The winning entry is followed by the judge's report.

Desire; the sole driver of success

by Victoria Hardingham, Cloncurry State School

A feature article outlining the effects that desire has on humanity and whether it is the only true driver for human success.

The English language has evolved in many ways over hundreds of years.  Each word has a hidden concept or meaning that is sculpted into its history.  Out of context, a word is simply a conjunction of letters that creates a recognizable sound.  When a word is placed in a sentence or phrase it becomes much more than just letters; it becomes a window that shows the reader exactly what emotion is hidden within.  Desire is one of these words that hides its emotions in a mangled maze of letters.  It creates an image of longing and painstaking need for an object or subject.  This desperation to achieve a desire is the driver that many people have in their lives.  Desire is one of the strongest drivers for success in a person’s life because it is personal to that person and their feelings about their achievements.

Desire is a subject that many people do not quite understand.  Many create a general idea of the word by using simple words to describe it such as; want, need, wish and dream.  The definition of desire, however, creates a much more personal image.  Desire is a longing or craving, as for something that brings satisfaction or enjoyment (, 2009).  This definition gives a fundamental understanding to the impact that desire can have on many people’s lives.  Desire is a human condition that can be shown in every person’s life at some point.  Many films have been able to capture the power of desire and show it to the world.

In 2010 a film by Fox Searchlight Productions was released that truly illustrated the power of desire.  This film “Conviction” was a heart exhilarating film that showed the love that a sister had for her convicted brother.  The film is based on a true story of a man (Kenny Waters) who was convicted of murder to serve a life sentence.  Kenny’s sister; Betty Ann Waters was convinced to her core that her brother was an innocent man and so, begins studying a degree at law school in order to fight for her brother’s rights (S. Tobias, 2010).  Betty’s determination for justice is her desire.  In the movie her desire is personal because it is for the freedom of her brother, but desire for justice is also a human condition and in this case is the sole driver for Betty’s success.

The universal understanding of desire for justice is well known through the profession of lawyers and magistrates.  It is, for most of these professionals, the foundation for their drive to enter this line of work.  Equal Justice is a demonstration of mankind’s moral nature.  Every human craves to be free and equal, in not just some aspects of life, but in all (Institute for creation research, 2012).

In history there have been many rights activists who believe that this equal understanding is the answer to peace.  Margaret Brown is one incredible woman who fought for rights to be equal between, not just men and women, but also wealthy and deprived individuals.  Margaret was born in the year 1867, in the town of Hannibal, America.  She was not born into wealth; in fact her parents were immigrants and were positioned at the lowest rank in the societal ladder.  Despite this, Brown was one of the founders of the Denver Woman’s Club which assisted women and children and also worked to begin the first juvenile courts in America.  Shortly after this, she attempted to gain a seat in the United States congress, even before women had the right to vote.  Her life was devoted to equality and she believed that with desire success could be achieved (Lake Wood Public Library, 2012).

The following quote by famous retired Italian American racing car driver, Mario Andretti outlines perfectly what desire is “Desire is the key to motivation, it is the determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek” (Think exist, 2013).  This quote relates perfectly to the life of Brown, it sums up almost immediately the feelings that she would have towards her need for success.  Margaret Brown’s drive was not a public outlook but it was her personal desire.  She desired to do what was right and this was many a time the only driver she needed to achieve success.

The movie Conviction and the story of Margaret Brown both conspire to achieve their ultimate desire.  Margaret Brown did not just simply ‘want’ to have an equal world; she ‘craved’ an equal world and there was drive within her that pushed her through any obstacles or boundaries that conspired to overcome her.  Betty Anne Waters is much the same in her relentless journey; she does not let opinions or judgments diminish her drive.  Despite being a woman with no major achievements or a formal year twelve education, she does not stop fighting for seven years in order to study law and free her brother from an unlawful conviction and life sentence.  The connection that must be grasped from these two different women’s stories is that even though they come from different centuries and time periods, they both have desire as their sole driver for success.

To not have desire in your life would be like a compass without north; it may move a lot but it will not find a recognizable point or bearing.  Without desire a person has no drive and success cannot be achieved.  Betty had desire and she achieved what she yearned for most; her brother’s freedom.  No matter what a person’s discourse or understanding, they will have a desire.  This is why desire is the sole driver for success because no amount of wisdom, power or experience can get a person to their destination without the desire to get there.


•, 2009, desire, viewed 7th February 2013

• Institute for creation research, 2012, Desire for Justice, viewed 18th February 2013

• IMDb, 2013, Conviction, viewed 22nd February 2013

• Lake Wood Public Library, 2012, Women in History; Molly Brown Biography, viewed 21st February 2013

• S. Tobias, 2010, Movie Reviews, viewed 18th February 2013

• Think exist, 2013, Desire Quote, viewed 21st February 2013

• Wikipedia, 2013, Margret Brown, viewed 22nd February 2013


Lisa Westcott

Judge's report


Best Three Entries in Non-Fiction Prose

First:  Desire; the sole driver of success
Second: To Those Underwater, From Those Underwater
Third:  Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Money

High Commendation

The Feminine Missile
How Much is Too Much
Doomed to a Boiled Cabbage Existence
Food for Thought

General Report

As has been the case in the past, once again judging this year’s entries for the non-fiction prose section of the IEUA-QNT Literary Competition has proved difficult.  Topics have been diverse and each piece has been carefully crafted for the competition brief, accommodating an audience of a feature article or an editorial for a newspaper.

This year’s topics ranged significantly, spanning the American Dream, diverse responses on feminist perspectives, language conventions and the ever-pervading use of technology, to create a set of submissions that has once again been entertaining and insightful.  A huge thank you to the young writers of these thoughtful and sometimes provocative pieces.

The process of judging for this competition is always a rewarding experience and this year has proved no different.  We hope to see more work from these talented young writers well into the future and urge them to maintain their interest in literary pursuits.

Winning Entry

The 2013 winning entry for the Non-Fiction Prose, Years 11 & 12, Desire; the sole driver of success, provided a thoughtful and mature response to the role that desire plays in today’s society.  The author takes their reader through a careful account of the evolution of language, meaning and context.  Using several illustrations, the notion of desire and its interrelationship with success is then cleverly articulated and explained.

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