Two of New Zealand’s most well known writers have judged the AUT New Zealand Creative Writing Competition and say they’ve unearthed some brilliant talent.
Run for the second year now, the competition is open to any unpublished New Zealand resident to enter and gives emerging writers a chance to get some recognition and feedback.
There were hundreds of entries this year with results posted on the AUT website and an awards presentation night is planned for May 5th.
The 2011 AUT Creative Writing Competition categories- short story and screenplay- reflect the dynamic, mixed genre and multi-media focus of AUT's Centre for Creative Writing, says its Chair, Dr Paul Mountfort.
"The competition provides an opportunity for young and emerging writers to showcase their talents and, in the case of our prize-winners and highly commended entrants, receive vital recognition," says Dr Mountfort.
Judges for this year’s three categories were Tessa Duder for the 15-20 years and 21 years plus short story categories and Nick Ward for the screenplay category.
Tessa says both winning short stories stood out for their freshness of material, interesting voices and the authors’ clear willingness to take risks.
“All finalists were successful stories, engagingly written and showing a pleasing awareness of the importance of self-editing and proofing.”
Of the top five entries that Nick judged in the screenplay category, all were of a very high standard he says.
“People were writing scripts that actually looked like scripts. Instead of just presenting a very linear story, people were doing some really surprising and interesting stuff with their storytelling techniques. It was nice to see people exploring stuff that had an emotional depth rather than just a clever twist at the end.
The winners for each category receive a MacBook Pro laptop and five hours of mentoring time with leading New Zealand writer Carl Nixon or Nick Ward. Second place getters receive an iPod Touch while third place receives an iPod Nano.
About the competition
Other winners and judges bios
AUT Centre for Creative Writing