Thursday, December 01, 2011
NZ Post Book Awards - judges announced
Last Year’s Supreme Book Award Winner is This Year’s Top Judge
Last year Chris Bourke (left) took home the country’s top literary honour – the New Zealand Post Book of the Year Award – for his work Blue Smoke: the Lost Dawn of New Zealand Popular Music 1918-1964. This year he heads up the judging panel for the same award.
A respected writer, reviewer, music historian and radio producer, Chris is well known as a former long-time producer for Radio New Zealand National’s Saturday Morning programme and as a staff writer and arts and books editor for print publications including The Listener.
Mr Bourke says he has just cleared several book shelves to make space for the entries in the 2012 New Zealand Post Book Awards, and his first impression is: “never mind the width, feel the quality.
“New Zealand’s book creation industry is in full flight, with debutantes taking on seasoned authors, the self-published challenging the extravagantly produced. The year has seen fiction and poetry collections from many of our leading writers, and non-fiction seems to have recovered its strength with a plethora of well-researched, elegantly written and designed books in the general and illustrated categories.
“Ahead lie six months of demanding but exhilarating reading, about New Zealand in all its diversity.”
Joining Chris Bourke on the judging panel are: multi-award winning poet, writer, critic and journalist David Eggleton, writer, publisher, book designer and typesetter Mary Egan, poet, reviewer, writer and anthologist Paula Green, writer and Maori and Pacific literature specialist Reina Whaitiri (Kai Tahu).
Judges are selected for the broad range of skills they bring to the judging process ensuring there is a diversity of writing styles and reading preferences. The judging panel as a whole represents the wealth of diversity and depth in New Zealand writing and publishing.
They will read more than 160 submitted books published in 2011 before selecting the finalists and, ultimately the winners, including the holder of the much-sought-after the New Zealand Post Book of the Year trophy.
There will be four judging categories this year comprising Poetry, Fiction, Illustrated Non-fiction and General Non-fiction. There will be 16 finalist books in total (three finalists each in the Fiction and Poetry categories and five each in the Illustrated Non-Fiction and General Non-Fiction categories).
The overall New Zealand Post Book of the Year Award winner receives $15,000. Winners of the four Category Awards will each receive $10,000, the Māori Language Award $10,000, Readers’ Choice Award $5,000, and the winners of the three New Zealand Society of Authors (NZSA) Best First Book Awards $2,500 each.
New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards 2012 Judges Announcement
Independent education and publishing consultant, Gillian Candler will convene this year’s New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards judging panel.
The former secondary school teacher, editor and chief executive of state-owned education publishing company, Learning Media says she is looking forward to a long, enjoyable summer of reading great kiwi books.
“I’m a passionate believer that good books change lives. It is therefore an honour and a pleasure to convene this year’s New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards judging panel.
”I’ll be on the lookout for books that capture my imagination; books that entice and teach, books with characters that draw me in and leave me wanting more.”
Two other children’s literature experts join Ms Candler on the judging panel: school curriculum advisor, librarian and bookseller Annemarie Florian and award-winning writer and illustrator Bob Kerr.
Together they will read more than 130 books in the search for the best of this country’s children’s books - across all age groups - published in 2011.
They will be choosing finalists, and ultimately winners across five categories: picture book, non-fiction, junior fiction, young adult fiction and best first book.
Each Category Award winner receives $7,500. The winner of the New Zealand Post Children’s Book of the Year Award takes home an additional $7,500. The winner of the Best First Book Award and the Children’s Choice Award receive prize money of $2,000 each.