Friday, March 11, 2016

2016 Ngaio Marsh Award - update and progress report

It's that time of year again, where the judges of the Ngaio Marsh Award start enjoying some good and great New Zealand crime, mystery, and thriller writing - crime writing in the broadest sense, beyond traditional notions of detective fiction. Books that wander the entire mansion of crime storytelling, poking about in various rooms from modern serial killer thrillers to historic cosy-style mysteries, tales set at home and abroad, from police procedurals to tales stretching the genre boundaries.

I continue to be pleased by the growth of the genre in New Zealand. The quality of our writers is ahead of the curve, waiting for the reading and book-buying public to catch up, particularly at home. Although there are several great authors currently in hiatus who I'd love to see return to the crime writing page (see here and here), including past winners and finalists, each year we seem to have a growing selection of tales to consider for judging. It turns out 2016 is by far our biggest year for the awards yet, with more than 30 novels delving into crime released by New Zealand authors last year.

As Paul Cleave, twice-winner of the Ngaio Marsh Award and 'defending champion' for FIVE MINUTES ALONE, said when he was named an NZSA Honorary Literary Fellow earlier this year, there are many up and coming authors starting to hit the market, and "the best is still yet to come".

Along with the increase in eligible books, this year we're seeing an expansion in the Ngaio Marsh Awards, with the introduction of a new category especially for debut authors, the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best First Novel. I'm very pleased that once again the winner of this year's awards will be announced and celebrated at an event at WORD Christchurch Writers Festival in late August.

Before then, however, we'll be announcing a longlist for the Best Crime Novel award and then finalists for each of the Best Crime Novel and Best First Novel awards. Following on from the success of last year's 'Murder in the Library' series celebrating longlisted authors, we'll be expanding that event series at libraries throughout New Zealand (and possibly the UK). So keep an eye out for announcements about author events in your local area. We'd love to see you there.

It's certainly exciting times here at awards HQ, and I'm looking forward to sharing more cool news with you all in the near future. But for now, here's a list of New Zealand books released last year for you to peruse. You can click on  links to read a review of the book.

How many have you read? Just who will our finalists and winners be?

No comments:

Post a Comment