Smart Alex Competition 2022

The Friends of the Turnbull Library Ngā Hoa o te Whare Pukapuka Turnbull is pleased to announce that Smart Alex 2022, our creative writing competition for school students, is running again for a fourth year.

The Smart Alex competition was created as part of the ATL100 commemoration which Honoured the library’s founder, Alexander Horsburgh Turnbull and celebrated 100 years since Alexander Turnbull Library opened its doors in June 1920.


The aim of the Smart Alex competition is to inspire and encourage students to enter the world of the Alexander Turnbull Library and discover its many treasures.

Since the competition was inaugurated, more than 400 rangatahi from more than 200 schools have explored the National Library and Alexander Turnbull Library websites to find images that launched their creative imaginations. For further information on the history of Smart Alex please explore other links in this section.

Smart Alex 2022

Smart Alex 2022 coincides with the release of Te Kupenga, and students are encouraged to use this taonga to become familiar with the work and collections of the Turnbull Library.

The competition is open to all secondary school students in New Zealand and the South Pacific Islands. As in previous years, there are two age-group categories for entries: Years 9-10, and Years 11-13 and the Friends are offering $3,100 in prize money.

The competition will begin on 7 June 2022 and close on 28 August 2022.

For information on the Terms and Conditions, the entry form and other competition details for 2022 please refer to Smart Alex 2022 – INFO FOR SCHOOLS – or the menu on this site.

To fire your imagination visit your school library and look through Te Kupenga or browse the Te Kupenga content on the National Library website: Te Kupenga . Or you could also search on-line to discover an item in the Turnbull collections that inspires you.

For further information about Alexander Turnbull himself, see his biography in Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of NZ, the FoTL website, or the Alexander Turnbull Library website.

Enquiries to SmartAlexATL22@gmail.com