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Media Release: Pikihuia Awards 2019 – now open!

13 February 2019

Pikihuia Awards 2019 Search for Māori Writers

The search is on – the Māori Literature Trust invites Māori writers to submit their short stories for the 2019 Pikihuia Awards.

There are six new categories in this year’s awards. Robyn Bargh, Chair of the Māori Literature Trust says, ‘We have restructured the Pikihuia Awards this year to encourage Māori writers to enter regardless of what level they are at. We want to identify new writing talent, to encourage those emerging writers who have already shown promise, and finally we want to find the best of our published writers’.

The categories are:

  • First-time writer in te reo Māori
  • First-time writer in English
  • Emerging writer in te reo Māori
  • Emerging writer in English
  • Published writer in te reo Māori
  • Published writer in English

The winner of each category will receive a cash prize of $2,000, and two highly commended finalists in each category will receive a cash prize of $500 each. In addition, selected winners and finalists will be published in Huia Short Stories 13 – a series of contemporary fiction by Māori writers published by Huia Publishers.

The sponsors of this year’s awards are Creative New Zealand, Te Puni Kōkiri and Huia Publishers.

The competition closes at 5.00 p.m. on Monday, 8 April 2019.  The Awards ceremony in September will be a chance to celebrate the best of Maori writers.

Details about the awards and downloadable resources are available at www.mlt.org.nz.


Six Māori Writers Announced for Te Papa Tupu 2018

Media release
12 June 2018

Six aspiring writers have been selected for Te Papa Tupu 2018, a writing programme developed by the Māori Literature Trust and organised by Huia Publishers.

The chosen writers will spend six months working alongside mentors to develop their manuscripts and improve their writing skills to meet the end goal of a publishable manuscript. To help the writers focus on their writing, they will attend workshops and a national writers’ festival, become part of a writing community and receive financial support.

Whiti_QuoteReina Whaitiri and Whiti Hereaka selected this year’s writers. ‘It was my pleasure and privilege to select the participants for Te Papa Tupu 2018. Congratulations to the six writers who start their journey with the programme. I can’t wait to see what they all make of the opportunity,’ said Whiti Hereaka, writer and trustee of the Māori Literature Trust.

‘There was a wide range of offerings – some exploring new and exciting topics and some delving into Māori mythology and history. It is gratifying to know that there are Māori out there committed to writing and telling our stories in their unique way,’ said Reina Whaitiri, poet, literature teacher and researcher and previous Te Papa Tupu mentor.

‘There are so many talented storytellers out there; it was truly difficult to narrow it down,’ Whiti said. ‘If this year is not your year, please don’t be discouraged. It took a couple of tries before I was accepted in Te Papa Tupu as a participant in 2012. Keep refining and polishing your work – and submit again.’

Te Papa Tupu 2018 commences in July.

The six writers are:

  • Ataria Rangipikitia Sharman, (Ngāpuhi, Tapuika Te Arawa), Porirua
  • Cassie Hart, (Ngāi Tahu), New Plymouth
  • Colleen Maria Lenihan, (Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi), Auckland
  • Hone Rata, (Ngāti Maniapoto, Taranaki), New Plymouth
  • Nadine Hura, (Ngāti Hine, Ngāpuhi), Aotea Park
  • Shilo Kino, (Ngāpuhi, Tainui), Auckland

Writers will have the opportunity to share their experiences through monthly journals published here on the Trust’s website.

Cover image credit: https://essayontime.com.au

Applications Open for Te Papa Tupu 2018 for Six Aspiring Māori Writers

Māori writers once again have an opportunity to grow their skills and fine-tune their writing in Te Papa Tupu, a writing programme developed by the Māori Literature Trust and organised by Huia Publishers.

Chosen writers will spend six months working alongside a mentor to develop their manuscript and improve their writing skills – all to meet the end goal of having a publishable manuscript. Writers will also attend workshops and a national writers’ festival, become part of a writing community and receive a grant to cover costs.

Robyn Bargh, Chairperson of the Māori Literature Trust says, ‘This is a great opportunity for budding Māori writers. The programme gives them the chance to focus on their writing, work with their mentors and discuss their work with the other writers.’

The programme was established in 2010, and writers have gone on to have their work published. Jacquie McRae’s first novel, The Scent of Apples, was completed on Te Papa Tupu and won a gold medal in the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPYs) in New York. University student Tihema Baker developed his debut novel, Watched, and Fred Te Maro’s Tūtewehi was the first Māori-language book to be published from Te Papa Tupu.

Lauren Keenan, who completed Te Papa Tupu in 2016, turned six short stories into a complete novel. She says, ‘The process has given me more confidence as a writer. Since Te Papa Tupu, I’ve had a handful of articles published in an online magazine and am approaching my next project, a novel, with much more confidence. I now openly talk about my writing and being a writer.’

Steph Matuku is set to publish her debut novel with Huia Publishers this year and says, ‘I’ve learnt so much about the technical side of writing – all invaluable stuff because I’ve never done any of those flash varsity writing courses or anything. I don’t know the little tricks that turn all right writing into awesome writing.’

Who can apply?

  • Māori writers who live in Aotearoa and have a completed manuscript
  • Writers of novels, short stories, children’s books, young adult books and non-fiction written in English or te reo Māori
  • Writers who are committed to attend, learn and fulfil their dream of being published.

Applications are open now and close 30 April 2018. Apply here!