New Zealand Heritage Book & Writing Awards

Announcing the 2017 NZ Heritage Book Awards & Writing Competitions!

That’s right, it’s that time again. Dust off the ol’ historicals, Gran’s letter, Mum’s memoirs and Uncle Jeff’s tall tales… delve into your own journals, or computer files, or write something totally fresh!

The short prose and poetry competitions have a theme, so keep this in mind…

Finding Our Way

We are sponsored by Christchurch Heritage Week and this is their take on this theme…

We encourage writers to approach this theme broadly, with no more specific geographical requirements than New Zealand. This is a national competition so entrants need not live in or write about Canterbury.

The book awards are open to any New Zealand Heritage books published between August 2016 and September 2017.

Submissions open 1 July 2017

Last years winners …

Fiction Bookkidman9781775538905

Our warmest congratulations to Dame Fiona Kidman for her winning Novel ALL DAY AT THE MOVIES, published by Vintage.


jock-phillips-memory-book_0jockNon Fiction Book

Ka pai Jock Phillips, for your beautiful and moving book, TO THE MEMORY: NZ’S WAR MEMORIALS, published by Potton & Burton.



Congratulations Sommer Cullingford for your winning poem, ‘Canterbury Melt’!


annelseShort Prose

Well done Anne Else for your winning short story, ‘Finders Keepers’!


Special thanks to the judges for their hard work, generosity, wisdom, and eloquent remarks about the finalists and the winners.

The shortlisted entries were announced 7 October 2016 and are available here.


About the Competition

The four categories in the New Zealand Heritage Writing competition are:

  • Fiction book
  • Non-Fiction book
  • Poetry
  • Short Prose

The Book Awards

Each category will award a grand prize of NZ$1000.

Books must have a connection to New Zealand Heritage. To be eligible for entry, books must have been published between August 2015 and September 2016.

An entry fee of $35 applies.

Please note: the competition is open to writers residing outside of New Zealand so long as the book entered features New Zealand setting(s).

The Poetry & Prose Prizes

Each category awards a prize of $200 for first place.

Hidden Histories is the theme of this year’s BECA Heritage Week. Poems and Prose pieces submitted to the competition should relate in some way to the theme of Hidden Histories. They must also feature New Zealand setting(s).

Poems can be up to 50 lines.

Prose entries can be up to 1800 words, and may be short stories, essays, memoirs or features.

Writers may enter as many times as they wish. Each entry must be accompanied by a $15 entry fee.


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