The Antipodeans has had a brilliant run, already in its 3rd print, and being short-listed for the Ockham NZ Book Awards would have been the icing on the cake, so I’m disappointed it hasn’t made it. That’s okay: win some, lose some, and good luck to those who have made it. Time is money in business, but writers know that money is time, time to write, and the $50,000 for the winner of the Acorn Foundation Literary Award will equate to priceless time for one of the four short-listed authors.
Now that I’m out of the running, it might be safe to express my reservations about the Ockham. I know the risk I’m running in sticking my chin out – that old left-right combo, Sore Loser! Sour Grapes! – but I’m old enough and ugly enough to be past worrying too much about career impact and all that.
The Ockham is a fantastic initiative, and I commend the Ockham partners for committing to it, but I had concerns when the personnel of the judging panel was originally announced (long before that panel long-listed my novel). My concerns weren’t related to the abilities of the individual judges; more that all three were so deeply imbedded in the NZ literary scene