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Margaret Mahy to Announce Schools Poetry Winner

Margaret Mahy to announce winner of Bell Gully National Schools Poetry Award

Famed children’s writer Margaret Mahy will present this year’s Bell Gully National Schools Poetry Award, to be announced at Victoria University in August 2004.

Any student in Year 12 and 13 enrolled at a New Zealand secondary school is encouraged to submit a poem. Glenn Colquhoun, recent winner of the International Institute of Modern Letter’s (IIML) Prize in Modern Letters, will judge the competition.

The winner will receive a $500 cash prize; a $500 book grant for their school’s library; a year’s membership to the New Zealand Book Council; and subscriptions to leading literary journals Landfall and Sport. Entries for the award close on 18 June 2004.

“A good poem celebrates the possibilities inherent in words, explores the mysteries and paradoxes of language, and as it does this, connects us to the world with a wonderful and almost mathematical certainty,” says Margaret.

“We need young writers to explore and re-explore the world for us, to enlighten us with their imagery and with their jokes too. This poetry award certainly provides them with the encouragement of recognition and I look forward to reading the prize winning poems.”

Notes

About the Bell Gully National Schools Poetry Award This is the second year that the IIML and law firm Bell Gully have joined forces to stage the award, with the support of existing sponsors, the New Zealand Book Council and Book Tokens (NZ) Ltd, and new sponsors Landfall and Sport, to help with the search for emerging talent.The winning poet will be announced at a reception in Wellington in August during the Bell Gully Schools Writing Festival 2004 – a chance for young writers to work with the country’s leading writers, poets and screenwriters. Entry forms have been sent to all secondary schools and are also available upon request from fiona.wright@vuw.ac.nz.

About Margaret Mahy Described as the most acclaimed of New Zealand’s children’s writers, Margaret Mahy’s work has been translated into 15 languages. She has won numerous awards, both in New Zealand and internationally, and has held writing fellowships in New Zealand and Australia. In 1993, she was awarded the Order of New Zealand and an honorary doctorate of the University of Canterbury. Margaret devotes a great deal of time to her many readers, replying to all letters she receives and frequently visiting schools and libraries (sometimes in fancy dress).

About the International Institute of Modern Letters The International Institute of Modern Letters is an international centre focusing on contemporary imaginative writing. Inaugurated in March 2001, the Institute is situated at Victoria University’s Kelburn Campus and incorporates the University’s renowned Creative Writing Programme and its annual writer-in-residence programme.

About Bell Gully Bell Gully is New Zealand's leading commercial law firm. The firm has the country's strongest legal team with over 250 partners and lawyers with experience and expertise in a wide range of business and government sectors.

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