Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Ockham New Zealand Book Awards

Four of our best-known novelists – whose novels, appropriately for our times, explore what it means to tell the truth – are in the running for the country’s richest fiction writing award, the Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize, with today’s Ockham New Zealand Book Awards finalist announcement.

New Zealand Book Awards trustee Jenna Todd says the full Ockham’s shortlist is clear evidence of the vitality of New Zealand literature. “Not only does the shortlist feature some of our best-known writers – those with long and illustrious careers – but it also includes newcomers writing out of deep passion and engagement.”
“These 16 books deepen the public discourse on a range of issues and the particular genius of each of their writers lifts them to an emotional plane at which they reward and endure for their readers.”
— Jenna Todd, NZ Book Awards trustee
You can find the full list of Ockham New Zealand Book Awards shortlisted titles here and you can download social media visuals and other material to promote the books from the Resources page of our website later this morning.
mitochondrial science company MitoQ

Today’s finalist announcement includes two major new category sponsors for the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. To support and nurture new writing talent, mitochondrial science company MitoQ will sponsor the four Best First Book awards, and arts enthusiasts and philanthropists Mary and Peter Biggs will support the Poetry category.
MitoQ’s chief marketing officer John Marshall says that as one of New Zealand’s newest success stories, it is their pleasure to help emerging writers further enrich the country’s literature.

Mary and Peter Biggs say that with poetry undergoing a wonderful resurgence in our country over the last few years, it struck them as strange that the poetry award was unsupported.
“We are thrilled to be involved and hope that the Award continues to recognise poetry’s – and the poet’s – vital role to, as Salman Rushdie says, shape the world and stop it from going to sleep.”
— Peter Biggs CNZM
Award-winning New York-based novelist Joseph O'Neill will assist the three New Zealand judges to select this year’s Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize winner from the four finalists

Irish born O'Neill is the author of four novels, most recently The Dog and Netherland, which received the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Kerry Fiction Prize. He has also published a book of short stories, Good Trouble, and a family history, Blood-Dark Track.
We were very sad to bid farewell to the extraordinary Harley Hern, Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day administrator of the past two years, but we are also delighted to have her fellow alumni from the Master’s in Creative Writing at the University of Auckland, Jacqui Hammond, take her place.

Jacqui majored in Literature, before working as a writer and editor for several years in London and Sydney. She completed her Master’s in 2015. She is a keen supporter of poetry and has a couple of poems published in the latest Fast Fibres collection.
Jacqui Hammond
Jacqui is keenly awaiting the flood of proposals when NPD 2019 registrations open next Wednesday.
We’re just days away from launching the wonderful annual campaign that gets our nation’s youth reading and enjoying the pleasures of stories – with the bonus of free pizza rewards. Yes, the 2019 HELL Reading Challenge is about to kick off!

Registrations open Friday 8 March and already our administrator Joy Sellen has fielded an unprecedented number of enquiries from schools and libraries, so we are set for another record year.
In last year’s Challenge 300,000 reading wheels were distributed, meaning that potentially more than two million books were read by Kiwi kids as a result of the campaign.
8 March: HELL Reading Challenge 2019 begins.
13 March: National Poetry Day event registrations/seed funding applications open.
14 May: Ockham NZ Book Awards ceremony at Aotea Centre, as part of Auckland Writers Festival. Tickets on sale 15 March.
22 May: Deadline for National Poetry Day event registration/seeding funding applications.
6 June: Shortlist announced for 2019 NZ Book Awards for Children & Young Adults.
7 August: NZ Book Awards for Children & Young Adults ceremony in Wellington.
23 August: Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day
The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, The New Zealand Book Awards for Children & Young Adults, and Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day could not exist without the generosity, commitment and vision of our sponsors and staging partners. The New Zealand Book Awards Trust is hugely grateful to Creative New Zealand, Ockham Residential, Acorn Foundation, Royal Society Te Apārangi, MitoQ, Mary and Peter Biggs, Auckland Writers Festival, HELL Pizza, Wright Family Foundation, LIANZA, Wellington City Council, Te Papa, Nielsen Book, Phantom Billstickers, and our other wonderful supporters. You can find out more about them here, here and here
You can find out more about the work of the Trust on our website or if you have a specific enquiry, contact our Trust Manager. And do follow us on our various social media accounts to keep up with our busy calendar of events and other news:

Ockham New Zealand Book Awards
via Facebook or Twitter

Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day
via Facebook or Twitter

New Zealand Book Awards for Children
& Young Adults

via Facebook or Twitter

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