2020 CLNZ/NZSA $25,000 Writers’ Award has been won by Nick Bollinger

Wellington writer Nick Bollinger has won the 2020 Copyright Licensing New Zealand and New Zealand Society of Authors Te Puni Kaituhi O Aotearoa (PEN NZ)inc, $25,000 Writers’ Award for his project Revolutions Per Minute: The Counterculture in New Zealand 1960-1975.

The resulting book project will include over 100 relevant illustrations and will tell the story of the movement that became known as the counterculture and its development in New Zealand during the 1960s and early 1970s. Nick already has a publisher interested in the resulting book.

The CLNZ / NZSA Writers’ Award is one of the investments made through the CLNZ Cultural Fund and is open to writers of any genre of non-fiction, including writers of education material. The award enables the successful applicant to devote time to a specific writing project.

The 2020 Writers’ Award judging panel reviewed 45 applications and reported that the overall quality of the applications this year was very high and well targeted at genuine potential readerships. “It is truly quite difficult to whittle it down,” said judge Finlay Macdonald.

Nick Bollinger is a writer, critic and broadcaster. He has been a columnist for The Listener and presents and produces the music review programme The Sampler on RNZ National. He is the author of three books of non-fiction: How To Listen To Pop Music (2004), 100 Essential New Zealand Albums (2009) and Goneville (2016). In 2015 he won the Adam Prize for Creative Writing for the original manuscript of Goneville. He lives in Island Bay with his partner Kathy. Their three daughters have grown up and mostly left home.

Nick’s project appealed due to its promise “to weave storytelling, commentary and the voices of on-the-spot witnesses into a compelling narrative. His writing is accessible and punchy, and his intention and dedication to complete the project is obvious,” says judge Becky Manawatu.

Nick’s project was shortlisted for the award in 2019. Rebecca Priestley who was a judge in 2019 and 2020 says of the project, “it meets all the criteria for the award and it’s clear that a substantial amount of research has already been completed. When published it will have broad appeal as well as lasting cultural significance for Aotearoa New Zealand.”

Congratulations to Shortlisted Authors, Joanne Drayton and Shayne Carter

The judges also highlighted Joanne Drayton’s project A Good Listener and Shayne Carter’s History of NZ Sport as strong, creative projects with wide appeal. The judges hope to see all three projects published in the future.

The 2020 Writers’ Award judging panelists were Rebecca Priestley, Finlay Macdonald and Becky Manawatu.

NZSA was proud to administer the grants and award this year. CLNZ and NZSA would like to thank all the writers who took the time to apply. New Zealand Society of Authors

(Photo credit: Matthew McKee)