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Massive response to Katherine Mansfield Award

6 July 2005
Media release – for immediate release

Massive response to Katherine Mansfield Writer’s Award

Competition for the Bank of New Zealand Katherine Mansfield Writer’s Awards just got a whole lot keener.

More than 660 entries for the Novice category - well over double the number of last year’s entries - were received by the Bank. Secondary school students competing for the Young Writer’s award are also up against more than twice as many of their peers around the country, compared to 2004. More than 500 entries for the Premier category were received, an increase of 33 percent on last year.

Novice category judge, Norman Bilbrough, says the boom in creative writing courses is a major influencing factor. ‘The accessibility of these courses has meant women in particular are trying writing for themselves,’ says Mr Bilbrough who is also a creative writing teacher.

The Novice category is only open to entrants who have not previously had creative writing broadcast or published for payment.

Bank of New Zealand Sponsorship Manager, Richard Allen says the growth in the number of entries has been a pleasant surprise.

‘We processed a massive amount of entries in the last three days before closing date of 30 June.’

Mr Allen says he is particularly pleased with the increased level in participation from secondary schools.

‘The Awards are all about fostering new writing talent, so it was important to make sure students from as many schools as possible took part in the competition – which they did.’

The Bank piloted a direct mail campaign to 50 schools this year which outlined the benefits of entering for the award to teacher, school and student. To assist schools, a number of writer’s tips and teacher notes were posted onto the Bank’s website.

Marilyn Duckworth – Premier category judge, Norman Bilbrough – Novice category judge and Joy Cowley – Young Writer’s category judge, will now read the stories and select one winner each.

The Premier Award carries a prize of $10,000.

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

The winners will be announced at an Awards ceremony to be held on 13 October at the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts in Wellington.


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