CHOI Kin-hang had only composed poems a fewtimes, but the Grade D student in English won the Open section in the 14th Inter-School Essay Competition with his environmental-conscious piece What are We Waiting For? ''I think I won by sheer luck, I'm really shocked,'' said the fourth-former, who spent no more than two hours to complete the ''masterpiece''. Kin-hang said he chose environmental protection as the theme because it was a topical issue. Besides, the poem was easier to write for its short length, the Ying Wa College student said. The Hong Kong Student Press Group, the organiser of the competition, received a total of 459 entries, in which 139 were for the Open section (Forms 1-7) and others went to the Senior (Forms 4-7) and Junior categories (Forms 1-3). Senior section winner Iris Law Shuk-yin of Belilios Public School, on the other hand, was a top English student in class. Iris also obtained an A in English in the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination. To prepare her essay, Technological Advancement in Communication Technology is a Mixed Blessing , Iris spent one week collecting the relevant information. The sixth-former only spent an afternoon to write the piece. Iris finds science and technology related to every aspect of our lives, so she picked this topic instead of the other two - The Sea Shell and Mr Earth. Junior category winner Sin Wing-yin, 15, of Ying Wa College said his essay, Mad Men in a Mad World was a true reflection of Hong Kong, a polluted city, and the general mentality of the local people, who are money-minded and pragmatic. His letter-form story is about an alien from another planet who accidentally lands in Hong Kong and it expresses its disappointment with the environment in a letter to his home-planet. Mr Ronald Cheng, External Affairs Department Head of the Hong Kong Students Press Group, said they found the essay competition had long been dominated by a few elite schools. Therefore, they devised a new scoring system to make sure all participants would get a fair chance. ''We withheld the participants' names and schools, so the adjudicators wouldn't know the entries' background in order to ensure fairness,'' Mr Cheng said. The adjudicators were Ms Yu Fong-ying, a senior lecturer at the English Department of the Hong Kong Polytechnic; Mrs Margaret Falvey from the Department of Instruction and Curriculum, Faculty of Education, Chinese University of Hong Kong; and Mrs Mimi Chan, English Department head of the University of Hong Kong. The three champions each received $1,000 worth of prizes.