NZSA Laura Solomon Cuba Press Prize 2024 – open for applications

Award for fresh writing with a ‘unique and original vision’

The NZSA Laura Solomon Cuba Press Prize celebrates the life and work of the writer Laura Solomon. As set by Laura, the main criteria for the exciting prize is for new writing with a ‘unique and original vision’. Published and unpublished writers are invited to enter with completed manuscripts written across all genres i.e. fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, drama or children’s writing.

The NZSA Laura Solomon Cuba Press Prize:

  • paves the way for new and exciting writing to make its way into the marketplace
  • awards the winner an ‘advance’ of $1000 and a publishing contract supplied by The Cuba Press
  • pays for the book production and printing. The Cuba Press will edit, design, print, market, distribute and promote the book and e-book and pay standard author royalties
  • An additional $1000 prize to the winner and runner-up for 2023, generously given by the Solomon family

The prize is open to writers holding New Zealand citizenship or who are permanent residents of New Zealand.

The prize is open to writers holding New Zealand citizenship or who are permanent residents of New Zealand.

Applications are open from 5 November 2023 to 15 March 2024

The application form and  terms & conditions for the NZSA Laura Solomon Cuba Press Prize are available on the NZSA website,

Previous winners of this prize are Lizzie Harwood (inaugural winner 2021 with Polaroid Nights), Rachel J Fenton (2022) and Lee Murray (2023).

History of the Prize

In July 2019, NZSA received a bequest from the estate of writer Laura Solomon to establish a new annual literary prize. The Solomon family wanted the NZSA Laura Solomon Cuba Press Prize to honour the creative legacy of a beloved daughter, sister and aunt.  

“Laura’s passion for writing was a constant through her life, and for many years she expressed a desire to make a bequest that would support other writers” says family spokesperson Nicky Solomon.

“She has created something positive to help other people, which she would be really proud of,” says Nicky. “It will give her an ongoing presence – not just for us as a family but for the writing community, which was so important to her.  We were so delighted with the outcome of the inaugural prize – we can’t wait to see what talent emerges this year.”

Laura Solomon was a longstanding and active member of the New Zealand Society of Authors Te Puni Kaituhi O Aotearoa (PEN NZ Inc), and she is much missed by the society.  Laura kept writing novels and plays throughout her life, despite being affected by a brain tumour that was discovered while she working at a high-end IT job in London.

In her review of Laura’s short story collection Alternative Medicine, Jessica Le Bas wrote: “The hallmark of Solomon … was to pull no punches and aim for the jugular when it came to working up the surreal, and the macabre.”

Right up until her death, Laura was planning new writing projects and pursuing her dream of being a full-time writer. In a 1996 interview, Laura said, “I’ve always written and I’ll continue to write. I wrote my name when I was three and never looked back.”

Media enquiries to Jenny Nagle, CEO NZSA Enquiries about applying to the prize: Claire Hill, Programmes + Operations Manager  Ph: 09 379 4801