CLNZ / NZSA Writers’ Award 2020

Applications Open Early to Support Writers


  • $25,000 award to a New Zealand writer
  • one of the highest non-fiction prizes in New Zealand literature
  • presented by the New Zealand Society of Authors (NZSA) and Copyright Licensing New Zealand (CLNZ)
  • brought forward by three months to support NZ writers

CLNZ and NZSA have brought forward the application process for the 2020 Writers’ Award as a response to falling incomes and lost funding opportunities during the covid-19 lockdown. The award, which is usually presented in the last quarter of the year, is one of the highest non-fiction prizes in New Zealand literature and will provide financial support and stability to a writer for their non-fiction project.

2019 winner of the Writers’ Award, Rebecca Macfie, said winning the award helped and supported many areas of her writing life.

“Winning the Writers’ Award last year was a huge honour, and I am enormously grateful to the NZSA and CLNZ. Financially, it was a great help, as my biography of Helen Kelly is an all-consuming project so I haven’t generally attempted to supplement my income through freelance writing. But even more importantly, it really helped stiffen my resolve and lift my morale.”

Want to enter?

First: Read the CLNZ / NZSA Writers’ Award Guidelines

Then: fill in the 2020 application form

The CLNZ/NZSA Writers’ Award is made possible through CLNZ’s Cultural Fund. The Cultural Fund’s objectives are to:

Protect – writers and publishers’ ability to earn revenue from their works
Support – the creation and production of new works and assist the commercial success of New Zealand works
Grow – the number of works created and skills in the industry

We encourage non-fiction writers to consider applying for this award.  Applications for the full range of non-fiction genre are welcome.  Applicants must be New Zealand citizens or permanent residents and writers of proven merit.

Applications must be completed online by 4pm on Friday 29 May 2020.