Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Authors to the fore at the Random House NZ Christmas Party

Author/columnist Steve Braunias rails from time to time about the absence of authors at trade celebrations. Well he would have been pleased with Random House's invitees to their Christmas Bash held in Auckland last evening. Authors seemed to dominate.

My memory may have been somewhat affected by the fine Chardonnay I enjoyed while chatting and looking out at the beautiful harbour from the Ponsonby Crusing Club's Westhaven harbourside headquarters, but those I recall seeing included Karl Stead, Stephanie Johnson, David Cohen, Paula Green, Chris Trotter, Warwick Brown, Jo Seagar, Pip Cheshire, Gareth Shute, Lauraine Jacobs, Ken Ring, Christopher Johnstone, Dorothy Fowler,Sue Orr, Xanthe White, Jeremy Hansen, Graham Lay, Diana Harris, David Verran, Chris Slane, Dorothy Fowler, Gareth Shute, Kathy Paterson, Ginny Grant, Michael Hight, Sophie Gray, Mark & Rowan Sommerset, Dame Cath Tizard, Sarah Laing, John Walsh, Frances Walsh, Jeremy Hansen, Helen Schamroth, Michael Smythe, Vaughan Yarwood, Valda Paddison, Renee Lang, Ruth Kerr, Diana Harris and Shonagh Koea . Who have I missed?

There were also media, reviewers, booksellers and others present but authors made up by a long way the biggest single group. Bravo I hear Braunias exclaiming.

CEO Karen Ferns and Publisher Nicola Legat did something of a good cop bad cop routine with Ferns speaking first giving a frank report on the tough trading conditions of the past 15 months followed by Legat who read out a list of the awards and recognitions achieved by the company and its authors during 2009. Ferns also mentioned the pleasure that Random House felt in acquiring the specialist South Is independent publisher Longacre and having Barbara Larson join the publishing team.

This from Nicola Legat:

Every year I read out a roll of honour and this year it seems even more fabulous than ever, I have to say. It’s lovely to be able to include Longacre authors this time. I read it out now in an order that sort of follows prizes, honours, fellowships. Huge congratulations to all of you. And if I have left anyone off, forgive me.


Montana Book Awards
Chris Brickell Winner, Best First Book Non Fiction
Kate de Goldi Readers Choice winner; Runner-up Deutz Fiction Award
Brian Turner for Into the Wider World
John Reynolds for Certain Words Drawn
Christopher Johnstone for The Painted Garden
Bernard Beckett Runner-up Montana Deutz Fiction Award for Acid Song

NZ Post Book Awards for Children & Young Adults
Kate de Goldi Winner 2009 Young Adult Fiction Award and winner of Book of the Year Award

Fleur Beale for Juno of Taris
Val Bird Five (and a bit) days in the life of Ozzie Kingsford
Gavin Bishop for Piano Rock:
Mark Inglis for High-tech -Legs on Everest

PANZ Design Awards
Katy Yiakmis for Diggers, Hatters & Whores
Gavin Bishop and Sarah Elworthy for Piano Rock
Katy Yiakmis for Into the Wider World
Arch McDonnell for Certain Words Drawn
Katy Yiakmis for Mates and Lovers

LIANZA (Library Association of New Zealand) Awards
Fleur Beale, the Esther Glen Award for Fiction for Juno of Taris
Rebecca Priestley and Veronika Meduna, the Elsie Locke Award for non-fiction for Atoms, Dinosaurs and DNA
Gavin Bishop for Piano Rock
Mark Inglis with Sarah Ell for High-tech -Legs on Everest
Kate de Goldi for the 10 Pm Question

Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award for a Much-Loved Book
Fleur Beale for I Am Not Esther

Royal Society of NZ Science Prize
Janet Hunt for Wetlands of New Zealand : A Bitter-sweet story by Janet Hunt

Christopher Johnstone - Gold medal in the Royal NZ Institute of Horticulture’s 2008 Award in Garden History for The Painted Garden

Charlotte Grimshaw shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor short story award (for the second time running) for Singularity

Kate de Goldi and Stephanie Johnson, Nominated for the 2010 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for The 10 PM Question

Bernard Beckett, Long-listed for the Guardian Children’s Prize for Genesis

Ella West, shortlisted for the Sir Julius Vogel SF award for Young Adult Fiction for Anywhere But Here
Cathay Pacific Travel Media Awards:
Aaron Mclean Graham Reid Chris Coad Neville Peat


Prime Minister’s Awards for Literary Achievement: Fiction – Karl Stead (photo right by Brendan O'Hagan)
Poetry – Brian Turner

Members of the NZ Order of Merit: Yvonne Cave, Margaret Foster, Lauraine Jacobs, Jane Ussher

Hamish Keith – honorary doctorate from the University of Waikato

Peter Wells – the 2009 CLL Award

Fiona Kidman – Chevalier d’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and then French Legion of Honor, France’s highest honour

Lynley Hood --- honorary research fellow at the Otago Medical School.
- And, she took on Google and won

James McNeish, (pic left), Creative NZ Berlin Writers Residency
Julian Novitz and Steve Braunias, the Buddle Finlay Sargeson Fellowship
Siobhan Harvey, Auckland Regional parks Writer in Residence 2009.
Paula Boock, 2009 Victoria University Writer in residence
Joanna Orwin, 2009 University of Otago College of Education Writer in Residence

Legat also announced that this year Random House inaugurated its own award to be known as the Storylines Gavin Bishop Award for Picture Book Illustration.

The Random House title Auckland Harbour Bridge featured at the top of this story was chosen because of the proximity of the party to the bridge. The book was compiled Renee Lang.
I should also mention by the way that it was a great party.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

Could not help noting, with a certain sense of irony, RHNZ's claim to the luster of Kate de Goldi and the 10 PM Question, having only just done the deal to purchase Longacre, and the release and award winning run of the book having been solely under Longacre's masthead. As reported, I found it a little 'needy', but possibly what was said around the listing of achievers and achievements gave it more context.