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Short story competition just got a little longer

26 April 2006

Country’s leading short story competition just got a little longer.

Writers now have greater scope to show their skill in the country’s leading short story competition.

The Bank of New Zealand Katherine Mansfield Writer’s awards have increased the word limit in the premier category from 3,000 to 5,000 words. The change, which is thought to make the Awards the only contest in the country to accept longer stories, carries a prize of $10,000.

Entries are being accepted from May 1, with writers having two months to submit their work.

Bank of New Zealand national sponsorship manager, Richard Allen, says the increase in word limit will appeal to experienced writers in particular.

‘The Katherine Mansfield Awards aim to foster literary talent in New Zealand - something Bank of New Zealand is proud to be part of. We hope that by increasing the word limit, writers’ skills will be extended, allowing for some exciting talent to emerge.’

In addition to the Premier Award, the competition has two other categories. The Novice category carries a prize of $1,500 and is open to entrants who have not previously had creative writing published or broadcast for payment. The Young Writers category is open to all secondary school students between 13 and under 19 years of age. It carries a prize of $1,500 for the winner and $1,500 for the school. Entries must be submitted under a pen-name, the only name that may appear on the manuscript.

Bank of New Zealand is proud to present a prestigious panel of judges for the Awards this year: Award-winning poet and writer, Kevin Ireland, will judge the Premier Award; teacher and well-known children’s author, Tania Roxborogh, will judge the Young Writers’ category and novelist and short story writer, Linda Burgess will judge the Novice category.

Last year saw the number of entries double in each category, and strong competition is anticipated again, Mr Allen says.

‘It is exciting to be part of a growing literary culture.’

The Bank is very pleased to be principal sponsor once again for the Katherine Mansfield Awards he adds.

Bank of New Zealand has been the sole sponsors of the Katherine Mansfield Awards since 1959. The Awards and the Bank’s relationship with the Beauchamp family have historical significance: Sir Harold Beauchamp, Mansfield’s father, was the first Chairman of the Bank of New Zealand - a position he held for 17 years.

Entries close on June 30 and the three winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in October.

Entrants can submit their stories on-line through www.bnz.co.nz or via entry forms available from any Bank of New Zealand branch after 1 May.

ENDS

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