New Zealand writers Norman Maclean and Gwendolyn Toynton were each awarded $10,000 for literary excellence at tonight’s Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust Unpublished Manuscript and Book Awards, at Auckland’s Hopetoun Alpha venue.
The awards, run in association with the New Zealand Society of Authors, are in their sixth year and recognise excellence in writing in the mind, body, spirit genre.
Trustee Adonia Wylie says the category is continuously growing and each year the awards receive more and more support from New Zealanders.
“This year we received almost 100 entries in the awards and many were of the highest calibre, which emphasises that being named a winner is a truly amazing achievement.”
Norman Maclean of Gisborne, won the $10,000 award in the Unpublished Manuscript category for his work entitled Jesus on our own Ground.
Mr Maclean’s winning piece looks at spirituality in the broadest sense, focusing on the majority of New Zealanders who have moved away from any form of organised or systematic religious observance. He approaches his work through an over-view of general Christian belief, regarding Christian origins as being firmly rooted in the mystical.
Gwendolyn Toynton of Christchurch won the $10,000 award in the Book category for her work Primordial Traditions Compendium 2009, which describes a system of spiritual thought and metaphysical truths.
Gwendolyn says her book features articles on Hinduism, Buddhism, Paganism, Tantra, Alchemy, Philosophy and the Occult. The Primordial Tradition attempts to establish common factors amongst the different traditions, with the goal of producing a superior level of wisdom.
This year’s awards were presented by Auckland Mayor Honourable John Banks and well known writer and journalist Steve Braunias.
Judges for the 2009 awards included owner of Pathfinder Bookshop Jennifer Eddington, New Zealand author Richard Webster, Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust trustee and published author Adonia Wylie and author and editor Stephen Stratford.
The Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust was set up following the death of Auckland businessman Ashton Wylie in 1999 with the mandate of having human relationships as its focus, and its main intent being to promote more loving relationships. The Trust’s Book and Unpublished Manuscript Awards were established in 2004, in association with the New Zealand Society of Authors, to encourage the expansion of the mind, body and spirit literature genre in New Zealand.