Essay Competition 2013 Award Event

Nineteen year old New Zealander Katherine McIndoe and twelve year old Guernsey girl Tabitha Carr were the guests of honour at a special awards evening, having beaten 11,000 young writers to be named the Junior and Senior Winners of the 2013 Commonwealth Essay Competition.

Founded in 1883, the Commonwealth Essay Competition is the world’s oldest and largest international schools’ writing contest. For 2013 the competition was sponsored by Cambridge University Press and received more than 11,000 entries from 55 Commonwealth countries and territories – an all-time record!

Held in the Penthouse on the 18th floor of New Zealand House, the essay competition was taken to new heights – literally and figuratively – as representatives from across the Commonwealth gathered to celebrate Katherine and Tabitha’s achievements.

Both girls were in London as part of a special ‘winners week’ organised by the Royal Commonwealth Society and competition sponsors, Cambridge University Press. Activities included visits to the Shard, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, The Evening Standard and the BBC.

At the event, the girls were presented with certificates by High Commissioner the Rt Hon Sir Lockwood Smith KMZM PhD, and a Samsung Galaxy Tab by James Lane, Senior Manager in the Samsung Group.

Assembled guests also heard from Barbara Orridge, Sales Director, International Education, Cambridge University Press; Dr Gerri Kimber, Senior Lecturer in English, University of Northampton; and enjoyed a performance from the Ngati Ranana London Maori Club.

Katherine, a student at the University of Victoria in Wellington, was picked from amongst 4,500 Senior entries to take the top prize with her powerful and eloquent entry “To boldly go”: a letter to the lost girls.

Tabitha, a student at Blanchelande College in Guernsey, was picked from amongst 6,500 Junior entries for her entry Is change a good a thing; an imaginative entry about family enterprise in Botswana.

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