Entries open for 53rd BNZ Literary Awards

Tuesday 1 May 2012, 4:47PM

BNZ is calling for New Zealand’s best and brightest writers with the BNZ Literary Awards returning for the 53rd year.

This year sees the return of 2011’s Short Short story category, a 100-150 word competition that is run entirely on Facebook whereby entries are submitted through a purpose-built app on BNZ’s Facebook page.

Andy Symons, BNZ Director – Retail says, “The Literary Awards are a celebration of New Zealand’s creativity that always sees an extremely high calibre of entries across the range of categories, including the exciting Short Short story competition.”

Aspiring writers can enter the following categories:
•        BNZ Katherine Mansfield category, for published writers who can win $10,000
•        BNZ Novice Writer category, for unpublished writers, with a prize of $1,500
•        BNZ Young Writer category, for writers at high-school, with a prize of $1,500 for the student and $2,000 for their school
•        BNZ Short Short story category, open to all entrants, with a prize of $500

“BNZ has a long and proud association with Katherine Mansfield. Sir Harold Beauchamp, Katherine Mansfield’s father, was the bank’s first Chairman of Directors. These awards give Kiwis a reminder of one of New Zealand’s preeminent writers, and demonstrate the level of creative talent, both realised and untapped, that is in this country,” he says.

The judges for this year’s competition include Elizabeth Smither who will be judging the BNZ Katherine Mansfield award, Laurence Fearnley judging the BNZ Novice Writer category, Eleanor Catton judging the BNZ Young Writers category, and Graham Beattie returning as judge of the BNZ Short Short story competition.

Judge of the Katherine Mansfield award Elizabeth Smither says, “I love short stories because they are so suited to the way we live. I wish it was a law that we should read one every day. ‘Something glimpsed from the corner of an eye, in passing’, V S Pritchett called them and it is out of those glimpses that we build a knowledge of ourselves and others and what it is to be alive.

“It’s a great privilege to judge the Bank of New Zealand Katherine Mansfield award. I’m not looking for anything that fills a prescription. Just a story that tells me something profound that I can hang on to and treasure,” she says.

Entries are open from today, May 1 2012, and close June 30 2012. Applicants can enter the three main categories via BNZ’s website, Entries for the Short Short story can do so via the bank’s Facebook page,

The winners will be announced later this year in September in an awards ceremony in Wellington.