Illustration: Toby Morris

Introducing the Ockhams-ready Spinoff book awards bingo card!

Pour some bubbly, stick some sausage rolls on a platter, and park yourself in front of the laptop – the lockdown Ockhams are being broadcast live tonight on YouTube. Courtesy of illustrator Toby Morris, we have just the thing to complete your viewing experience.

Tonight, the 2020 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards ceremony goes live and no doubt absolutely wild on YouTube. It would’ve been cool to wear a red dress and put my hair up and make small talk while desperately trying not to get caught in the crossfire of publishing politics, but what I think is way more cool is that this time, everyone’s invited.

Plus we get to wear our PJs and play bingo. Right-click the image below, created by artist extraordinaire Toby Morris, to print a copy if you want to go old school, or you could decide to irresponsibly repurpose it as a drinking game instead.

The ceremony begins on a dedicated YouTube Channel at 6pm. First up are the MitoQ Best First Book awards, then a quick break during which you’ll totally be able to wee and top up your wine – no queue for the loo! From 7pm, it’s on with the show.

Some things stay the same: Stacey Morrison, stalwart, will MC. And the finalists of the big four categories – the General Non-Fiction Award, the Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry, the Illustrated Non-Fiction Award and the $55,000 Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction – have no idea who’s won until their name is read out, or not. Then they’ll be patched in for live speeches.

The press release about this virtual ceremony promised it’ll be “slick” and also “tight”; we do hope there’s room for some harmless lols and minor bloopers, too, or this beautiful bingo card might not get a proper workout. Although, we note it could easily be applied to just about any Zoom meeting ever.

See you at 6pm – and good luck to all the finalists.

Illustration: Toby Morris



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