NEWS RELEASE: Thursday 27 January 2011
High-profile, award-winning judges selected for prestigious New Zealand Post Book Awards 2011
The five members of this year’s judging panel, charged with identifying the country’s best books published in 2010, bring with them wide-ranging talents and celebrated literary nous.
Judging panel convenor and Te Reo Māori Advisor,Paul Diamond, a past judge of the New Zealand Post Book Awards, is a broadcaster, writer and historian. He is joined by writer, educationalist and broadcaster, Charmaine Pountney; former mayor, ad man, environmentalist and lobbyist,Bob Harvey QSO; award-winningauthor and broadcaster,Emily Perkins; and acclaimed poet and editor,Michael Harlow.
Booksellers NZ Chief Executive Officer, Lincoln Gould, is thrilled with the eclectic and wide-ranging talents of the judges appointed to select the best of New Zealand fiction, poetry and non-fiction published in 2010.
“The judges were selected by the Awards Management Committee, for the rich scope and diversity of their skills, which they will bring to bear on the judging process. Their differing work and life experiences encapsulate knowledge in a wide variety of subject areas, and their collective decades of reading covers off some extraordinary literary terrain. I expect their differing perspectives will lead to some robust debate as they make their selections.”
Convenor Paul Diamond says the New Zealand Post Book Awards promote excellence in, and provide recognition for, the best books published annually in New Zealand. “It’s an opportunity to celebrate the stunning books published in this country and all the elements that make a book—text of course, but also things like design and illustrations.
“Being part of the judging team for last year’s awards was a wonderful experience – I learned a lot from my fellow judges. It’s an honour to be convening this year’s panel, and I’m looking forward to working with and learning from another stellar team.”
The four categories in the New Zealand Post Book Awards are: Poetry, Fiction, Illustrated Non-fiction and General Non-fiction. There will be 16 finalist books in total (three finalists in the Fiction and Poetry categories and five in the Illustrated Non-fiction and General Non-fiction categories).
The overall New Zealand Post Book of the Year Award winner will receive $15,000. Winners of the four Category Awards will each receive $10,000; the Māori Language Award $10,000; the People’s Choice Award $5,000; and the winners of the three New Zealand Society of Authors (NZSA) Best First Book Awards will receive $2,500.
The judges will read more than 150 submitted books published in 2010 before selecting the finalists and ultimately, the winners.
The New Zealand Post Book Awards 2011 finalists will be announced on Wednesday 1 June 2011.On that day, winners of the Māori Language Award and three NZSA Best First Book Awards for Fiction, Poetry and Non-fiction will also be announced.
The winners will be announced at an Awards Ceremony to be held in Wellington on Wednesday 27 July 2011.
New Zealand Post Group’s sponsorship of the New Zealand Book Awards is symbolic of their strong and active support of the country’s literature. It forms part of a wider portfolio of partnerships aimed at supporting New Zealanders, and the growth of New Zealand, by lifting levels of literacy and education. As sponsor of the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards for 15 years, their sponsorship highlights the company’s commitment to promoting literary excellence. Working closely with Booksellers NZ, New Zealand Post and other dedicated segments of the community, their mandate is to actively encourage New Zealanders to read and enjoy books.
The New Zealand Post Book Awards 2011 are also funded by Creative New Zealand. The Awards are managed by Booksellers NZ and supported by the New Zealand Society of Authors and Book Tokens (NZ) Ltd