02 Feb 2024

Praised and popular books nominated for 2024 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards

Praised and popular books nominated for 2024 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards

Bestselling and critically acclaimed works of fiction, illuminating poetry collections, absorbing memoirs, and books that explore our whenua, flora and fauna feature alongside those that celebrate our culinary and artistic heroes and heroines in the 2024 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards longlists announced.

Twelve of the 44 longlisted books are by first-time authors, and they are published by a record number of 20 individual publishing houses across the motu.

New Zealand Book Awards Trust Te Ohu Tiaki i Te Rau Hiringa chair Nicola Legat says this year’s longlist, selected from 171 entries, is a testament to the creativity and research skills of their authors, and to the willingness of publishers to take risks and back their writers.

“It’s a thrill to read this longlist and see both the high number of first-time writers, represented in every category, and the spread across a very wide group of publishers. A powerful and impressive list studded with books that entertain readers and offer important insights into our world has been put before our judges for consideration,” she says.

*Represents debut authors.

Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction longlisted titles:

  • A Better Place by Stephen Daisley (Text Publishing)
  • Audition by Pip Adam (Te Herenga Waka University Press)
  • Backwaters by Emma Ling Sidnam (Text Publishing)*
  • Bird Life by Anna Smaill (Te Herenga Waka University Press)
  • Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton (Te Herenga Waka University Press)
  • Lioness by Emily Perkins (Bloomsbury Publishing)
  • Pet by Catherine Chidgey (Te Herenga Waka University Press)
  • Ruin and Other Stories by Emma Hislop (Kāi Tahu) (Te Herenga Waka University Press)*
  • Signs of Life by Amy Head (Te Herenga Waka University Press)
  • Turncoat by Tīhema Baker (Raukawa te Au ki te Tonga, Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai, Ngāti Toa Rangatira) (Lawrence & Gibson)

The 2024 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards shortlist of 16 titles (four books in each category) will be announced on 6 March. The winners, including the four Mātātuhi Foundation Best First Book Awards recipients, will be announced at a public ceremony on 15 May during the 2024 Auckland Writers Festival.

The winner of the Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction will receive $65,000 in 2024 and each of the other main category winners will receive $12,000. Each of The Mātātuhi Foundation Best First Book winners (for fiction, poetry, general non-fiction and illustrated non-fiction) will be awarded $3,000.

The Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction will be judged by reading advocate and former bookseller Juliet Blyth (convenor); writer, reviewer and literary festival curator Kiran Dass; and fiction writer Anthony Lapwood (Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Whakaue, Pākehā). They will be joined in deciding the ultimate winner from their shortlist of four by an international judge.

The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards are supported by Ockham Residential, Creative New Zealand, the late Jann Medlicott and the Acorn Foundation, Mary and Peter Biggs CNZM, Booksellers Aotearoa New Zealand, The Mātātuhi Foundation and the Auckland Writers Festival.

To find out more about the longlisted titles go to https://www.nzbookawards.nz/new-zealand-book-awards/2024-awards/longlist/


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