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Authors Recognised: Two of NZ’s Largest Lit Prizes

Media release
23 August 2010

Authors Recognised with Two of New Zealand’s Largest Literary Prizes

- Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust Unpublished Manuscript and Book Awards -

New Zealand writers Lloyd Geering and Jennifer McIntosh were each awarded $10,000 for literary excellence at the Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust Unpublished Manuscript and Book Awards, presented at Auckland’s Hopetoun Alpha venue on Friday night (20 August).

The awards, run in association with the New Zealand Society of Authors, are in their seventh year and recognise excellence in writing in the mind, body, spirit genre.

Trustee Adonia Wylie says the category is continuously growing and each year the awards receive more and more support from New Zealanders.

“This year we received almost 100 entries in the awards and many were of the highest calibre, which emphasises that being named a winner is a truly amazing achievement.”

Whangarei primary school teacher and mother of two, Jennifer McIntosh won the $10,000 award in the Unpublished Manuscript category for her work entitled Pearls.

Pearls deals with themes across compassion, environmentalism, materialism, body image issues, divorce, love, positivity, and death; as depicted through conversations between a young girl and her elderly neighbour.

Written for young adults, the judges noted that this work could appeal to a much wider audience.

Ms McIntosh says her work, is “somewhat of a guide on how to live a happier, more fulfilling, loving life”.

Lloyd Geering of Wellington won the $10,000 award in the Book category for his work Such is Life!: A Close Encounter with Ecclesiastes, which outlines a series of eight dialogues between Ecclesiastes and Geering.

“The dialogues sketch the outlines of a simple philosophy of life for today’s enquiring person,” the author says.

“Instead of writing a biblical commentary, I tried to let Ecclesiastes speak to us as a living person, asking the same questions as we do.”

The judges noted Geering’s work as “a fascinating view of the biblical writings through the modern eye and knowledge of today’s world.”

This year’s awards were presented by distinguished New Zealand fiction writer Owen Marshall, and the publishing director of Random House New Zealand, Nicola Legat.

The judges for the 2010 awards included Bob Ross, Chairman of the Michael King Writers' Centre Trust; Gillian Tewsley, director of Pepperleaf Publishing; and Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust trustee and published author Adonia Wylie.

The Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust was set up following the death of Auckland businessman Ashton Wylie in 1999 with the mandate of having relationships as its focus, and its main intent being to promote more loving relationships. The Trust’s Book and Unpublished Manuscript Awards were established in 2004 in association with the New Zealand Society of Authors to encourage the expansion of the mind, body and spirit literature genre in New Zealand.

ENDS

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