Victoria University media release:
Six emerging New Zealand writers have been short-listed for the $65,000 Prize in Modern Letters, and the winner will be announced next March during the New Zealand Post Writers and Readers Week. One of the world’s wealthiest literary awards, the biennial Prize in Modern Letters is sponsored by United States business leader and arts philanthropist Glenn Schaeffer.
The shortlisted writers are: Michele Amas, David Beach, Mary McCallum, Jo Randerson, Anna Sanderson and Louise Wareham Leonard. Professor Bill Manhire, director of the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University, says he is delighted by the range of writers to have made it this far.
“There are two novelists, two poets, a short story writer, and an essayist. And they’re all writers who venture beyond familiar territory. To borrow Janet Frame’s phrase, they’re travelling ‘far from the road labelled Scenic Drive’.”
Broadcaster, editor and writer Elizabeth Alley, Dominion Post Books Editor Guy Somerset, and novelist and academic Damien Wilkins were on the short-listing panel this year and New York literary editor, Brigid Hughes (The Paris Review, A Public Space) will judge the winner.