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2020 Michael Gifkins Prize for an Unpublished Novel

Text Publishing and the New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc) are pleased to announce that submissions for the 2020 Michael Gifkins Prize for an Unpublished Novel are now open.


The prize is open to writers holding New Zealand citizenship or who are permanent residents of New Zealand, and, thanks to a generous financial commitment from the late Michael Gifkins’ family, the winner will receive a publishing contract for world rights from Text, and an advance of NZ$10,000.


Submissions to the 2020 prize will close at midnight NZST on Thursday 31 October 2019. The shortlist will be announced in April 2020 and the winner in May 2020. The prize will be administered by the New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc). Entry forms and terms and conditions can be found on their website.

The 2019 winner, judged by Patricia Grace, Geoff Walker and Text Publishing, was Tom Remiger for his novel Soldiers. The award was received on behalf of Tom at a party, held during Auckland Writers Festival week, to celebrate the launch of the inaugural prize-winning debut novel by Ruby Porter, Attraction. Text will publish Soldiers in May 2020.

Michael Gifkins (1945–2014)
Born in Wellington, Michael Gifkins was educated at the University of Auckland, where he also later taught English Literature. As a literary agent he represented a number of leading writers, including Lloyd Jones and Greg McGee. He was also a literary critic, a publishing consultant, an anthologist and a highly esteemed editor, whose sympathetic hand and brilliant eye influenced many prominent New Zealand authors. Michael Gifkins was a fine writer. He wrote three short-story collections: After the Revolution, Summer Is the Côte d’Azur and The Amphibians. He was the Writer in Residence at the University of Auckland in 1983, the Katherine Mansfield Memorial Fellow in Menton, France, in 1985, and a member of the New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc) from 1982 to 2014.


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