“Another World is Possible” Essay Competition

“Another World is Possible” Essay Competition

In 1913 a young labour activist (and future prime minister) named Walter Nash ran a nationwide essay competition on the subject “What Socialism Is”. Forty entries were received and the winners were published in the weekly newspaper, the Maoriland Worker. 

A hundred years later the Labour History Project Inc., which researches, records, preserves and promotes the history of working life in Aotearoa/NZ, is holding another essay competition to inspire debate on alternative futures.

At a time when people internationally are turning against economic policies that further inequality, and when conventional political solutions are losing their authority, the Labour History Project (which is not affiliated with any political organisation) welcomes entries from progressive New Zealanders of all ages that offer visions and pathways for a fairer and brighter society.

For some inspiration, take a look at an extract from ‘Let’s Talk Utopia’ by Mike Marqusee.

If you’re interested in becoming a member of the LHP, or supporting our work, please click here.

Rules of the Competition

By entering this competition you agree to accept and be bound by the following terms and conditions, and acknowledge that failure to comply with them may result in disqualification.

1. Eligibility

This competition is open to all citizens and legal residents of Aotearoa/New Zealand, with the exception of the judges or executive members of the Labour History Project Inc., and their immediate families.

2. How to enter

Entries can be in English or in te reo Maori. They should be around 1250 to 1500 words in length. Entries should be typed double-spaced on A4 paper, single-sided, on numbered pages. Please do not include photos, drawings or other graphic information. Each entry must be the writer’s original work, complete in itself (ie. not part of a larger work) and not previously published. Only one essay from each entrant will be considered.

On a separate cover sheet, please state:

  • Essay title
  • Total number of pages of your entry
  • Your name (anonymous or collective entries will not be considered)
  • Postal address
  • Email address if any
  • Contact phone number
  • Age, if under 19 on 30 August 2013

Note – the information on this cover sheet does not count towards the word length of your entry.

Do not include your name or other identifying information on any page apart from the cover sheet, since entries will be judged anonymously.

3. How to submit your entry

Entries can be submitted:

by email (preferably) to:


Please send your entry as an attachment to the email, preferably as a Microsoft Word document.

by post to:

“Another World” essay competition, Labour History Project, PO Box 27425, Marion Square, Wellington NZ

Your entry must be received by 5pm Friday 30 August 2013. Late entries will not be considered.

Each entry will receive a return message verifying that the essay was received. Entries will not be returned – please keep a copy for your own records.


The entries, with writer’s name and other identifying information removed, will be judged by:

  • Cybele Locke – historian, Victoria University
  • Matt McCarten – political commentator and trade unionist
  • Jeremy Rose – journalist, Radio New Zealand

Entries in te reo Maori will also be assessed by a competent speaker of Maori language.

The judges will base their decisions on:

  • the originality and force of the writer’s vision for a better Aotearoa/New Zealand
  • the vividness and readability of the language in which it is expressed
  • the writer’s ability to appeal to and convince readers of their ideas.

The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.


The overall winner, runner-up and junior (under 19) winner will be announced in early October 2013.

The winning essay will receive $500.

The runner-up and junior winner will each receive $250.

If a prize is declined or unclaimed, or if the winner cannot be contacted from the details supplied, a replacement winner may be selected at the judges’ discretion.

The three winning essays will be published in the Labour History Project Journal and on the Scoop Review of Books website. The winning entries, and other entries in this competition, may also appear later in a stand-alone publication, by permission of the individual authors. The Labour History Project reserves the right to edit the winning entries for publication.

The “Another World is Possible” essay competition may be repeated annually.


Labour History Project, PO Box 27425, Marion Square, Wellington

Email: anotherworld@lhp.org.nz

Click here to download these rules