Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Writers Win Awards - and substantial cash

Last night in two diffrent ceremonies in Auckland three authors were awarded cash prizes totalling $120,000.

In the city The Art Foundation of New Zealand named five new laureates one being Ian Wedde the Wellington-based poet, fiction writer, critic and curator. He took away a cheque for $50,000 along with a superb Terry Stringer statuette.

In an interersting interview conducted by writer Kate de Goldi, (herself a laureate in 2001), Ian talked of the luck he had experienced through his life and of the people along the way who had given him a break. Two book trade people he mentioned warmly were John Barnett, (former editor at Penguin Books), who published his second novel SYMMES HOLE in 1986, (and which I recall was shortlisted in the fiction section NZ Book Awards in 1987), and Robin Dudding for his support and encouragement during his days as Editor of the literary journals "Landfall" and later "Islands".

For the record the other Laureates named were Alun Bollinger,cinematographer; Alastair Galbraith,underground musician and sound artist; Oscar Kightley, broadcaster,televison presenter, writer & director;and John Reynolds,painter and printmaker.

Meanwhile over on the North Shore Copyright Licensing Ltd. was announcing the recipients of the CCL Prizes.
Social historian and author Steven Eldred-Grigg received $35,000 to enable him to research and write comprehensive histroy of the New Zealand gold rushes and author and academic Judith Dell Panny also received $35,000 to write a book on the life and works of author C.K.Stead.

A grand night for writers and writing.

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