Ashton Wylie Mind Body Spirit Book Awards’ winners and runner’s up 2020 announced

Award-winning author, artist and filmmaker Stephanie Sinclaire Lightsmith of Seatoun, Wellington has won this year’s $10,000 Ashton Wylie Mind Body Spirit Book Award for Creative Alchemy: The Science of Miracles; a work that references the latest in neuroscience, biology, quantum science, psychology and metaphysics to help us create a better world.

The Awards’ Book category convenor of judges, Joan Rosier-Jones, says Ms Lightsmith’s book is full of rich content that takes us on an amazing journey of discovery down many paths.

“The mix of first person and third person narratives includes the story of Beth, who eventually regarded her hidden emotional memories as a treasure hunt, and the author’s own experience of expanded consciousness after Craniosacral Therapy. The author is widely travelled and has studied with teachers and masters across the globe. She shares the knowledge, thus gained, both as a teacher and an author.”

NZSA member Patricia Williams, who lives in community of Catholic vowed women in Auckland’s Māngere Bridge, has won the $10,000 Unpublished Manuscript Award for her work: Between the Harbour and the Mountain: Reflections on the Ordinary and the Profound.

The Awards’ Unpublished Manuscript category convenor of judges, Bob Ross, says Ms Williams work is a well-structured, eloquently written sequence of personal reflections from everyday life.

Between the Harbour and the Mountain draws on the author’s observations of the natural world around her, as well as events that trigger a deeper contemplation on life’s meaning. Ms Williams’ writing is culturally inclusive and reflects on the multifaceted ways in which spirituality is practised in New Zealand. The text grows in value as it progresses, with the last sections providing a reflective commentary on the state of the contemporary world, leading to a satisfying climax.”

The judging panel, comprising author and publisher Linda Cassells, writer and publisher Keith Hill, writer Joan Rosier-Jones and publisher Bob Ross, were unanimous in their overall choice of the winning works, which took the honours from a total of 10 finalists.

“This year’s finalists were of exceptionally high quality.  It made our job in selecting the winners and the runner’s up very difficult,” says Ms Rosier-Jones on behalf of the judges.

The 2020 Ashton Wylie Mind Body Spirit Book Awards’ winners and runner’s up (in order) are:

Book category:

Creative Alchemy: The Science of Miracles by Stephanie Sinclaire Lightsmith (Creative Alchemy Publishing)

The Sacred Dance of the Soul: Your Inner Journey to Empowerment by Madeline K. Adams (Roslyn Publishing)

The Lantern in the Skull: Consciousness and Marginal Zones of the Extraordinary by Hugh Major (Attar Books)

Prophecy on the River: An Orisha Shaman’s Journey in New Zealand by Judith Hoch (Attar Books)

Stop Surviving, Start Fighting: Insights into depression and suicide from someone who has been there by Jazz Thornton (Penguin Books).

Manuscript category:

Between the Harbour and the Mountain: Reflections on the Ordinary and the Profound by Patricia Williams 

Sun, Moon, and Stars: Seasonal Celebrations for Children and Families, Tamariki and Whanau by Juliet Batten

Flow: A Handbook for students of drawing by Hannah Beehre

The Kingfisher’s Nest: Everyday Miracles at Foxglove Farm by Wendy Ward

Sea Salt to Serenity by Jo Woollacott

The Awards are unique in New Zealand for their encouragement of writing in the mind body spirit genre.


For interviews with winners, images or more information, please contact: Penny Hartill – hPR, 021 721 424,

Editor’s Notes

Stephanie Sinclaire Lightsmith is an award-winning artist, author, playwright, screenwriter, theatre and film director and teacher of inspirational creativity. In 2002 she was awarded the Golden Jubilee Award by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth for ‘contribution to the arts and the pursuit of excellence’ presented at the Royal Academy, London by Her Majesty and Lord Attenborough. She is currently writing full time, fiction, screenplays and books to help increase human potential and provide tools to co-create a better world.

Patricia Williams was born in New Zealand and grew up in Labasa and Nausori in Fiji. She came to live in New Zealand at the age of eighteen. Patricia currently lives in a community of vowed women in the Catholic diocese of Auckland. Her background has been in education here in New Zealand and in Fiji. As well as teaching she set up a support scheme for young people in the former Mangere Psychopaedic Hospital. On retirement she became involved in the work of teaching English to immigrants and refugees while supporting them to settle in New Zealand. Her great love, as well as friends and people, is nature. She strongly believes that we humans need to re-establish those ancient bonds with the natural world if we are to survive as a species.

The Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust was established following the death of Ashton Wylie in 1999. Ashton, an Auckland businessman, was a philanthropist with a wide range of interests particularly in the area of spirituality, personal development and positive relationships.

Ashton Wylie believed that if one wanted to change the world, one had to first change oneself.

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