Thursday, September 18, 2014

BNZ Literary Awards winners announced

Hawke’s Bay winemaker Tobias Buck has taken out New Zealand’s top short fiction prize for his work Islands in the Stream, at the BNZ Literary Awards in Wellington last night.

The winning story was selected from almost 850 entries in the Katherine Mansfield Award category, up from 750 in 2013.

Now in its 55th year, the country’s longest running literary awards had one of its most successful years yet, with the most entries ever received, and the introduction of a new category.

The new category – #shortandtweet, has subsequently created New Zealand’s first writing award for Twitter.
BNZ chief marketing officer Craig Herbison is proud of the role that the Literary Awards play in promoting New Zealand’s literary talent.
“For BNZ, the Literary Awards are a shining example of our passion for enabling a high achieving New Zealand.
 “We also recognise the impact that technology has had on the way we write, so we wanted to acknowledge that with our #shortandtweet category,” he says.

Wellington-based author Beth Rust won the Novice Writer category, beating more than 600 other entries with her creative story I Hope You Have a Wonderful Day.

Taupo teenager Mina Bixley’s The Best Magic of All won the Young Writer’s Award, with the 16-year-old Tauhara College student impressing the judge with a story that “captured the sense of enchantment and shining possibility in youth”.

Taumarunui writer Anna Granger took out the Short Short Story award with Territories. In this category, writers can only use a maximum of 150 words to tell a story, which is described by the judge as “the most difficult of all fiction genres in which to write”.  

Invercargill Year 13 student, Ashlyn Gallagher won over judges, Kerre McIvor and Jesse Mulligan with her short story that was submitted via Twitter, and therefore a maximum of 140 characters.

Established in 1959, the BNZ Literary Awards, formerly the Katherine Mansfield Awards, aim to foster and grow literature in New Zealand, and are the country’s longest-running short story awards.

BNZ has been part of the New Zealand landscape for 150 years and holds close ties to Katherine Mansfield. Her father, Sir Harold Beauchamp, was a director of BNZ for 38 years, and was also the chairman of the BNZ board for 17 years.

The BNZ Literary Awards offer five levels of entry:

  • BNZ Katherine Mansfield Award, for published writers - $10,000 prize money
  • BNZ Novice Writer, for unpublished writers - $1500 prize money
  • BNZ Young Writer, for writers who are at secondary school - $1500 for the student and $2000 for the winner’s school
  • BNZ Short Short Story, for a short story of a maximum of 150 words submitted via Facebook - $500 prize money
  • BNZ #shortandtweet, for a short story of a maximum of 140 characters submitted via Twitter - $1000 prize money
Judges and winners at last night's event. That's The Bookman on the extreme right.

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