Te Papa Tupu 2010

The winning participants of 2010, were chosen from a total of seventy-eight entries to Te Papa Tupu competition.  They were:

Update: March 2012

We have now entered into Phase 3 of the 2010 Te Papa Tupu programme: Writer Events.

Each participant that successfully finished Phase 2 by submitting a completed manuscript was given the opportunity to attend one national and one international writers’ festival.

As our participants move through their selected festivals, they will be updating their online journals with learnings and experiences from sessions they have attended.

The Wellington festival has just wrapped up, and very soon, our writers will be attending the Auckland, Sydney and Melbourne festivals.

2010 Judges

Award-winning author Patricia Grace and seasoned publishing professional Daisy Coles were the judges for the competition. They had the following feedback to give on the competition:

From Daisy Coles:

I was honoured to be asked to judge this competition. I’m grateful to HUIA, to the Māori Literature Trust and to the writers whose imaginations it was my privilege to step into for a little while during the process. It was an interesting task and, in the end, not a straightforward one to pick six writers to be accepted into the mentoring programme.

However, some entries definitely stood above the rest. For me, they were those that took me some place new, whether in terms of physical setting, human relationships or ways of looking at life in Aotearoa New Zealand – and took me there in a way that convinced me these new territories were worth knowing about.

I think the reward this competition has offered is a fantastic one. One of the most valuable gifts a writer can get is the attention of somebody who will approach their work with an understanding of their motivation and a respect for their particular voice, but also a critical eye, with the aim of helping them ultimately share their unique vision with the rest of the world. Although I’m an editor by trade, so I would say that!

I strongly believe that all writers should recognise the benefit of readers as they go through the creative process. This doesn’t have to mean the professional and practised eye of a mentor. Family, friends or colleagues can all be roped in: anybody whose judgment a writer trusts – or who can at least be blackmailed into wading through a pile of double-spaced manuscript! A consciousness outside your own can only be a good thing, even if the response you receive serves only the purpose of crystallising your own thoughts.

From Patricia Grace:

Generally speaking, on going through the pieces of writing, I could see a range of areas where mentoring could be of considerable advantage.

One area in particular would be in character portrayal or development, where there is an overall tendency to tell us about the protagonists, rather than to show us who they are. It is by being shown – through thought processes, action, speech, reaction and responses, interaction with others or with the environment – that we come to know the fictional characters. This is how we come to an understanding as to feelings, emotions, life journeys of the people we are reading about.

One story that I thought would probably become a novel for young readers did this well, particularly with the main character. It is through her behaviour that we discover and feel her grief, her pain, her sense of loss and her alienation. There are other important characters, especially those of her mother and school friend, who, with similar insight, would come alive to readers.

In another entry, which is a set of short stories, we come to an understanding of character through thought processes and the character’s observations of the world, and particularly well done are strong emotive images of the landscape about him. Language is well used. Through these observations and perceptions we sense a kind of agony (though not despair) for which, as yet, we do not find the reasons.

There is a novel entry, with exotic settings, that has a strong body of knowledge to do with time and place. It is fluent and well written and has a good storyline, definitely a work of fiction though I would describe it as journalistic in style. What I want to be shown is the hearts and minds of the characters. I want to know (not just know about) the woman whose ashes are being delivered by her husband, across the world to China. I want to discover the depth of his being so that the love story at the heart of the work can be deeply felt.

One entry, described as a short story, but which could perhaps become a novel or novella, has three main characters – or seems to be building that way. It is character driven, so it is important that we are shown who these people are and how they will interact with each other. It is a brief entry that shows promise.

The need for characters to be brought to light applies to another novel where there is fluency of writing, and for the most part, the background knowledge necessary to inform a work of fiction. However, if cultural identity or the seeking of it is to be an underlying quest of a main character and a theme of the work, then it needs to be at the core of the work and understood to be heartfelt and invading. This does not mean that it has to overtake the story. But it can’t be just thrown in, or seemingly thrown in, because it will come across as superficial and insincere.

As judges, neither of us had any hesitation in including a set of stories for young readers put forward by one writer. These are stories of adventure, magic, intrigue, peopled by new Māori superheroes and villains. This was a very well presented entry that included bold and engaging illustrations.

The only non-fiction entry to be selected promises to be a book that will be a worthy addition to our nation’s history of the World War Two years. It will be interesting to see how this academic writer will now turn her hand to presenting us with the stories of soldiers – all coming from a particular rural area – in a way that will be engaging to a general readership.

Te Papa Tupu programme is made possible with sponsorship from Te Waka Toi and Te Puni Kōkiri and help from Huia Publishers.

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