Writing a book? New writing competition for NZ authors

The NZ Book Festival has launched a new writing competition for NZ authors who are writing a book and wish to publish it independently. Click here for details.

Congratulations to our 2018 shortlisted writers. (In no particular order)

Sons of Orpheus

Aro Street Girls

Bright Moon Ridge

Wrens Under the Radar

Pockets of Gold

Frozen in a Flash

I Have Showed Thee All Things

Follow Me In


Mix Tape


The core sponsor for the competition is independent publishing business BigWords-Books.

A long-time supporter of the NZ Book Festival, BigWords-Books owner Fiona Cole decided to run the competition as a way to give emerging indie authors the chance to get their dream of becoming a published author off to a great start, and to showcase the level of professionalism that can be achieved through the independent publishing route.

“The main aims of this competition are to encourage more of our talented authors to publish their own work and to highlight the level of publication that is available from industry professionals here in New Zealand who offer independent publishing services.

“The NZ Book Festival is the ideal platform for achieving this, whilst at the same time supporting what has become an important literary event for writers and readers.”

Publishing package worth over $3,500 up for grabs

The winner receives an indie publishing prize pack of professional services required to turn their manuscript into a published book, valued at over $3,500 NZD. These include:

  • Editing
  • Proofreading
  • Formatting
  • Cover Design
  • 200 copies printed in New Zealand
  • Assistance with CiP requirements (National Archives)


The cost of entry is $40 NZD and requires manuscript submissions to be sent electronically. Entry is open to emerging authors and previously self-published authors who have not been awarded a publishing contract, who have permanent residency in New Zealand or New Zealand residents currently overseas. The competition requires partial manuscript submissions from complete or near-complete work.

The type of writing accepted includes works of fiction from most genres, as well as autobiographical or semi-autobiographical stories, travelogues and creative non-fiction.