Prize-winning authors are among the twelve judges of the 2018 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, joining journalists, academics and commentators charged with the task of selecting this country’s finest books of the year.
The Illustrated Non-Fiction category will be judged by Professor Barbara Brookes, whose A History of New Zealand Women won this category of the awards in 2017; Matariki Williams, (Tūhoe, Taranaki, Ngāti Hauiti, Ngāti Whakaue), a curator Mātauranga Māori at Te Papa, and Kim Paton, director of the public gallery Objectspace.
Poet and novelist Alison Wong, whose novel As The Earth Turns Silver won the New Zealand Post Book Award for Fiction in 2010, will be a judge in the Poetry category alongside Montana New Zealand Book Awards shortlisted poet Robert Sullivan, deputy chief executive, Māori, at Manukau Institute of Technology, and poet, publisher and librettist Michael Harlow.
The Fiction category judges, who will select the winner of the $50,000 Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize, are novelist, poet and academic Anna Smaill, whose first novel, The Chimes, was longlisted for the 2015 Man Booker prize; journalist and reviewer Philip Matthews, and bookseller and reviewer Jenna Todd of the Auckland bookshop Time Out, winner of NZ Bookseller of the Year award in 2016 and 2017.
Ella Henry, a lecturer in AUT’s Māori Faculty, is a judge in the Royal Society Te Apārangi Award for General Non-Fiction with editor and award-winning journalist Toby Manhire and former bookseller and publisher, Philip King.
New Zealand Book Awards Trust chairwoman Nicola Legat says the 12 judges in the 2018 awards bring great expertise and mana with them.
“It’s a major commitment to judge these important awards,” says Ms Legat. “We are hugely appreciative of the time and skills our judges bring to the assessment process. We look forward to their selections being announced.”
The judges will make their longlist finalists known on November 28, 2017 and their shortlist on March 6, 2018.
The winners will be announced at an awards evening held as the first public event of the Auckland Writers Festival on May 15, 2018.
The first round of submissions to the 2018 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards close on 4 September 2017. Titles published between 1 January 2017 and 31 August 2017 must be submitted no later than 5pm, on this date. Entries for titles published between 1 September 2017 and 31 December 2017 open on 5 September and close at 5pm on Thursday 5 October 2017.Entries can be made via http://www.nzbookawards.nz/new-zealand-book-awards/form/
The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards are supported by Ockham Residential, Creative New Zealand, The Acorn Foundation, Book Tokens (NZ) Ltd and the Royal Society Te Apārangi.
The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards are the country’s premier literary honours for works written by New Zealanders. First established in 1968 as the Wattie Book Awards (later the Goodman Fielder Wattie Book Awards), they have also been known as the Montana New Zealand Book Awards and the New Zealand Post Book Awards. Awards are given for Fiction (the Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize), Illustrated Non-Fiction, General Non-Fiction (the Royal Society Te Apārangi Award for General Non-Fiction) and Poetry. There are also four Best First Book Awards and, at the judges’ discretion, a Māori language award. The awards are governed by the New Zealand Book Awards Trust (a registered charity).
Members of the Trust are Nicola Legat, Karen Ferns, Paula Morris, Catherine Robertson, Rachel Eadie, David Bowles, Pene Walsh and Melanee Winder. Creative New Zealand is a significant annual funder of the awards. The Trust also governs the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults and Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day.