Westport writer Becky Manawatu has won this year’s $55,000 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards’ Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction for her first novel, Auē (Makaro Press).

Another first-time author, Dunedin’s Straitjacket Fits frontman Shayne Carter, won the General Non-Fiction Award for his work, Dead People I Have Known (Victoria University Press).

Wellington writer, editor and publisher Helen Rickerby won the Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry for her collection How to Live (Auckland University Press).

Three Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa curators – Stephanie Gibson; Matariki WIlliams (Tūhoe, Te Atiawa, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Hauiti) and Puawai Cairns (Ngāti Pūkenga, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāiterangi) – won the Illustrated Non-Fiction Award for their work Protest Tautohetohe: Objects of Resistance, Persistence and Defiance.

The General Non-Fiction, Poetry and Illustrated Non-Fiction category winners each took home a $10,000 prize.

Four MitoQ Best First Book Awards were also presented at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards:
The Hubert Church Prize for a best first book of Fiction: Becky Manawatu for Auē (Mākaro Press).
The E.H. McCormick Prize for a best first work of General Non-Fiction: Shayne Carter for Dead People I Have Known (Victoria University Press).
The Jessie Mackay Prize for a best first book of Poetry: Jane Arthur for Craven (Victoria University Press).
The Judith Binney Prize for a best first work of Illustrated Non-Fiction: Chris McDowall and Tim Denee for We Are Here: An Atlas of Aotearoa (Massey University Press).

Each MitoQ Best First Book Award winner received $2,500 and a 12-month membership subscription to the New Zealand Society of Authors.

Want to know more? Watch the first ever Ockham virtual ceremony.

'Novels stand outside time, with their narrative structure of beginning, middle and end. They outlast politics, which are by nature ephemeral, swift and changeable and can quickly become invisible, detectable only to the skilled eye. ' - Fiona Farrell

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