Viva la Novella VI has brought with it some firsts. The bad news is that because of our current funding situation, sadly we were unable to offer our editor prize this year for the first time since we introduced it in 2014. We hope to reinstate it in 2019. Our other first is that there are two New Zealand writers on the shortlist. The competition has always been open to writers across the Tasman but this year we had a number of particularly strong Kiwi entries.
Of the nearly 100 that we received, entries came from unpublished through to established writers. There was a very high standard – we always find it difficult sending out responses in part because we recognise the investment that goes into producing creative work and in part because it is a genuinely tough task determining the winners.
There are only five writers on the shortlist this year but they each wear several hats: there are two academics, one PhD candidate, one Masters graduate, two poets, an actor and a travel writer. There’s sci-fi, auto-fiction, crime and literary fiction. We’re delighted to introduce you to this year’s shortlist, in alphabetical order.
This year we are going to announce the winners and publish simultaneously in August. Until then, we’ll be spotlighting the talent of our shortlist, bringing you some of their writing over the coming months.
Alice Grundy and David Henley