NZSA Lilian Ida Smith Award 2020 Guidelines

The quadrennial Lilian Ida Smith Award provides the successful applicant with an award of $3000 to assist them towards completion of a specific project.

The Lilian Ida Smith Award was initiated when Lilian Ida Smith, a music teacher of Whanganui who had a keen interest in the arts, left part of her legacy to the NZ Society of Authors to ‘assist people aged 35yrs and over to embark upon or further a literary career’.

The first award was made in 1986. The money for the award is obtained by accumulating interest on the capital of the bequest. The last award was made in 2017. The award is only open to financial members of the NZ Society of Authors who are aged 35 years or over.

Applicants for this award need to submit PDF copies of these documents via our online form:

  • A copy of their writing CV
  • A project outline, and a statement about how the award would be used.
  • An extract from the work-in-progress or a sample of previous work (up to 10 A4, single-sided, pages). Format should be 12pt, 2.0 spacing, wide margins both sides.
  • Proof of age (such as a scan of driver’s license or passport.

Terms & Conditions

  1. The award is open to writers of non-fiction, fiction, poetry, comic / graphic novels and drama for adults and children who are over 35 years of age and members of the NZ Society of Authors (NZSA).
  2. Applicants are expected to be either in the early stages of their writing career, or someone whose opportunities to fulfil their potential have been limited.
  3. It is not the purpose of this award to assist a writer who has already established his or her reputation, as acknowledged by literary awards and/or a substantial history of publication. Applicants who have established a reputation in one genre but are applying under another are not eligible.
  4. The fellowship may not be held concurrently with another literary grant. If at the time of selection, the successful applicant has been awarded one, the Lilian Ida Smith Award will go to the next on the shortlist.
  5. Applications will be judged by a selection panel appointed by the NZSA executive. The panel’s decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  6. The award will be made on the basis of applicant’s project outline and submitted work-in-progress or sample of previous work.
  7. The recipient agrees for the use of their name, project details and brief writing excerpt (to be approved by the recipient) in the promotion of this award.
  8. Previous winners are not permitted to apply.
  9. There is a $25 application fee to cover administration costs.
  10. The Lilian Ida Smith Award should be acknowledged in any publication it has helped to foster.
  11. The recipient is required to provide NZSA with a report on how the grant was used within a year of receiving the award.
  12. The closing date for applications is midnight, 31 October 2020. Results will be announced in December.

Selection panel criteria

The winner will be the applicant whose project would, in the opinion of the selection panel, most significantly enhance the literary standing of the applicant and make the most significant contribution to New Zealand writing. Other criteria include:

  • Excellence in writing and literary merit including: use of language, interpretation of theme, and style of writing.
  • To what extent the recipient would benefit from the award.
  • Innovation, originality and vision of the project, as well as its commercial viability, and the likelihood of the project being completed and/or published.
  • How the grant will be used.
  • The selection panel may take into consideration other factors they deem to be appropriate.

Entry Information

  • Entries open 7 August 2020.
  • Valid entries must be received by midnight on 31 October 2020.
  • An application fee of $25 must be paid by 31 October 2020. Please make cheques payable to the NZ Society of Authors. Internet banking: BNZ account 02 0112 0045385 00. Please put your name and “Lilian Ida” in the reference.

For inquiries: contact Claire Hill, Programmes + Operations Manager: