Saturday, December 4, 2010

'Thanks Alex' competition

This competition run by the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington closed on the 2nd of December. The winner will be announced on the 20th of this month.

I wrote a piece using a real life situation my mother told me she experienced in the 1930's in Christchurch. Although I don't expect to win, I found the experience of writing a very short story very enlightening. You see, I failed the English exam back in the 1960's although I received top marks in other subjects like history. Even now I have trouble stringing a correct sentence together.

But after failing that English exam I concluded that I was terrible at writing and so put the whole experience behind me by not writing for the next 35 years apart from the odd letter or two. Yes, it is possible to be semi-illiterate in our society and still have a full life thank goodness. I've always read books though.

Along came the Internet and I found I had a passion about our community and country which led to joining political newsgroups. To express myself was very difficult at this stage, the thoughts which I had didn't appear on the page like I hoped. Persistence paid off and today I can string a few sentences together in a more readable fashion.

I told others about this competition and was not surprised by people's remarks such as ' I can't write', I'm not very good at English', 'what would I write about?'.  But some of them did put in an entry. Well done Alexander Library, may there be more competitions like it.

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