Upcoming opportunities for Māori writers and students

Pikihuia Awards

The biennial Pikihuia awards have returned for 2017 bringing with them the chance for fame and cash prizes. Selected winners and finalists will be published in Huia Short Stories 12.

Pikihuia Awards poster 2017Six categories including:

  • Best short story written in English
  • Best short story written in te reo Māori
  • Best short Film Script
  • Best Novel Extract
  • Best short story by a school student in English
  • Best short story by a school student in te reo Māori

With $2000 up for grabs for the winners of the first four categories and winners of the school student categories are up to win a cash prize of $500 and $250 worth of HUIA books for their school be sure to get your entries in.

Enter online at Huia or The Māori Literature Trust, entries close 5pm Tuesday 18th April and winners are announced at the awards ceremony in Wellington this September.

Check out some of the books in our collections from past winners:

Or try the Huia short stories collections.

Sir Āpirana Ngata Memorial Scholarship

Cover of He Tipua The Life and Times of Sir Apirana NgataUp to 10 scholarships are on offer at a value of between $1000 and $3000 and are open to all Māori students, in any field, from any iwi. Preference is given to applicants who are descendants of Māori WW1 veterans. Applications close 1st of May 2017.

The Sir Āpirana Ngata Memorial Scholarship, created by the Māori Soldiers Trust to support higher education amongst Māori, is administered by Te Tumu Paeroa. Funding for the scholarship comes from Hereheretau Station, an investment of the Māori Soldiers Trust Fund set up at the urging of Sir Āpirana Ngata, who was once a recipient of a scholarship himself.

Download an application for the Sir Apirana Ngata Scholarship

Whāia te iti kahurangi ki te tūohu koe, me he maunga teitei.
Pursue excellence – should you stumble, let it be to a lofty mountain.

Man Booker Prize goes to … our Eleanor Catton!!!

Cover of The LuminariesEleanor Catton The luminaries has just won the Man Booker Prize. This is news, this is big news and is PHENOMENAL!

Congratulations Eleanor!

I am watching her make a beautiful and graceful acceptance speech.

Here is the 2013 shortlist for the Man Booker Prize

Cover of We need new names Cover of Harvest Cover of The lowland Cover of A Tale for the time being Cover of The testament of Mary

On the way to Sydney, we stopped in Auckland

David MitchellIn a packed session at the 2011 Auckland Writers and Readers Festival Nicola Legat (publisher at Random House, Festival trustee) spoke with three regional winners of the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize. You can read some background information about these writers and the Prize itself in a previous blog of mine. These writers are on their way to the Sydney Writers Festival for the announcement of the overall winner of the prize.

Aminatta Forna (whose mother incidentally lives in New Zealand) was born in Sierra Leone, and raised in the UK. She won the Best Book category for the Africa region of the Prize with The Memory Of Love. This novel, about love and war, is set in Sierra Leone, and in her deep radio-quality voice, she read us an excerpt. She has well-crafted turns of phrase – “leaning across her frame like an old woman at the garden gate” (a child using a bamboo(!) walking frame). One of the protagonists is Kai, a young doctor in a hospital that is severely underfunded, coping with shortages of what we would call essentials, with equanimity  – “scalpel poised like a conductor when the generator fails, waiting for the lights to go back on”, and of proceeding with operations with no anaesthesia available, tying patients to the bed, giving them a twisted sheet to bite from until they faint from pain – whew. Continue reading

Rose Tremain is a winner …

the Road homeRose Tremain’s The Road Home has won the The Orange Broadband Prize for fiction which rewards the best writing by women published in the UK (Joanna Kavenna’s Inglorious won the Orange Broadband Award for New Writers).

There was a bit of a hoo ha over the Orange Prize this year to do with the appointment of popster Lily Allen as a judge (she later withdrew for personal reasons). 

Rose Tremain’s honour is well deserved, she is a writer who has the uncanny power of astonishing her readers afresh with each new book. She has created a vivid and astonishing variety of characters and locations. Music and Silence and Restoration (set in 17th Century Denmark and Restoration England) are two of the best novels in historical settings I’ve ever read (by the by Restoration was filmed with our own lovely Sam Neill vamping it up as Charles II).

See The Guardian’s articles and features on the Prize and the Orange Prize website.

Tasty science reads

The Royal Society Prizes for Science Books General Prize shortlist was recently announced. It is a great selection for those interested in a read with both intellectual substance and readability.

A life decodedA life decoded  J. Craig Venter (Penguin Allen Lane)
Venter is the scientist who instigated the celebrated race between the government and his former company, Celera, to produce the first complete transcription of a human genome. This book is an autobiography that recounts his role in the genome conflict and other scientific firsts in his career.
NY Times review

CoralCoral : A pessimist in paradise Steve Jones (Little, Brown)
In this outstanding narrative, acclaimed author Steve Jones reveals all that coral has to tell us about the past, present and future of our planet and humankind.

Gut feelings Gerd Gigerenzer (Penguin – Allen Lane)
Gigerenzer is one of the researchers of behavioural intuition responsible for the science behind Malcolm Gladwell’s bestseller Blink. Gladwell showed how snap decisions often yield better results than careful analysis. Now, Gigerenzer explains why intuition is such a powerful decision-making tool. Drawing on a decade of research, Gigerenzer demonstrates that gut feelings are actually the result of unconscious mental processes–processes that apply rules of thumb that we’ve derived from our environment and prior experiences. (From publisher description).

Six degreesSix degrees: Our future on a hotter planet Mark Lynas (Fourth Estate)
Written by the author of “High Tide”, this book presents an account of the future of our earth and our civilisation. It refers to the terrifying possibility that average temperatures will rise by up to six degrees years in future years. It highlights the fact that the world of 2100 doesn’t have to be one of horror and chaos.

Why beauty is truthWhy beauty is truth Ian Stewart (Basic Books)
Explores symmetry – a concept that is simple, complex, multi-disciplinary and unifying. This book narrates the history of this area of study, from its roots in 10th-century BC Babylon to its role in 21st century physics. It describes the world beyond superstrings: the “octonionic” symmetries that may explain the very existence of the universe.

The sun kings Stuart Clark (Princeton University Press)

Bob Dylan gets a Pulitzer

Bob DylanThe 2008 Pulitzer Prizes have been announced and Bob Dylan has received a Special Citation:

for his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power.

Other winners include The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz which received the Fiction Prize. The book has already received the National Book Critics Circle Award, it was on the NZ Listener’s list of 2007’s best books.

Diaz will be a guest next month at the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival and Christchurch City Libraries will be reporting from the festival to keep you all up to date.

David Geary – 2008 Writer in Residence with the University’s International Institute of Modern Letters

David GearyPlaywright and author David Geary has been announced as the 2008 Writer in Residence with the University’s International Institute of Modern Letters.

A dual citizen of Canada and New Zealand, Mr Geary returns to New Zealand from Vancouver Island to take up the 12-month residency where he will work on a number of projects, including a play for children based on the University’s internationally-acclaimed tuatara breeding programme.

His chief writing project however, is a full-length play based on Mark Twain’s 1895 lecture tour of New Zealand. Mr Geary says he is particularly interested in an incident in Wanganui when a man broke into Twain’s hotel room to warn him of an assassination plot. He is keen to hear from anyone possessing information, especially family stories, about Twain’s nationwide tour.

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Prize in Modern Letters shortlist

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.

After the danceThe 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.

Continue reading