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Event 03


Hear it first – 2019’s best writing heralded live. The country’s premier literary awards return as the first public event of Festival Week, MC-ed by the inimitable Stacey Morrison.

To begin with, our country’s four Best First Book Award winners (in fiction, non-fiction, illustrated non-fiction, and poetry) are announced. And then, the sixteen main awards finalists read their work before the grandwinners are announced in each category.

A thrilling evening of literary celebration and anticipation – open to all.


Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction: Becky Manawatu; Owen Marshall; Carl Shuker; David Vann.

Mary & Peter Biggs Award for Poetry: Anne Kennedy; Helen Rickerby; Steven Toussaint; Ashleigh Young.

General Non-Fiction Award: Shayne Carter; Sarah Gaitanos; Paula Green; Sarah Myles.

Illustrated Non-Fiction Award: Karl Chitham, Kolokesa U Māhina-Tuai, Damian Skinner (co-authors); Stephanie Gibson, Matariki Williams, Puawai Cairns (co-authors); Chris McDowall, Tim Denee (co-authors); Justin Paton.

Note: This session can be included in concession pass selections.