Distinguished academics, historians and curators, together with acclaimed writers and journalists, are among the 12 experts selected to judge the 2023 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.

The $62,000 Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction will be judged by bestselling author, critic and creative writing teacher Stephanie Johnson (convenor); editor and literature assessor John Huria (Ngāi Tahu, Muaūpoko, Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō, Ngāti Rangi); and Rotorua bookseller Jemma Morrison. They will be joined in deciding the ultimate winner from their shortlist of four by an international judge.

Judging the Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry will be Dunedin poet, author and creative writing tutor Diane Brown (convenor); poet and kaiako Serie Barford; and Wellington poet and Grimshaw-Sargeson Fellow Gregory Kan.

The General Non-Fiction Award will be judged by writer and award-winning columnist Anna Rawhiti-Connell (convenor); prize-winning author, academic and researcher Alison Jones; and historian Professor Te Maire Tau (Ūpoko of Ngāi Tūāhuriri, a hapu of Ngāi Tahu).

The Booksellers Aotearoa New Zealand Award for Illustrated Non-Fiction will be judged by award-winning writer, historian and archivist Jared Davidson (convenor); writer and curator Dr Anna-Marie White (Te Ātiawa); and veteran television producer Taualeo’o Stephen Stehlin MNZM.

New Zealand Book Awards Trust Te Ohu Tiaki i Te Rau Hiringa chair Nicola Legat says judging Aotearoa’s best books demands debate and full consideration by informed and avid readers with diversities of experience.

“This year’s stellar group of judges, each with their own expertise and point of view, seeks to honour this wero.”

The New Zealand Book Awards Trust is now inviting entries for the 2023 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. Online entries for titles published between 1 September 2022 and 31 December 2022 opened on Wednesday 14 September and close 5pm on Wednesday 26 October 2022. Submissions for titles published between 1 January and 31 August 2022 have closed.

Click here for eligibility criteria and a Call for Entries information pack, then enter online here.

The judges will advise their longlists in each category on 2 February 2023 and the shortlist of 16 books will be announced on 8 March. The finalists and winners will be celebrated mid-May 2023 at an awards event held at the Auckland Writers Festival.

The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards are supported by Ockham Residential, Creative New Zealand, the late Jann Medlicott and the Acorn Foundation, Mary and Peter Biggs CNZM, the Crystal Arts Trust, Booksellers Aotearoa New Zealand and the Auckland Writers Festival.

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'I want you to think about what you would like to see at the heart of your national literature ' - Tina Makereti

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The 2023 CNZ Randell Cottage Writing Fellowship runs from May to October 2023 and offers rent-free accommodation in the two-bedroom central city cottage, and a stipend, currently set at $28,500.  The residency seeks NZ writers in any genre whose work has already been published or performed and well received. Mid-career and Māori and Pasifika writers are encouraged to apply. Applications are now open and will close on 4 November 2022. For more information please see this link, or email info@randellcottage.co.nz with any enquiries.

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'There’s a kind of heaven that comes from hearing another writer interpret the mysteries of process' - Tracey Slaughter

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The Michael King Writers Centre is pleased to announce that next year’s programme of residencies at the historic Signalman’s House on Takarunga Mt Victoria in Devonport, Auckland, is now open for applications. Writers awarded a residency can look forward to peaceful accommodation, the use of a writing studio, a supporting stipend and the opportunity to focus on a specific writing project.

The 2023 programme offers 18 residencies to emerging and established writers for periods of two to eight weeks each. Highlights include: four residencies specifically for Māori or Pasifika writers. Following up on feedback from the literary community, including alumni, we are including a longer residency – offering an established writer an extended period of eight weeks in which to really immerse themselves in their writing, and to retreat at the special Michael King Writers Centre location.

Applications open Friday 26 August and close Monday 26 September. For the application form and more details see: https://writerscentre.org.nz/applications-2023-mkwc-residencies/

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'The thirty-five of us were in the country of dream-merchants, and strange things were bound to happen.' - Anne Kennedy

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Huge congratulations to Chris Tse who is New Zealand/Aotearoa’s new poet laureate. During the two-year tenure, the laureate receives a stipend of $100,000 and advocates for Aotearoa’s poet community, promotes poetry and produces published works.

Chris is the thirteenth poet laureate following on from David Eggleton and NZ’s first ever poet laureate who is both Asian-Kiwi and openly queer. His award-winning first full-length poetry collection, How to be Dead in a Year of Snakes, was published in 2014, and in 2018 he published his second collection, HE’S SO MASC, to further acclaim. In 2021, Chris co-edited Out Here the first major anthology of 69 takatāpui and queer writers from Aotearoa, and his third collection, Super Model Minority, was published this year.

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'My readers turn up...and I meet them as human beings, not sales statistics on a royalty statement.' Fleur Adcock

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Verb Wellington and Katherine Mansfield House & Garden have come together to offer their third annual opportunity to spend time in one of the world’s most vibrant literary cities to focus on your writing. For three weeks between 23 October – 13 November 2022 you will have a dedicated writing space at Katherine Mansfield’s birthplace in Thorndon and will live in your own homey apartment in Thorndon. You will receive a stipend of $3,000NZD to support your time. We invite writers from anywhere in Aotearoa to apply. The timeframe includes Verb Writers Festival which runs between 2 – 6 November and so offers the resident an opportunity to appear in the festival.

Applications from writers working on any of the following forms will be considered: short stories, the novel, poetry, creative non-fiction and memoir.

Applications open 4 August and close 22 August. The successful applicant will be notified by Monday 30 August. For more information and guidelines see here.

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'...we were there as faith-based writers, as believers in the mana of Oceania...' - David Eggleton

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The New Zealand Book Awards Trust Te Ohu Tiaki i Te Rau Hiringa is now inviting submissions for the 2023 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, which promote excellence in, and provide recognition of, the best books for adult readers published annually in Aotearoa. In 2023 the total prize money package available for these prestigious awards will top $120,000. Books published between 1 January 2022 and 31 December 2022 will be considered for the 2023 awards. There are two submission dates. Publishers are asked to observe the guidelines for sending entries in two tranches, which are in place for ease of sending to judges.

Submissions for titles published between 1 January 2022 and 31 August 2022 are now open and will close 5pm on Tuesday 13 September 2022. Online entries for titles published between 1 September 2022 and 31 December 2022 open on Wednesday 14 September and close 5pm on Wednesday 26 October 2022.

Judges for the 2023 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards will be revealed in the coming weeks and their longlists for the four awards categories (fiction, poetry, general non-fiction and illustrated non-fiction) will be announced on 2 February 2023. The finalists will be announced on 8 March and the 2023 awards ceremony will be held in Auckland in mid-May, in collaboration with the Auckland Writers Festival.

The winner of the Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction will receive a minimum of $62,000 in 2023 and each of the other main category prizes will earn their winners $12,000 (up from $10,000 in recent years). Te Mūrau o te Tuhi, awarded at a judge’s discretion for a book written entirely and originally in te reo Māori will also attract a prize of $12,000 if presented. Each of the Crystal Arts Trust Best First Book winners, for fiction, poetry, general non-fiction and illustrated non-fiction, will be awarded $3000 (up from $2500).

Click here for eligibility criteria and a Call for Entries information pack for the 2023 awards, then enter online here. For any further enquiries, please email Awards Administrator Chris Chan at awards@nzbookawards.org.nz.

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'My readers turn up...and I meet them as human beings, not sales statistics on a royalty statement.' Fleur Adcock

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Rock on Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day, 26 August 2022! Here are details of competitions happening for NPD  – regional, nationwide and online, for children and adults. There will be opportunities to release your poem out into the wild! The calendar will update with new competitions so please keep checking back!
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'I want you to think about what you would like to see at the heart of your national literature ' - Tina Makereti

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The Todd New Writer’s Bursary 2022/23 is for projects taking place between 30 Sep 2022 – 30 Dec 2024. Round 1 will close when 250 applications have been submitted. The amount varies but may be used towards a stipend/wage that offers fair remuneration and/or production and administration costs. For more information see here. 
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'NZ literature is such a vast and varied thing' - Pip Adam

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This is a biennial residency for an established New Zealand writer to work on an approved project in Berlin, Germany. The residency includes an apartment in the heart of Berlin and a stipend of $40,000. This stipend is to be used for the writer’s travel to Berlin, living and material costs for up to 11 months between 30 October 2023 – 30 September 2024.  The residency is open to writers working in genres including but not limited to: autobiography/memoir, biography, children’s fiction, creative non-fiction, essays, fiction, graphic novels with a strong literary element, histories, literary criticism and poetry. Applications close 19 August 2022, 1pm. For more information see here

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'Does historical fiction allow an escape from reality or promote a confrontation with it?' - Thom Conroy

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The Michael Gifkins Prize seeks fiction manuscripts by published and unpublished authors who are citizens or permanent residents of New Zealand. It celebrates the life and work of the writer and agent Michael Gifkins. The winner will receive a publication contract for world rights from Text, and an advance of NZ $10,000. Submissions to the 2023 prize will close at midnight NZST on Thursday 14 October 2022. The shortlist will be announced in the second quarter of 2023 and the winner in the third quarter of 2023. The prize will be administered by the New Zealand Society of Authors Te Puni Kaituhi o Aotearoa (PEN NZ Inc). Entry forms and terms and conditions can be found here.The Gifkins Prize is made possible by a generous financial commitment from the Gifkins family and from Text Publishing. It is administered by the NZ Society of Authors Te Puni Kaituhi o Aotearoa (PEN NZ) Inc. Previous winners of the Gifkins Prize are Ruby Porter, Tom Remiger, Gigi Fenster, Tom Baragwanath, and Emma Sidnam.

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'...poetry makes intimate everything that it touches.' - Michael Harlow

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