A quick re-cap. In December last year, The New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc.), in association with Pindar NZ, Whitcoulls, Astra Print Group, the New Zealand Herald and Creative New Zealand proudly announced the launch of the 'NZSA Pindar Publishing Prize'.
This competition offers budding New Zealand authors the opportunity to be professionally edited, produced, marketed and distributed throughout New Zealand. The total package is worth around $35,000 to a talented new author. It clearly got all the unpublished Kiwi authors going, because the inaugural prize, which closed for entries on 30 March, received an astonishing 508 entries.
The poor judges had to read all of them, and come up with a shortlist of just five, which would have synopsis and extracts put online for public voting (which would count for 40% of the final decision). The three judges are Mary Egan, Managing Director of Pindar Publishing, Linda Herrick, Arts and Books Editor of the New Zealand Herald, and Graeme Lay, Auckland National Council Delegate, the New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc.).
Tony Simpson, President of the NZSA, remarked “The number of entries is amazing and obviously identifies a need for alternative publishing options in New Zealand. We are delighted to have been able to instigate such a prize and hope that we will be able to offer it again in the future.”
The five finalists are now online, and I'm very, very pleased to say there are a couple of unpublished Kiwi crime/thriller writers amongst them. It's great to see the judges recognising local exponents of this genre, as well as other types of writing.
You can read the synopses, extracts, and vote for your favourite, here.
Please take the time to go and vote. There are five budding authors whose dreams are in your hands - each has something to offer readers, so please take a few minutes to go and pick your favourite - crime/thriller fiction or not. VOTE HERE!
Michael Koryta, who I interviewed last week, was discovered via a similar unpublished author competition, and as I noted with my posts about the CWA Debut Dagger, writers who come through such contests can end up having great careers and providing readers around the world with a lot of reading pleasure. So please read the entries, pick a favourite, and VOTE!
The winner of the award will be chosen through 40 per cent online voting and 60 per cent input from the judges, and the result will be announced on June 15. The manuscript will be professionally edited, designed by Pindar and printed by AstraPrint, and the winning book will be launched in August, marketed through the Herald and sold nationally through Whitcoulls.
Feel free to leave a comment here about which stories you liked and why. Thoughts and comments welcome. I'm off to read and vote myself now.