The 2018 competition will open in February.

Watch this space!

* * *

Thank you to all who entered the 2017 competition and the 2017 NFFD competition judges.

MICHAEL HARLOW and EMMA NEALE, Category for ages 19+

harlow-2017Michael Harlow’s Nothing For It But To Sing, the Kathleen Grattan Award for Poetry, was published in 2016 by Otago University Press. He has been awarded the Beatson Prize for poetry, and in 2014 the Lauris Edmond Memorial Award for Distinguished Contribution to Poetry in NZ. He has published ten books of poetry, two of which have been short-listed for the National Book Awards.  In collaboration with NZ-Suisse composer Kit Powell, he has composed, as a librettist, some thirteen Performance Works, many of which have been performed in Switzerland, Germany, France and New Zealand.  He lives in Central Otago (NZ) and works as a writer, editor and Jungian therapist.


emma-neale-2017Emma Neale has held the Todd/Creative New Zealand New Writer’s Bursary and the inaugural Janet Frame/NZSA Memorial Prize for Literature. Her novel Fosterling was short-listed for the youth category of the Sir Julius Vogel Award. Her poetry collection The Truth Garden won the Kathleen Grattan Award in 2011. She has been a University of Otago Burns Fellow, a University of Otago/Sir James Wallace Pah Homestead Fellow and a recipient of the Beatson/NZSA Fellowship. Her fifth collection, Tender Machines(2015), and her recent novel, Billy Bird (2016), have both been long-listed for the annual Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. Emma lives in Dunedin with her husband and their two  children.

FLEUR BEALE and HEATHER MCQUILLAN, Youth Category: ages 18 and under

pp_fleur_beale_2010Based in Wellington, Fleur Beale has written over twenty novels for teenagers. In 1992, Beale released her first novel Slide the Corner, which subsequently won the Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award in 2007. She has been short-listed several times in the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards, and in 2011 her novel Fierce September won the Awards’ Young Adult Fiction section. Fleur Beale won the 2012 Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal. Beale regularly participates in the Writers in Schools programme, and also leads Professional Development sessions for teachers.


heather-2017Heather McQuillan is a writer, teacher and student. She lives in Christchurch where she is a tutor with the School for Young Writers. She writes books for young people as well as writing short stories, flash fiction and poetry. In 2016 she won the NZ Flash Fiction Day prize and the Micro Madness prize, and she placed third in the Sunday Star Times Short Story Awards.She is currently working on a Masters of Creative Writing Thesis investigating  the flash fiction form.

* * *


2016 competition judges were the award-winning poets, novelists and short story writers James Norcliffe (more at his website and at his New Zealand Book Council page) and Elizabeth Smither (more at her New Zealand Book Council page).

2016 competition winners here.


2015 competition judges were widely acclaimed New Zealand short story writers, novelists and poets Owen Marshall (more can be found at his New Zealand Book Council site and at his website) and Fiona Kidman (more can be found at her New Zealand Book Council site and at her website).

2015 competition winners here.


2014 competition judges were award-winning novelist, poet and publisher Mary McCallum (more here and at her poetry blog, here) and award-winning poet and short fiction writer Frankie McMillan (more here). In 2013, Frankie won the NFFD competition with her story ‘In the nick of time, a deer’ and Mary placed third with her story ‘Dead Space’.

2014 competition winners here.


2013 competition judges were award-winning writer of poetry, fiction and drama Vivienne Plumb  and the 2012 Buddle-Findlay Sargeson Fellow and writer of short stories David Lyndon Brown.

2013 competition winners here.


2012 inaugural NFFD competition judges were story, travel writer and anthologist Graeme Lay, journalist Stephen Stratford and novelist Tina Shaw.

2012 competition winners here.


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