Michael Gifkins Prize for an Unpublished Novel Longlist

The New Zealand Society of Authors Te Puni Kaituhi O Aotearoa PEN NZ Inc and Text Publishing are delighted to announce the longlist for the Michael Gifkins Prize for an Unpublished Novel 2020.

The longlisted writers are: Coral Atkinson, Whitney Cox, David Coyle, Juliana Feaver, Giovanna (Gigi Fenster), Robin Harding, Maria Joseph, Rudy Castaneda Lopez, Christopher Todd McMaster, Shani Naylor, Michelle Rahurahu Scott, Terri Sinclair, Florence Whalley and AJ Woolf.

83 applications were received for this prize and Judges Lee Murray and Paddy Richardson commented: “It was a pleasure to be asked to judge the Gifkins Prize for a second year and to enjoy a sneak preview of the range and talent of our New Zealand creatives. Once again, the type of work received was rich and varied and included a prose-poem, novellas, books that form part of series, innovative story structures, and several collaborations.

The authors were established writers as well as numerous first-time novelists of all ages and backgrounds. The range of genres was also broad and included historical fiction, fantasy, YA, crime thrillers, literary fiction, and comedy-noir. The judges were particularly encouraged to see an upsurge in the number of speculative projects submitted, perhaps a reflection of the turbulent times we live in. Many of the manuscripts included New Zealand settings, language, and flavour, which was especially pleasing. The quality of the manuscripts was, quite simply, extraordinary.’

The release of these results has been delayed due to the global Covid-19 pandemic with the announcement of this year’s winner now delayed till September 2020 when NZSA and Text Publishing plan to be able to celebrate the announcement along with the launch of the previous winner, Tom Remiger’s new book Soldiers. The final shortlist will be announced soon.

Here is a link to our media release about the delay.

The Gifkins Prize is made possible by a generous financial commitment from the Gifkins family and from Text Publishing. It is administered by the NZ Society of Authors te Puni Kaituhi o Aotearoa. It will run for a total of four years, with the final year being 2022. The opening date for the 2021 prize will be announced later this year.

About the Judges

Lee Murray is a three-time Bram Stoker Award-nominee and multi-award-winning writer and editor (Sir Julius Vogel, Australian Shadows). Author of the Taine McKenna military horror series and several novels for children, she is also co-author of the Path of Ra supernatural crime-noir series (with Dan Rabarts), and the editor of thirteen anthologies of dark fiction. Lee lives with her family in New Zealand where she conjures up stories for readers of all ages from her office overlooking a cow paddock. Read more at https://www.leemurray.info/ She tweets @leemurraywriter

Paddy Richardson is the author of two collections of short stories, Choices and If We Were Lebanese and seven novels, The Company of a Daughter, A Year to Learn a Woman, Hunting Blind, Traces of Red, Cross Fingers, Swimming in the Dark and  Through the Lonesome Dark. Traces of Red and Cross Fingers were long-listed for the Ngaio Marsh Award and Hunting Blind and Swimming in the Dark were short-listed. Four of her novels have been published overseas and Through the Lonesome Dark was shortlisted for the New Zealand Historical Novel Award and longlisted for The Dublin International Literature Award. Paddy has been awarded four Creative New Zealand Awards, the University of Otago Burns Fellowship, the Beatson Fellowship, the James Wallace Arts Trust Residency Award and the Randell Cottage Residency. She is an experienced teacher of creative writing, has been a speaker at many writing festivals, is a mentor for the NZSA Creative Writing Programmes and has judged many awards. She lives in Broad Bay on the Otago  Peninsula where she swims, gardens, walks and writes.