Finalists for the Ronald Hugh Morrieson Writing Awards

Energy, action and quirky plots as finalists announced

The wait is over! Finalists for the Ronald Hugh Morrieson Writing Awards, Taranaki’s premiere literary competition, have been announced.

The bumper 237 entries have kept this year’s judges busy since the competition closed in August.

There are five categories in the Awards; The Secondary School Poetry and Short Story categories, the Open section Poetry and Short Story categories and the Secondary School Research Article category.

Research Article judge, Matt Rilkoff, says this year’s entries demonstrate how many fascinating people live among us.

“It is a courageous thing to allow someone into your trust to tell such a personal story as that of your life. Just as it is a daunting responsibility for the writer to attempt to sum up a lifetime of experience and character in a handful of words,” he says. “You all deserve a round of applause.”

Short Story judge, Rachel Stedman, says there was a lot of energy, and in general, action seemed to be central to many entrant’s plots.

“I was really impressed at how the high school entrants managed to write from such diverse perspectives, and I really enjoyed the quirky plots of some of the school entries,” she says. “In the open section, I enjoyed the vernacular used – very rural kiwi, very RHM!”

Poetry judge, Apirana Taylor, congratulated every entrant.

“Poetry reaches beyond the mere bread and butter of our existence. It casts the poignant light of insight onto the human condition. It seeks to and raises our consciousness,” he says.

The Awards ceremony is being held at the TSB Hub in Hawera on 25 October from 7pm. All are welcome to attend to find out the winners and listen to a performance by Apirana Taylor, this year’s Poetry judge.

Secondary School finalists (all categories)
Denzal Adlam – Patea Area School
Hope Baker – St Mary’s Diocesan School
Nell Brown – Sacred Heart Girls’ College
Niall Clancy – Hawera High School
Maddison Cossey – Hawera High School
Puaawai Meihana Eiffe – Opunake High School
Sasha Finer – Hawera High School
Ashley Harrop – Opunake High School
Courtney Hatcher – St Mary’s Diocesan
Noah Hunt – Hawera High School
Megan Jackson – St Mary’s Diocesan School
Stevee-Jai Kelly – Opunake High School
Myah Kemsley – New Plymouth Girls’ High
Heather Phillips – Hawera High School
Yani Remoto – Hawera High School
Georgia Sparks – Hawera High School

Open Finalists (all categories)
Elizabeth Bridgeman – New Plymouth
Nell Brown – Sacred Heart Girls’ College
Emma Collins – Stratford
Maria Cunningham – Hawera
Anya Darling – Sacred Heart Girls’ College
Bruce Finer – Hawera
Stuart Greenhill – Stratford
Pip Harrison – Hawera
Janet Hunt – Inglewood

The Awards, sponsored by the Lysaght Watt Trust, honour the work of one of New Zealand’s most preeminent authors, Ronald Hugh Morrieson (1922 – 1972). Morrieson wrote four novels: a coming of age tale The Scarecrow (1963), Came a Hot Friday (1964), Predicament (published in 1975) and his only contemporary novel Pallet on the Floor (1976). All have been adapted for the cinema, the only New Zealand writer to have acquired this achievement. Two short stories were published posthumously, in 1974; ‘Cross My Heart’ and ‘Cut My Throat and The Chimney’.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s