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NZSA Lilian Ida Smith Award 2020

Award of $3,000 available to writers over the age of 35yrs

The Lilian Ida Smith Award is offered by the New Zealand Society of Authors Te Puni Kaituhi O Aotearoa PEN NZ Inc (NZSA) thanks to a bequest from Lilian Ida Smith, a music teacher of Whanganui who had a keen interest in the arts.

Lilian left part of her legacy to the NZSA to 'assist people aged 35yrs and over to embark upon or further a literary career'.

  • The $3,000 award is to assist writers of non-fiction, fiction, poetry, comic / graphic novels and drama for adults and children. Applicants need to be aged 35 years and over, working towards completion of a specific project, and members of the NZSA.
  • Applicants are expected to be either in the early stages of their writing career, or to be someone for whom opportunities to fulfill their potential have been limited.

Past recipients of the Lilian Ida Smith Award have commented on receiving this award:
'Writing is a solo, self-driven pursuit, so you often have no idea how you are going, or if your work is any good. Winning the Lilian Ida Smith Award early in my career gave me the confidence to trust my instincts and keep writing. On a more practical level, it helped cover childcare costs, which allowed me precious time to write'. - Caroline Barron

'Winning the Lilian Ida Smith Award was such a massive thing for me, that anyone believed my writing has any worth. I mean, the money was great – it gave me the confidence to focus more on my writing – although never enough. But really, the big thing was that the panel thought that my writing wasn’t a waste of time and that I’ve got something worthwhile going on'. - Paula Harris

Deadline for applications is 31 October 2020

Membership of the New Zealand Society of Authors Te Puni Kaituhi O Aotearoa PEN NZ Inc (NZSA) is open to all budding and established writers. NZSA advocates for and represents writers and is affiliated with International PEN. It provides a mentorship programme, a manuscript assessment programme, manuscript services, contract advice, grants and other opportunities, information about writing and publishing, webworkshops, a fortnightly e-news, a quarterly magazine and numerous other membership benefits.

For the application form and to read the terms & conditions for the Lilian Ida Smith Award

For more information go to

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