Pupils at Hunterville School have entered a writing contest which has given them fresh insights into New Zealand history and social issues.

Entrants in the Elsie Locke Writing Prize 2016 will be eligible to win $250 together with a certificate, and their story is published in the School Journal.

New Zealand writer Elsie Locke was an activist and historian who championed several causes in the 20th century with peace and women's rights as her main concerns.
Students in Years 7 and 8 are eligible to enter the contest which has "people and protest - a story about taking a stand" as this year's topic.

Teacher Colleen Dalley encouraged her class to enter the contest and said the exercise had increased their awareness.

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"They didn't know a lot about causes, so it has been a good learning exercise as well as helping to develop their writing abilities," she said.

Daisy Lane chose the 1978 "Bloody Sunday" protest in Invercargill where farmers slaughtered sheep in the streets to highlight the effects of freezing worker strikes.

Daisy put herself in the story and wrote about how she felt as a "city girl" trying to make sense of the protest.

Ben Black wrote his entry in the first person to cover the 1981 Springbok Tour protests while Emma Hurley placed herself at the animal testing protest at Cambridge University in England for her story.

Eden Goodwin chose the more generic subject of child slavery for her entry and cast herself as an exploited child.

Entries had to be about 500-600 words and the four agreed that was a challenge.
"I don't think I've ever written anything that long before," said Ben. "But you needed to write a lot to tell what was happening."
The contest closed on July 15 and the winner will be announced this week.

The winner will be announced this week.