The 2020 IWA Winners

First Place Year 7 & 8 Division

N. Weston, Remuera Intermediate School, Auckland

N Weston, author of the IWA 2020 Winning Essay, ‘Frank William Weston,’ pictured with the Author and School Trophies, First Place Certificate and the $750 Prize Money.

Frank William Weston’ can be accessed here in PDF form.

Comments from the Judging Panel:
  • “The personal connection to the subject is powerfully developed throughout this piece. The use of impactful quotations supports the image built of Frank, his ethos and his immense personal qualities.”
  • “A commanding vocabulary is evident, with extremely thoughtful and unique word choice to support the clarity of the piece. A clear, sophisticated and truly impressive essay.”
  • “I connected with this story immediately, as it made me reflect on the struggles of my ancestors to build a viable life for me and my whānau in Aotearoa.”
  • “Absorbing essay which told a wonderful story with an authentic and interesting voice.”

Second Place Year 7 & 8 Division

C. Prebble, Wā Ora Montessori School, Lower Hutt

C. Prebble, author of ‘Colonial Women and the Challenges They Faced.’ Recipient of Second Place and $200 in Prize Money.

Colonial Women and the Challenges They Faced’ can be accessed here in PDF form.

Comments from the Judging Panel
  • “For me, this essay and the complex issues it deals with, such as, colonisation, gender and race and the intersection between them, demonstrate an advanced level of writing. Excellent!”
  • “A rich and mature exploration of a pivotal time in history, backed with extremely focussed research. The complex issues facing the subject of the piece are brought to the fore with sensitivity and a remarkable level of insight.”
  • “Incredible story about your Irish ancestor. I loved the layers you brought to this story and the socio-political elements you have woven in. Excellent. Mature writing.”

Third Place Year 7 & 8 Division

V. Richardson, Remuera Intermediate School, Auckland

V. Richardson, author of ‘Grandpa.’ Recipient of Third Place and $50 in prize money.

Grandpa’ can be accessed here in PDF form.

Comments from the Judging Panel:
  • “How proud your family must be of the journey you are undertaking and the respect you have for your grandpa. What you have created here is a story which your family can keep and cherish forever. Keep writing, you have huge talent, and I loved this essay.”
  • “This was a captivating and emotional read. I think the writer should consider turning this into a short story or a book.”
  • “An immersive journey into an amazing hero’s experiences in the face of incredible adversity. A captivating account with rich language usage to paint an epic picture of bravery and struggle.
  • Pride and awe leap from the page in this emotive work that tiptoes between the past and present connection with style and poise.”

First Place Year 5 & 6 Division

J. Beattie, Pukekohe Hill School

J. Beattie, author of ‘This is How I Roll.’ Recipient of First Place Trophy, Certificate and Prize Pack (including prize money, merchandise, and gift).

‘This is How I Roll’ can be accessed here in PDF form.

Comments from the Judging Panel:

  • “Exactly how this kind of writing should be – authentic, and from the heart. This is a brave and incredible approach from someone so young. Your family must be incredibly proud of the journey you have all taken and the incredible human who is the middle of it – that is you.”
  • “Everyone should read this essay.”
  • “The positivity in this piece leaps off the page, aided by a strong writer’s voice that effortlessly guides the reader with warmth and grace. The story of the writer is delivered with such a high degree of skill, packing an enormously inspirational punch within only a few words.”
  • “Powerful and brave. A delight and a priviledge to read.”

Second Place Year 5 & 6 Division

J. Fuiava, Waitakere Primary School, Auckland.

J.Fuiava, author of ‘The Mau.’ Recipient of Second Place, including a certificate and Prize Pack (including prize money and gift).

‘The Mau’ can be accessed here in PDF form.

Comments from the Judging Panel:

  • “Informative and important essay about the history of Samoa and its people. Excellent personal reflection to introduce the story and your connection. Detailed, well written and well researched account regarding the establishment of the Mau Movement and its tremendous ethos.”
  • “Respect, pride and sadness evident in the writer’s voice which is expertly interwoven throughout.”
  • “A haunting and incredibly well researched account of a dark time in history, and the horrors colonisation can bring. The bravery and integrity of the Mau Movement is laid out in a clear and powerful manner by the writer. A personal connection is supported well, and the historical detail is impressive throughout.”
  • “This is not a widely known history in New Zealand so it was great to read this with your own connection added. Lovely writing. Please continue to write as you have great talent.”

Third Place Year 5 & 6 Division

R. Simpson, St Albans School, Christchurch

R. Simpson, author of ‘The Quake That Changed Our Lives.’ Recipient of Third Place, including a certificate and Prize Pack (including prize money and gift).

‘The Quake That Changed Our Lives,‘ is accessible here in PDF form.

Comments from the Judging Panel:

  • “Well written personal account of the devastating Christchurch Earthquake. Structurally and logically organised. A detailed exploration of the topic. Great use of vocabulary throughout. Hopeful tone. Well done.”
  • “Great account of the Christchurch Earthquake. The writer personalised the essay with their own story. Excellent use of fact thoughout. Very well done.”
  • “Clever language used throughout to paint a picture. The writer vividly placed the reader in a time and place. An inspiring and gracious essay.”