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BNZ Katherine Mansfield Awards winners announced

Thursday, 14 October 2004

Bank of New Zealand Katherine Mansfield Awards winners announced

Three young New Zealanders – Tracey Slaughter, Andrea Ewing, and Natasha Lewis - have been honoured in the 2004 Bank of New Zealand Katherine Mansfield Awards announced tonight at Premier House in Wellington.

All three winners will receive cash prizes from the sponsor, Bank of New Zealand.

The Bank of New Zealand Katherine Mansfield Awards, which were established in 1959, aim to foster literature and help new and established New Zealand writers achieve recognition. Past winners include the late Maurice Shadbolt (1963,1967, and 1995), C K Stead (1961), Vincent O’Sullivan (1979), and Keri Hulme (1975).

Bank of New Zealand general manager for business development and strategy, Andrew Whitechurch, says the Bank of New Zealand Katherine Mansfield Awards are a stepping stone to bigger and brighter things.

“Congratulations to Tracey, Andrea, and Natasha on their outstanding stories. All three have competed against hundreds of other writers to win these awards, and they have proven they have the gift of writing. I wish them every success in their future writing endeavours,” Mr Whitechurch said.

Tracey Slaughter, aged 32, has won the overall 2004 Bank of New Zealand Katherine Mansfield Award for her story, Wheat. Tracey is a relative newcomer in the literary field and would almost certainly have competed against well-known authors for the $10,000 prize.

The judge for this award, Vincent O’Sullivan, says: “Tracey’s story was one of the best I have read for a long time, the story’s structure and its sensitivity in particular. I hope we’ll hear a great deal more from her.”

In 2001 Tracey Slaughter’s short story, Her First, won the Bank of New Zealand Katherine Mansfield Novice Writer’s Award, and in 2002 her poetry won the Aoraki Festival Poetry Award. Her writing has been published in Poetry NZ, Landfall, JAAM, Takahe, Trout, and Bravado. Tracey studied at the University of Auckland where she wrote her Ph.D thesis on women’s autobiography in New Zealand.

She currently teaches in the English department of the University of Auckland. Tracey lives in Thames with her partner and two young children.

Andrea Ewing, aged 23, has won the 2004 Bank of New Zealand Katherine Mansfield Novice Writer’s Award for her story The Eleventh Hour. The novice category carries a prize of $1,500 and is open to entrants who have not previously had fiction published or broadcast for payment.

The category judge, Tessa Duder, says of Andrea’s story: “This story for me was the work of an already accomplished writer, who understands the short story form and trusts the power of language.”

Andrea Ewing grew up in Christchurch and studied law and English at the University of Canterbury. She moved to Wellington this year to take up a judges’ clerkship at the High Court. This is Andrea’s first literary award.

Natasha Lewis, aged 17, has won the Bank of New Zealand Katherine Mansfield Young Writer’s Award for her story The Unsaid Things. No stranger to life in the public eye, Natasha migrated to New Zealand from India with her family nine years ago. She has previously won a New Zealand speech and drama scholarship and gained honours in the New Zealand Speech Board Diploma in Public Speaking.

The Epsom Girls’ Grammar student wins $1,500, as does her school.

Barbara Else, judge for this category, says of Natasha’s story: “This is a very impressive story. It has the sophistication, structure, and unsentimental use of language of an outstanding writer – congratulations!”

The judges selected the winners from hundreds of entries, sent under pen names from all over the country.

Bank of New Zealand has sponsored and administered the awards since they were established in 1959. Katherine Mansfield’s father, Sir Harold Beauchamp, was a director of Bank of New Zealand, a position he held for 38 years. He was also the chairman of the board for 17 years.

ENDS

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