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Writers Sought for Mind, Body, Spirit Genre Awards

For immediate release: 18 February 2008

New Zealand Writers Sought for Mind, Body, Spirit Genre Awards

-Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust Unpublished Manuscript and Book Awards 2008-

New Zealand writers with a passion for the mind, body spirit genre have the chance to enter their work in the annual Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust literature awards for 2008.

The Trust, in association with the New Zealand Society of Authors (NZSA), offers two national awards that aim to recognise excellence in writing and authorship.

A single award of $10,000, one of the largest prizes awarded for literature in New Zealand, will be given to the winner of the Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust Unpublished Manuscript, and another single award of $10,000 will be awarded to the winner of the Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust Book Award.

Now in its fifth year, the Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust is extremely pleased with the increasing number of quality works entered since its inception, this reflects the rapidly expanding interest in this genre in New Zealand.

“The quality and variety of entries last year was a true testament to this. It’s always a privilege being on the judging panel, enjoying such high calibre entries that encompass such a wide range of beliefs. I am certainly looking forward to another successful year,” says Ms Wylie.

Last year the judges received 58 entries in the manuscript category and 35 entries in the book category.

Christchurch author Brian Broom won the published book award category for his work MEANING-full DISEASE: How personal experience and meanings cause and maintain physical illness.

Mr Broom says it was great to win the award and have his work recognised. “There is real satisfaction in having work recognised in New Zealand, and the publicity has helped draw attention to the very serious mind-body issues that are poorly dealt with in the New Zealand healthcare system.”

Mr Broom plans to use his prize money to purchase a piece of ‘meaning-full’ art as a special memento of this time in his life.

Auckland writer Keith Hill won the Unpublished Manuscript Award for his work entitled Striving to be Human: How Can We Act Morally in Today’s Complex World?

Mr Hill says winning the prize last year was a great encouragement. “It was a valued endorsement of my work, given that the judges were experienced and highly regarded industry players, and that so many manuscripts were submitted.”

Mr Hill is currently in the process of submitting the manuscript to international publishers and is using last year’s prize money to buy him time to work on his next book, God: A Seeker’s Guide.

Tina Shaw, Programme Manager, The New Zealand Society of Authors, says that as well as rewarding excellence in writing and authorship, the awards support and encourage writers to further their careers whilst promoting growth in mind, body, spirit literature.

Judges for the awards include Jennifer Eddington, Stephen Stratford, New Zealand author Richard Webster, and Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust trustee Adonia Wylie.

To be eligible for the awards, authors must be New Zealand citizens residing here. Unpublished manuscripts must be submitted by 31 March 2008, and be between 20,000 and 100,000 words in length. Published books must be submitted by 31 May 2008, should be 48 pages or longer, and must have been published between 1 April 2007 and 31 March 2008.

The awards will be presented at a ceremony at the Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust’s own venue, Hopetoun Alpha in Auckland in August.

Submission forms and entry details are available from The New Zealand Society of Authors national office programmes@nzauthors.org.nz or via post, PO Box 67-013, Mt Eden, Auckland 1349.

ENDS


NOTES:

ABOUT THE ASHTON WYLIE CHARITABLE TRUST

The late Auckland businessman Ashton Wylie was a philanthropist with a wide range of interests particularly in the area of personal development and positive relationships. The Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust was set up at Ashton's request and was named after him.

Ashton Wylie believed that if one wanted to change the world, one had to first change oneself. Changes are then made by example as ultimately, one can change for the better others that reside within one’s sphere of influence.

The Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust was set up following Ashton Wylie’s death in 1999 with the mandate of having human relationships as its focus, and its main intent being to promote more loving relationships.

As well as promoting up-and-coming New Zealand writers, the purpose of the two Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust awards is to reward excellence in writing that encompasses a wide range of beliefs, and has the power to enlighten, amuse and educate the reader, while having a profound impact on the reader’s spiritual thoughts and opinions.

For further information visit: www.hopetounalpha.co.nz.


JUDGING PANEL

Richard Webster is a fulltime author based in Auckland. He has written 93 books, mainly on new age topics. They have been translated into 22 languages and have sold more than 5,000,000 copies around the world. His most recent book is "The Encyclopedia of Superstitions" (Llewellyn Publications, 2008). Richard has been part of the judging panel every year since the Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust Awards began in 2004.

Adonia Wylie is a trustee of the Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust. As both a Trust member and Ashton Wylie’s widow she has a clear idea of the beliefs and aims that drive the Trust. For the whole of her life, Adonia has been on a conscious spiritual evolutionary path. Her reading ranges from in depth studies of the world's religions, quantum physics, health and spiritual healing and including many so called ‘new age’ works. Adonia has been on the judging panel for the Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust Awards since 2004.

Stephen Stratford, book editor, publishing consultant and author of over a dozen books, is a former chief judge of the Montana New Zealand Book Awards and a trustee of the Frank Sargeson Trust. This is the third time that Stephen has been on the panel of judges for the Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust Awards.

Jennifer Eddington literally grew up with manuscripts and books. Her father was an editor and publisher in Scotland, Singapore and Canada. Twenty five years ago she and her husband, Tim Eddington, established Pathfinder Bookshop, New Zealand’s pre-eminent specialist retailer of books for the mind, body and spirit. As chief buyer she assesses literally thousands of new titles each year. This is the second year that Jennifer has been involved in the Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust Book Awards.


THE NEW ZEALAND SOCIETY OF AUTHORS

The New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc) is the principal representative for the professional interests of authors in New Zealand. It began as the NZ PEN Centre in 1934 in Wellington. From 1934 onwards the organisation campaigned for a public lending right, and in 1973 the Authors' Fund was established. In 1975 PEN initiated the NZ Writers' Guild to represent writers in their dealings with broadcasting and professional theatres.

The NZSA runs a range of programmes, which encourage emerging writers, and actively represents writers’ interests on a number of fronts with publishers and others.

The Society's major goals are the full representation and support of writers; an ongoing interest in writers being rewarded and recognised for their professional work; the protecting of freedom of expression and cultural diversity celebrated through literature.

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