3rd Robert Wendt, Marist Brothers
2nd Ramseus Aiono, Sauniatu Primary
1st Jackson McLeod, Vaiala Beach
Year 4 Samoan:
HC-Lolagi Ofisa Tofa, Vaimoso Primary & Hadassah Simati, Solosolo Primary
3rd Toevalaauina Tanuaola, St Peter’s Primary
2nd Marturion Nata F Sua, Vaimoso Primary
1st Jacqueline Tevaga, St Mary’s Primary
Year 5 English:
HC-Ivanhoe Iosefa, Samoa Primary & Sophie Fesili, Vaiala Beach
3rd Serah Tagi, Vaiala Beach
2nd Meredith Ah Kuoi, Vaiala Beach
1st Atonia Ah Him, Samoa Primary
Year 5 Samoan:
HC- Gloria Reupena, Samoa Primary & Jessica Alofaifo, Aele Fou Primary
3rd Potoae Tonumaipea, Sauniatu Primary
2nd Robert Maoae, Lalomalava Primary
1st Adel Seumanutafa, Vaitele-uta Primary
Year 6 English:
HC-Emanuel Va’ai, Vaiala Beach & Jireh Fau, RLS Primary
3rd Josephine Sefo, Letui Primary
2nd Imogen Meyer, Vaiala Beach
1st Salanatessa Hansell, Vaiala Beach
Year 6 Samoan:
HC-Lynette Seuao, Solosolo Primary & Koroseta Tofiga, Moata’a Primary
3rd Gillian H Soti, Samoa Primary
2nd Sonny Lekaisa, Puapua Primary
1st Sita Posi, Vailoa Faleat
Year 7 English:
HC-Douglas Ioane, Vailima Primary & Galusina McIntosh, Vaiala Beach
3rd Hellengrace Leota Solosolo Primary
2nd Roses Mailelani Va’aulu RLS Primary
1st Tausiva Fepuleai-Pita Vaitele-uta Primary
Year 7 Samoan:
HC-Utahna Fa’alavaau, Lalomalava Primary & Fa’afetai Falaniko, Sagato Petelo
3rd Rebecca Lami, Sagato Petelo
2nd Elisha Naoupu, Aele Primary
1st Bructaness Feula, Lepea Primary
Year 8 English
HC- Cecilia Iosefa, St Mary’s Primary & Rosaline Ah Liki, Vaiala Beach
3rd James Davetanivalu, Vaiala Beach
2nd Lopeti Lei Sam, Marist Brothers
1st Ilevet Taupau, Divine Mercy School
Year 8 Samoan:
HC-Agape Viliamu, Tanugamanono & Shakainah Fa’asau, Moata’a Primary
3rd Fenumiai Lavi, Vailima Primary
2nd Le-Sinatapuitea, Siufaga Falelatai
1st Mahabi Malofou, Lalomalava
Year 9 English:
HC: Manino Fa’asopo, Itu o Tane College & Darren Peti, Don Bosco College
3rd Katalaina Sio, St Peters Chanel
2nd Pius V Fa’anu’uali’i, St Josephs College
1st Mataua Sue, Itu o Tane 7751131
Year 9 Samoan:
HC: Fana’afi Ioane, Le Amosa & Lesina Pio, St Mary’s
3rd Christina Aiva, St Mary’s
2nd Vaioleola Ah Kuoi, Le Amosa Col
1st Jalesofalita Lepule, Pesega Middle School
Year 10 English:
HC: Lonnysha Taua, Le Amosa & Faustina Ah Fook, Don Bosco
1st Luzaria Tiresa Va’ai, St Mary’s
3rd Daryl Adam, Alofi-o-Taoa
2nd Taunapo Magele Mohr, Leulumoega Fou
1st Luzaria Tiresa Va’ai, St Mary’s College
Year 10 Samoan:
HC: Mavaega Fa’ataga, Safata College & Patrick Tuanoa, Itu-o-Tane
3rd Mary Tautunu, Leifiifi College
2nd Miracle Manase, Itu-o-Tane
1st Taunapo Mohr, Leulumoega Fou
Year 11 English
HC: Luvali Amani, Mata-ae-vae & Emmla Taua, Le Amosa.
3rd Oraynorose Magele, Mata-ae-vae
2nd Logo Fitisemanu, Pesega College
1st Sonja Tuaumu, Mata-ae-vae
Year 11 Samoan:
HC: Natalie Folau, Palaulaua College
3rd Uputaua Faigame, Itu-o-Tane
2nd Miriama Ioane, Alofi-o-Taoa
1st Loveni Ah Kuoi, Le Amosa
Year 12 English:
HC: Evvalani Lees Va’ai St Mary’s College & Dollysarai Menu, Itu-o-Tane
3rd Anjecs Sheck, St Mary’s College
2nd TJ Lauina, Le Amosa College
1st Peta Toleafoa, St Mary’s College
Year 12 Samoan:
HC: Tavita Sauileone, Itu-o-Tane & Henrychiu Lemauai, Leifiifi Col
3rd Towan Shiku Sauileone, Itu-o-Tane
2nd Campaign Fidow, St Mary’s
1st Fusita Tupu, Itu-O-Tane
Year 13 English
HC-Audrey Lee Hang, St Mary’s College & Lucilla Tavita, Papauta College.
3rd Lenalei Chan Ting, St Mary’s College
2nd Lupeoaunuu Va’ai, St Mary’s College
1st Tupulua Pelenato, Fa’atuatua College.
Year 13 Samoan:
HC-Matia Fua, Itu-o-Tane & Va’asili Sasita, Savaii Sisifo.
3rd Litia Pauaraisa, Alofi-o-Taoa
2nd Faletui Leleiga, Alofi-o-Taoa
1st Tilitilimai Ah Kuoi, Le Amosa 7780564