Hipster enjoying confetti

This week four New Zealand women writers won money and/or awards (or got close)

Good news for four New Zealand writers, as exclusively revealed by the Spinoff Review of Books.

Yeah, yeah, so the Man Booker prize was announced last week and some guy won it, but who cares bro! His book looks stink. It is with excitement that the Spinoff Review of Books can exclusively reveal that this week four New Zealand women writers won money and/or got world famous, or got close.



On Monday, Sally Franicevich from Waterview in Auckland was shortlisted for the 2016 Bridport Prize in the UK for her story “Uncle Frank’s Turkeys”.

The prize, based in Bridport, Dorset, was established in 1973 and hands out 18,000 quid (over $NZ30,000) in prize money. This year almost 13,000 writers from 80 countries competed; Sally Franicevich made it into the top 10.

News of her shortlisting made the Briport and Lyme Regis News, which posted a cool video this week of mist falling like a waterfall off of some cliffs.

Huzzah to Sally!



Also on Monday, Wellington writer Anna Smaill won the fairly fucking prestigious  World Fantasy Award, announced in Columbus, Ohio, for her novel The Chimes.

Previous winners include Haruki Murakami and David Mitchell for God’s sake.

We wrote to Anna asking what it all meant and she replied, “My understanding – some of it gathered over the last few months – is that the World Fantasy Awards are often mentioned alongside the Hugo and Nebula as markers of acclaim for work in this genre. The real honour is in the element of peer recognition: the judges are typically fantasy writers, or involved in the industry, and the initial nominations come from past convention attendees. The list of writers who have won is also gobsmacking and humbling. It includes LeGuin and Murakami, and – possibly my biggest source of excitement – John Crowley, who won for the magisterial Little, Big, in 1982. This is one of my favourite novels of all time.

“Luckily there was a representative from Hachette (my publisher) attending the convention, so I’d had a chance to write a short acceptance speech to be read on my behalf, ‘just in case’. I wrote it before bed on Friday night, and never expected it’d be put to use.

“The prize bestows glory and a statuette. The statuette used to be of HP Lovecraft, but this was discontinued in 2015 due to growing distaste at the racism in his writings. As far as I know the prize administration is currently narrowing down the subject for the replacement statuette. I’m looking forward to displaying it somewhere prominently when it arrives!”

Huzzah to Anna!



On Thursday, Whanganui writer Airini Beautrais was named the winner of the 2016 Landfall Essay Competition for her essay “Umlaut”. She pockets $3000 and a subscription to Landfall.

Competition judge David Eggleton said. “Her essay is about the absurdities of modern life: how we negotiate otherness, how we negotiate our constantly revised colonial heritage on a daily basis. Sometimes verging on slapstick, nevertheless it’s a tour de force of a kind.”

Huzzah to Airini!

Oh and we heard this morning that a fourth woman writer won $50,000 but the news is embargoed till  Monday.

Huzzah to ████ ████!

The Spinoff Review of Books is brought to you by Unity Books.

The Spinoff is made possible by the generous support of the following organisations.
Please help us by supporting them.