Call for Pacific writers – the 2017 Samoa Observer Tusitala prizes

2017 Samoa Observer Tusitala Short Story Competion.

Pacific Media Watch Newsdesk

Prestige, financial prizes and the chance for your story to be read worldwide. This is what lies ahead for authors of successful entries in the 2017 Samoa Observer Tusitala Short Story competition.

This is a competition specifically set up for writers in the Pacific.

The top three entries from the three areas, Australia and New Zealand, Samoa and All other Pacific Islands, win generous, cash prizes of US$1000 (NZ$1400) each. Then the overall winner judged from those three categories, receives an additional US$2000 (NZ$2800).

A further 12 or so stories from the competition will be included with the winners’ entries and published in a book of short stories in the third “Our Heritage, the Ocean” series.

You may start submitting your entries online up to the deadline – November 10 on the website,

Organising committee member Marj Moore said this was the third year this competition had been running.

Forum for Pacific writers
It was started as an initiative in 2015 by the Samoa Observer editor-in-chief, Gatoaitele Savea Sano Malifa, a noted writer, published author and poet.

He wanted to provide a forum for Pacific writers to tell the stories of their own lives and to share issues and ideas which were important to them.

Following the success of this inaugural competition, the stories in that 2015 publication were later translated into Chinese by the Chinese Ambassador in Samoa, Wang Xuefeng and Madam Tong Xin. That translation of Pacific stories was then published in China.

The second annual Samoa Observer Tusitala Short Story Competition in 2016, also attracted some outstanding entries. These original stories were set around the Pacific – in American Samoa, Australia, Fiji, Hawai’i, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and Samoa, with one even further afield.

“Stories of superstition and courage, migration and old age, tales set in the past, present, and future. While the plots are diverse, many have the same underlying message – we need our family and each other” said an early reviewer of the collection.

This second publication of the best stories from 2016 was entitled, Only the Word Survives. It has recently been published and is available from the Samoa Stationery and Books outlets in Samoa; American Samoa, and Mangere, Auckland, New Zealand.

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