2023 $25,000 Writers' Award now open

Applications are now open for the 2023 CLNZ/NZSA Writers' Award. This award is proudly brought to you by Copyright Licensing New Zealand (CLNZ) and the New Zealand Society of Authors (NZSA).

Call for applications - $25,000 Writers' Award 2023

The CLNZ/NZSA Writers' Award of $25,000 is one of the highest non-fiction awards in New Zealand literature, and is now open for applications.

  • $25,000 award to a New Zealand writer
  • One of the highest non-fiction awards in New Zealand literature
  • Open Now

The award was established to provide financial support for writers wishing to devote time to a specific project, and to cover reasonable research expenses relating to it. Writers with work in a broad range of non-fiction genres, including educational works, can apply.

The Copyright Licensing New Zealand (CLNZ) and the New Zealand Society of Authors Te Puni Kaituhi O Aotearoa (NZSA) Writers' Award supported the creation of Rebecca Macfie's book Helen Kelly: Her Life (Awa Press), a biography of one of New Zealand’s political legends; Nic Low's book Uprising: Walking the Southern Alps of New Zealand (Text Publishing, out in July); supporting Nick Bollinger's book project Revolutions Per Minute: The Counterculture in New Zealand 1960-1975, and Jade Kake for her project on the legacy of Professor Rewi Thompson.

Ready to apply?

First: Read the CLNZ/NZSA Writers' Award Guidelines

Then: Complete the CLNZ/NZSA Writers' Award Application Form

Next: Consider reading this Award Alchemy (pdf) article from the NZ Author Magazine or listening to Tracey Farr in the NZSA Live! podcast episode Panel Discussion on the business of being a writer (starting at minute 1.50) on putting together the best application you can.

Last year, Ōtepoti Writer and Poet Iona Winter was the award recipient for her creative non-fiction project, 'A counter of moons'. A year on from receiving the award, Iona Winter says:

2022 CLNZ/NZSA Writers' Award Recipient, Iona Winter
2022 CLNZ/NZSA Writers' Award Recipient, Iona Winter

Being the 2022 CLNZ/NZSA Writers' Award recipient acknowledged the importance of speaking to my lived experience of suicide bereavement in Aotearoa, while enabling me to completely focus on bringing the project to fruition.

Iona Winter , 2022 CLNZ/NZSA Writers' Award Recipient

The CLNZ/NZSA Writers’ Award is made possible through CLNZ’s Cultural Fund. The Cultural Fund’s objectives are to:

Protect – writers and publishers’ ability to earn revenue from their works
Support – the creation and production of new works and assist the commercial success of New Zealand works
Grow – the number of works created and skills in the industry

We encourage non-fiction writers to consider applying for this award. Applications for the full range of non-fiction genre are welcome. Applicants must be New Zealand citizens or permanent residents. It is the intention that a book will be published as a result of receiving the award.

Applications must be completed online by 4pm Thursday 29 June 2023. The successful recipient will be contacted directly and we will also publish the announcement on the CLNZ and NZSA websites and social channels.

An application fee of $25 is required to complete your application. This fee helps ensure the sustainable administration of the grants.

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

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