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Winner of the NZSA Lilian Ida Smith Award 2017

We are delighted to announce the winner of the NZSA Lilian Ida Smith Award 2017

28 November 2017

The New Zealand Society of Authors is delighted to announce the winner of the Lilian Ida Smith Award 2017 - Palmerston North writer Paula Harris

With 87 entries for this award, the selection panel of Lee Murray and Paddy Richardson had a tough time deciding on a winner. Palmerston North poet Paula Harris, will use the award to work on her poetry collection.

Paula Harris says: When I opened the email from New Zealand Society of Authors, I was expecting the usual “blah blah, thanks but no thanks, please try again in the future.” But this one said congratulations. I may have screamed just a little.... It means so much that the selection panel chose my project, A thousand deliciously ill-advised ways to shorten your life.

Selection panel convener Lee Murray said that 'the range and quality of work submitted was impressive. Entries included non-fiction (hyperfiction, memoir, essay, and instructional manuals), fiction (literary, young adult, middle grade, picture book, short story collections), poetry, and drama (plays, screenplay). With very few exceptions, the projects were clear and viable'.

The selection panel have also awarded Honourable Mentions to four writing projects. These have been awarded to:
Colleen Lenihan, for her evocative short story collection, Cherry Blossom Girl and Other Stories, tales from the margins of Japan and New Zealand
Clare Moleta, for her speculative novel, Children Walking, a climate change dystopia focusing on refugees
Sarah Myles (McGoff), for her hyperfiction, Towards the Mountain, a family perspective on the aftermath of the Mount Erebus disaster
Rochelle Savage, for her play, Adam and Eve have a family, a contemporary exploration of non-traditional gender roles in family
Candidates gaining an honourable mention each receive a complimentary one-year NZSA membership. Past recipients of the Lilian Ida Smith award include Sue Orr, Rachael King, Bill Manhire, Lauris Edmond, Owen Marshall, Caroline Barron and Graeme Lay.

About the Award
The Lilian Ida Smith Award was initiated when Lilian Ida Smith, a music teacher of Wanganui who had a keen interest in the arts, left part of her legacy to the NZ Society of Authors to 'assist people aged 35yrs and over to embark upon or further a literary career'.
The biennial Lilian Ida Smith Award provides the successful applicant with an award of $3,000 to assist them towards completion of a specific project. More about this year's recipient.


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