$25,000 Writers' Award provides a unique view into the history of Aotearoa.

Congratulations to our 2018 CLNZ Writers' Award recipient, Nic Low (Ngāi Tahu) for his project, Uprising.

2018 CLNZ Writers' Award

Writer Nic Low (Ngāi Tahu), has been presented with the 2018 CLNZ Writers’ Award at the NZSA National Writers Forum in Auckland today.

Nic receives $25,000, one of the highest non-fiction prizes in New Zealand literature, towards his project Uprising. This literary non-fiction book will tell the story of the beauty and contested significance of the Southern Alps, seen through a Ngāi Tahu lens. Grounded in archival research and expressed through walking and climbing expeditions, Uprising retraces ten historic mountain journeys to explore the evolution of Māori and Pākehā senses of place. The book will be published by Text Publishing.

“It's an enormous honour and a privilege to be granted the CLNZ Writers’ Award, says Nic. “It will give me the chance to dedicate the next year to finishing the writing process, to vetting my research, and finally getting the book out into the world. I've been working on it since 2013, so the award is also a big bump in morale for the home straight. A huge thanks to everyone at Copyright Licensing New Zealand.”

Nic continues, “It's also important in winning an award like this to acknowledge all the Ngāi Tahu whānua who've done the real hard work underpinning my project - those who've maintained our culture and traditions, fought the hard political fights, and kept our connection with the high country landscape not just alive, but evolving as well.”

“I also feel like the award is a wonderful vote of confidence for the kaupapa of the book. As Tina Makereti recently pointed out, there are so few non-fiction books published by Māori - usually one or two a year (about 4%) - so I'm ecstatic the selection panel wanted to support the telling of Māori history from down south.”

Paula Browning, CEO of Copyright Licensing New Zealand said, “The CLNZ Cultural Fund, that supports this award, is a wonderful way of investing in writing and publishing in Aotearoa. I have had the privilege of reading the sample chapter of Nic’s work. It is spine-tingling and I can’t wait to read the rest of the book.”

38 applications were submitted this year and the selection panel commented on how impressed they were with the diversity of applications. Each one was a privilege to read and gave the panel an insight into the quality of writing and of projects that are underway throughout our New Zealand writing community.

Funding for the CLNZ Writers’ Award comes from CLNZ’s Cultural Fund which derives revenue from CLNZ’s licensing activity in New Zealand. The licensed copying of copyright material is helping to fund the creation of new work. The 2018 selection panel were Gillian Candler, Paul Diamond and Graeme Lay.

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