A man who reconditions tractors for a Pacific Island, a school chaplain, a woman passionate about theatre and a member of a local Lions club might not seem to have much in common, but they have provided inspiration to four St Mary's Diocesan School students for a recent writing competition.

Year 12 students Eva Greensill, Alex Howard, Hannah Landers and Katie McGregor have all been named finalists in the new Research Article category of the 2016 Ronald Hugh Morrieson Literary Awards. The category asked secondary students to provide a profile on a local person who has impacted their community in some way.

It was the first time each of the students have entered the awards, after being encouraged by their English teacher Maria Taylor.

"Mrs Taylor had us prepare the profiles for one of our written English assessments as well as enter them in the literacy competition," says Hannah, who prepared her profile on local man Malcolm Pease.

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Eva, who completed her piece on the school chaplin, Jacqui Paterson, says it was also the first time the students had completed a piece of writing in the profile style.

"One of the judges of the competition came and gave us some advice on how to conduct an interview and put the pieces of writing together," says Eva.

Katie, whose profile was on past president of Eltham Lions Club, Joyce Lawrence, says she and the other girls chose someone to profile who had made an impact on them personally as well as the community as a whole.

The presentation evening will be held on Thursday, October 20.

2016 FINALISTS

Open Poetry

Gavin Bishop New Plymouth.

Melissa Browne Okato.

Janet Hunt Inglewood.

Karen Pratt Hawera.

John Sargeant New Plymouth.

Judy Wood New Plymouth.

Secondary School Poetry

Sasha Finer Hawera High School.

Megan Jackson St Mary's Stratford.

Hannah Landers St Mary's.

Abigail Pratt Hawera High School.

Open Short Story

Paul Andersen-Gardiner Opunake.

Melissa Browne Okato.

Emma Collins Stratford.

Maria Cunningham Hawera.

Bruce Finer Hawera.

Eva Greensill St Mary's.

Philippa Harrison Hawera.

Hamish Stevenson Hawera.

Secondary School Short Story

Sasha Finer Hawera High School.

Meg Gibson Opunake High School.

Ashley Harrop Opunake High School.

Stevee-Jai Kelly Opunake High School.

Hannah Landers St Mary's.

Abigail Pratt Hawera High School.

Edie Thomas Opunake High School.

Research Article

Eva Greensill St Mary's.

Alex Howard St Mary's.

Hannah Landers St Mary's.

Katie McGregor St Mary's.