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NZ awards news: Kake wins NZ Writers’ Award, Yang wins Margaret Mahy Illustration Prize

Jade Kake has won the 2021 Copyright Licensing New Zealand (CLNZ) and New Zealand Society of Authors (NZSA) Te Puni Kaituhi o Aotearoa (PEN NZ) Writers’ Award, worth NZ$25,000 (A$24,150).

Kake was awarded the prize for her project on the legacy of architect and academic Rewi Thompson (1953–2017; Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Raukawa).

A writer, architectural designer and housing advocate, Kake is the author of Rebuilding the Kāinga: Lessons from Te Ao Hurihuri (Bridget Williams Books). She is a two-time winner of the Warren Trust Awards for Architectural Writing and was a participant in the Te Papa Tupu Māori 2020–21 writer development program. Kake will work with Jeremy Hansen to explore Thompson’s architectural projects.

Of the subject of her project, Kake said: ‘Professor Thompson applied Māori design principles to prisons and social housing projects such as an urban papakāinga at Wiri in the belief that architecture could return a sense of well-being and belonging to people estranged by colonialism. Thompson believed architecture could heal the wairua and mauri of people broken by their circumstances, and created designs for the Mason Clinic, a forensic psychiatric facility, and Ngawha Prison in order to try and prove this.’

The judging panel, consisting of Giovanna Fenster, Vincent O’Malley and Diana Wichtel, said Kake’s application stood out due to its ‘breadth of vision and insight’ and ability to ‘shed light on Māori contributions to the creative sector more broadly’.

The Writers’ Award is open to writers of nonfiction and enables the successful applicant to devote time to a specific project. For more information about this year’s award see the CLNZ website.

Four NZ writers receive research grants

In related news, four New Zealand writers have each received NZ$5000 (A$4800) in grant support as part of the 2021 CLNZ/NZSA Research Grants. The grant supports New Zealand writers who wish to undertake research for a fiction or nonfiction writing project.

The recipients are:

  • Lauren Keenan (Te Ātiawa ki Taranaki), for her middle-grade novel Rākau: The Lost Tree, the sequel to her forthcoming novel Amorangi and Millie’s Trip Through Time
  • Anthony Green, for his project Hurt, Hope and Healing, a book on compassion, strength and hope in the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque shootings
  • Lillian Duval, for her book Six-legged Ghosts: Stories of the insects of Aotearoa, an examination into the attitudes to insects in Aotearoa
  • Bonnie Maihi, for her project The Brilliance of Resilience – Hope for a generation, an extension of her doctoral thesis ‘which focused on education and occupation pathways for rangatahi growing up within gang spaces in Aotearoa’.

For more information on the recipients, see the CLNZ website.

Yang wins Margaret Mahy Illustration Prize

In other awards news, Auckland-based artist, illustrator and designer Minrui Yang has won the 2021 Margaret Mahy Illustration Prize presented by Hachette Aotearoa NZ and the Margaret Mahy Estate.

The judging panel chose Yang’s illustration of Mahy’s There’s a King in the Cupboard from a shortlist of five. They applauded Yang’s ‘interesting and curious’ colour palette and ‘how it brought a real sense of whimsy and magic to Mahy’s story’.

Yang receives a NZ$1000 (A$970) cash prize, NZ$500 (A$480) worth of Hachette books and the opportunity to publish with Hachette. The runner-ups were Sarah Trolle and Jessica Twohill, who each receive NZ$250 (A$240) worth of Hachette books.

The winner of last year’s competition was Nelson-based artist Lily Emo. For more information about this year’s prize, see the Booksellers Aotearoa New Zealand website.

Pictured: Jade Kake


Category: Awards Local news