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Bank of New Zealand Katherine Mansfield Awards

21 September 2004

Heavyweight trio judge Bank of New Zealand Katherine Mansfield Awards

Multi-award winning and best-selling writers Tessa Duder, Vincent O’Sullivan and Barbara Else are announced as the judging panel for this year’s Bank of New Zealand Katherine Mansfield Awards.

Established in 1959, the Bank of New Zealand Katherine Mansfield Awards aim to foster literature and help new and established New Zealand writers achieve recognition.

Bank of New Zealand General Manager for business development and strategy, Andrew Whitechurch says it is an honour to have such talented judges. “Tessa, Vincent and Barbara are some of this country’s top writers. To have judges of their calibre is a real privilege, particularly for those people who have entered the competition,” he says. The judges have read hundreds of stories, sent under pen names from all over the country.

Vincent O’Sullivan, the judge of this year’s Bank of New Zealand Katherine Mansfield supreme Award was a recipient of the same award in 1979. He says the standard of writing in many of the stories is exceptionally high.

“The final choice was between two of the best New Zealand stories I have read for some time,” he says.

The Katherine Mansfield supreme award carries a prize of $10,000.

Other past winners of this award include such notable authors as Maurice Shadbolt (1963,1967 and 1995), CK Stead (1961), Frank Sargeson (1965) and Keri Hulme (1975).

Tessa Duder says she was delighted to judge the novice category this year, because of the commitment and freshness that unknown writers bring to their work.

‘Among the final sixteen I’m sure there are writers, young and maybe not so young, who will one day be successful in getting published,’ she says. ‘It was hard singling out a winner from stories of very high quality.’

The novice category, open to entrants who have not previously had fiction published or broadcast for payment carries a prize of $1,500.

Barbara Else, who has been writing radio plays, short stories and novels for children and young adults since the early ‘8’s will judge the young writer’s category. Competition for this award is only open to secondary school students and carries a prize of $1,500 to the winner and $1,500 to the winner’s school. The winner’s school will also be provided with a New Zealand writer who will host a creative writing workshop at the school.

The Bank of New Zealand has sponsored and administered the awards since their inception; Sir Harold Beauchamp, Katherine Mansfield’s father was the first Bank of New Zealand Chairman of Directors, a position he held for seventeen years.

The award winners’ will be announced at a ceremony convened by veteran broadcaster Maggie Barry on Thursday 14 October at Premier House, Wellington.


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