Run for the second time in 2012, this short story competition has proved more popular than ever.
Judges Renee Liang, James George and Ant Sang agree the quality of the 57 entries this year was very high with stories from newer migrants through to those who have been in New Zealand for many generations.
They say the high standard of writing this year made the short listing process very difficult but they ultimately felt Auckland writer Karen Tay’s story “Ghost” should be awarded first prize.
Judging panel convenor Renee Liang describes Karen’s story as strongly original and one that defied easy categorization.
“Ghost constantly played with our expectations. It was both a spooky ghost story and a touching examination of the deep relationship between two siblings. Tight characterization, strong imagery and the unsettling literary device of a changing point of view all contributed to a strongly original story which ultimately stood out.”
Runner up place getter is Wai Ho - for "A Thousand Toilet Ladies" while the third place equal goes to Matthew Ng Wai Sing "Pretty Much" and Kim Rutter "A Place To Stand."
“A Thousand Toilet Ladies” is a cinematic but intimate romance which takes some surprising twists and features some kick-ass characters. “Pretty Much” is on the surface an ordinary story of a young man’s trip to the laundromat, but brims with comedy and funny one-liners and some insightful reflections being young, male and Chinese in this country. “A Place to Stand” was an assured treatment of a familiar migrant story – an old woman who yearns to see her homeland. This story showed a quietness and confidence, weaving subtext underneath humour and pathos, with precisely drawn characters.”
Please note that the winning stories will be available for reading on the NZSA website – www.authors.org.nz later this year.
Entry to the competition was open to New Zealand permanent residents who are Asian or of Asian ethnicity. First prize: $3,000. Second: $1,000. Third: $500.
A small winners’ presentation will be held at the Auckland Branch meeting – 7th December (Level 4 – Cnr Wakefield St + Mayoral Drive, Auckland)