Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Announcing a new literary prize for New Zealand writers
Announcing a new literary prize
for New Zealand writers. Entries open 28 July 2017
Text Publishing is proud to announce the Michael Gifkins Prize for an Unpublished Novel,
an exciting new award for writers holding New Zealand citizenship
or who are permanent residents of New Zealand.
Thanks to a generous financial commitment from Ann Hatherly and
André Gifkins, the partner and son of the late Michael Gifkins,
and from Text Publishing, the winner will receive a contract for
world rights from Text, and an advance to the value of NZ$10,000.
Ann Hatherly says she sees this award as a fitting way to
continue Michael Gifkins’ contribution to writers and to New
After Michael died, we received many emails from
writers offering sincere gratitude for the help he had given
them. But they also expressed concern about the hole his absence
would now leave.It was Lloyd Jones who first
suggested that Text Publishing was the ‘best fit’ for the prize
because of the huge respect Michael Gifkins had for Michael
Heyward and his team.
Michael Heyward says: Michael Gifkins was kind, wise
and generous. A gifted writer himself, he was a fine agent, and
completely committed to the cause of New Zealand literature. He
loved his writers. He challenged them, spurred them on, and
caught them when they fell. He had a wicked sense of humour, and
we spent hours laughing on the phone together. Life is duller
without him around. It is an honour for Text to support the
Michael Gifkins Prize for an Unpublished Novel.
The New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc) will administer
the award. Jenny Nagle, the Chief Executive Officer says: The Michael Gifkins Prize is a generous award for New
Zealand writers, coming at a time when literary arts funding is
stretched. This prize will honour the memory and the lifelong
commitment Michael Gifkins had to New Zealand literature and the
encouragement he gave to so many writers will live on in this
legacy. The New Zealand Society of Authors (Pen NZ Inc) is proud
to administer this new annual gift, and we are grateful to Ann,
André and Text Publishing for their support. Every year this opportunity
will be life-changing for one of our writers.
Michael Gifkins (1945-2014) Born in Wellington, Michael Gifkins was
educated at the University of Auckland, where he also later
taught English. As an agent he represented a number of leading
writers, including Lloyd Jones and Greg McGee. He was also a
literary critic, a publishing consultant, an anthologist and a
highly esteemed editor, whose sympathetic hand and brilliant eye
influenced many prominent New Zealand authors. He was also a fine
writer and his stories were widely published. He was the author
of three published short story collections: After the Revolution, Summer Is the Côte d’Azur and The Amphibians. He was the Writer in
Residence at the University of Auckland in 1983 and was the
Katherine Mansfield Memorial Fellow in Menton, France, in
1985. Michael Gifkins was a member of New Zealand Society
of Authors (PEN NZ Inc) from 1982 to 2014.