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NZSA New Zealand Heritage Literary Awards 2020

By July 7, 2020No Comments

This is the 7th year that NZSA Canterbury has run the NZSA New Zealand Heritage Fiction awards.  The event is now firmly established on the New Zealand Literary calendar, and over the years we have had a number of superb winners including Fiona Farrell, Fiona Kidman and  Brian Turner   – last year’s major winners were Andrew Crowe for his very beautiful Pathway of the Birds [non-fiction: Bateman and the University of Hawaii] and Witi Ihimaera and Whiti Hereaka, who edited Pūrākau Māori Myths Retold:  [fiction:Penguin].  Over the years a number of new and promising writers have won the short prose and the poetry prizes.

This year we are offering two new categories: a children’s book and a book which can be bilingual or fully in Te Reo. They join the traditional categories of heritage novel and non-fiction, short prose and poetry.

All books linked to New Zealand’s heritage,  published between 1 July 2019 to 11 September 2020, are eligible to enter.  They can be self-published. At this stage we can not accept books that are only published digitally.

The competition opens on the 1st July and is for books published from 1st July 2019 and 11th September 2020, when the competition closes. All entries should have some relationship with the theme: Encountering our Stories – Arts, Culture and Identity.  This is the theme for Christchurch’s Heritage week of which this competition is a part.

This year we have a stellar line up of judges. Ockham Fiction Award Winner Becky Manawatu, will judge the short fiction entries. Her debut novel Auē  was praised by judges for its insight into the minds of children. Other Heritage Award judges include Māori language advocate Hana O’Regan, award winning poet and educator James Norcliffe, best selling novelist and short story writer Maxine Alterio, the  poet Teoti Jardin and well-known Nelson writers Hilary and John Mitchell.  They will judge the non-fiction books.

There is a small cost to enter. The entry fee of the books is $40, for the Te Reo and children’s book it is $20 and for the short prose and poetry $15.

Short lists will be announced on Monday 12 October 2020. Winners on Thursday 29 October, 7.30pm, at St Michael & all Angels, 95 – 99 Oxford Terrace Christchurch at the opening of WORD Festival 2020.

All books to be sent to: NZSA Canterbury   302 Lake Terrace Road, Shirley, Christchurch. Short fiction and poetry can be sent digitally copy to or posted to NZSA Canterbury at the above address.

Entry forms and the all  terms and conditions for entry can be downloaded from the NZSA website  or or emailed on request  from

Media interviews or further information please contact: Jenny Haworth or Kathleen Gallagher