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Creative New Zealand calls for nominations

Creative New Zealand calls for nominations for 2004 Prime Minister's Awards
for Literary Achievement

Readers, writers, organisations and the New Zealand public are invited to nominate their choice of outstanding New Zealand writer in the genres of poetry, fiction and non-fiction for the 2004 Prime Minister's Awards for Literary Achievement administered by Creative New Zealand.

Aimed at New Zealand writers who have made a significant contribution to New Zealand literature, the annual Prime Minister's Awards for Literary Achievement offer three awards - poetry, fiction, non-fiction - each worth $60,000.

The inaugural Prime Minister's Awards for Literary Achievement were presented last year to Janet Frame for fiction, Hone Tuwhare for poetry and Michael King for non fiction.

Presenting the 2003 Awards in the Grand Hall of Parliament last October, Prime Minister Helen Clark said that, "Our writers have a key role to play in the way in which we develop our identity. Their gifts define and enrich our country, and its heritage and culture." Of the inaugural winners she said, "Their works reflect to their readers, wherever they may be, something of what it means to be a New Zealander."

Fiction includes the categories of novel, short story, play, children's fiction and scriptwriting. For non-fiction, there is no restriction in the subject matter and the literary quality of work is the main determinant.

The Prime Minister's Awards for Literary Achievement are the result of additional funding to the literary sector announced by the Government in May 2002.

Peter Biggs, Chair of Creative New Zealand, says that New Zealanders are renowned for their love of books and reading.

"These awards are a chance for people to put forward the names of outstanding New Zealand poets, fiction writers and non-fiction writers whose words and works have touched their lives," he says. "For the recipients, the awards will provide recognition of their tremendous contribution to New Zealand's literary canon."

The nominated writers must be New Zealanders by birth or registration and should have written a body of work that has received nationwide acclaim.

Nominations close at 5pm, Friday 28 May 2004. They will be assessed by an expert literary panel and its recommendations will be forwarded to the Council of Creative New Zealand for approval. The Awards will be announced in late 2004.

Nomination forms are available from any of Creative New Zealand's offices (Auckland Tel: 09-373 3066, Christchurch Tel: 03-366 2072, Wellington Tel: 04-473 0880).

>From Wednesday 24 March, you can also download the nomination forms from the Resources section of Creative New Zealand's website (www.creativenz.govt.nz ). Alternatively, you can contact Danielle Tolson at Creative New Zealand (Tel: 04-473 0184 Email: daniellet@creativenz.govt.nz ) for more information.

ENDS

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