2019 Writers’ Award – Application Guide and Criteria

A $25,000 award to a New Zealand writer, the 2019 Writers’ Award is proudly brought to you by the New Zealand Society of Authors (NZSA) and Copyright Licensing New Zealand (CLNZ).

The award was established to provide financial support for writers wishing to devote time to a specific project and to cover reasonable research expenses relating to it. In a broad range of non-fiction genre, specifically including education works, it is the clear intention of the Writers’ Award that a book will be published as a result of winning the award.

Submissions for entries must be made online and are open from 2 August 2019 until 6 September. The winner is announced in the final quarter of 2019 and will be publicized widely through CLNZ and NZSA media channels.

Section 1. How to enter

  1. All applicants must read, understand and accept the information, terms and conditions within the 2019 Writers’ Award Application Guide and Criteria document. Applicants are encouraged to print or download this document and to refer back to it throughout the application process.
  2. The application process can take some time to work through. Applicants will have an opportunity to save their work and come back to it. Before starting your application, please read Section 2 of this document to learn what information will be required, and ensure all supporting documentation required to be uploaded is in pdf format. Please also take note of the word and page limits when submitting and uploading information.
  3. Before submitting their application, applicants will have an opportunity to review and edit their application. Once submitted, the application cannot be edited further. A copy of the application will be sent to the email address supplied.
  4. A $25 application fee is required to confirm your application.

Section 2. What information will you need to provide?


Applicants will be asked to provide the following:


Applicant details:
– Full name
– Postal address
– Email address
– Phone number
– Responses to some general YES/NO questions

Project details:
– Title of project
– Summary of project (300 word limit)
– Genre of project
– Research and consultation process (300 word limit)
– Will this project add to already published work on this subject or genre? (300 word limit)
– Do you intend to apply, have you already applied, or have you received any other grants/awards in connection with this project? (if yes, you will be required to supply further details)
– Outline of the project plan broken into four stages across a 12-month period. Describe what you will be doing during each stage (300 word limit per quarter)
– Estimated publishing date
– Proposed % breakdown of what the award amount will be used for (ie. living expenses, research, travel etc).
– Do you intend to work on this project full time or part time?

Supporting documentation:
Applicants will be required to upload supporting documentation during the application process. These documents must be in pdf format and not exceed the page limits stated.
– Sample of writing – from proposed work or from an alternative work in the same genre (5-10 pages maximum)
– Curriculum Vitae – to include a summary of your achievements as a writer, and list main published works (maximum 3 pages)
– Expressions of interest – this could be letters or emails received from publishers. (maximum 3 pages)

TIP: It may be useful to have answers written in a separate word document that can be copied and pasted to the online form so that you have time to edit thoughtful answers. 

Section 3. Acceptance of grant

If successful, applicants acknowledge and agree to the following:

  1. The award will be used for the purpose/project for which it was awarded.
  2. Recipient will participate in any media exposure reasonably requested by NZSA and provide a photograph for publicity purposes.
    Acknowledgement will be made in the resulting publication(s) produced by the recipient and a complimentary copy provided to NZSA. Specific reference: Recipient of a 2019 Writers’ Award from New Zealand Society of Authors and Copyright Licensing New Zealand.
  3. In the week of the announcement of the Writers’ Award, the recipient will be paid $25,000 (by direct credit to a nominated bank account). The nominal period for the Writers’ Award is January to December in the year following the award being made. Any variation to this timeframe will need to be agreed, in advance, with NZSA.
  4. Following the completion of each project stage as outlined in the application, the recipient will provide NZSA with a short report detailing the work that has been completed.
  5. In addition to these reports, at the completion of the third stage of work, a letter from a publisher confirming a contract to publish the work will be provided to NZSA. This letter will disclose a delivery date for a final draft and a projected date of publication. In the absence of a publisher’s letter, the recipient will notify NZSA as soon as a date of publication is known in order that NZSA may be involved in pre-launch publicity. These reports can be emailed to NZSA.
  6. Recipient acknowledges that NZSA reserves the right to modify or withhold any payments to be made under this award or to require a refund of all or part of the award funds, if it, in NZSA’s sole discretion, deems that:
    -The recipient has not fully complied with the conditions of this award;
    -The recipient’s actions, whether intentional or accidental, have or may, bring NZSA and/or the Writers’ Award into disrepute.
  7. Any taxes (including any income tax, GST and any others) that may be due in relation to receipt of the Writers’ Award is the responsibility of the recipient.

Section 4. Eligibility and conditions of entry

The applicant is solely responsible for ensuring that their entry meets the eligibility and conditions of entry outlined here. Any queries regarding eligibility including interpretation of eligibility, conditions of entry and selection criteria should be directed to NZSA by email.

  1. Applicant must be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident and be writers of proven merit.
  2. To qualify, the work must be non-fiction, including education works. The resulting work should be likely to be accepted by a publisher for publication.
  3. Applications may be made by joint authors, however one author must be named as the Lead Author and be the “Applicant” for the purposes of the award and who will also be the award recipient. CLNZ and NZSA will not be involved in, nor responsible for, any agreements, negotiations or disputes between joint authors.
  4. The recipient of the award is expected to accept the award and introduce their project at a formal presentation event (after XXX date – details to be confirmed). Travel costs for the recipient, if any, will be paid for and arranged by NZSA/CLNZ. During the time between the successful applicant being notified of their success and being presented with the award, it is expected that strict confidentiality will be maintained.
  5. The period of the award is nominally from January to December of the year following the announcement of the award and payment will be made as one lump sum in the week following the announcement.
  6. Applications for projects of national or significant local interest or which add significantly to the field or genre on the subject will be favoured by the selection panel.
  7. Submissions for entries must be made online and are open from 2 August until 6 September. Once your entry has been submitted, you will receive confirmation to the email address supplied.
  8. The selection panel’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Any attempt to contact members of the selection panel will render the application ineligible.


The winner is announced before the end of the year and will be publicized widely through CLNZ and NZSA media channels.

HAVE YOU READ THIS GUIDE CLOSELY? RETAINED A COPY TO REFER TO WHILE COMPLETING THE PROCESS? GREAT! CLICK HERE TO BEGIN YOUR APPLICATION FROM 2 AUGUST.