This press release went out today announcing the judges of the 2010 New Zealand Post Book Awards. These are the awards formerly know as the Montanas and before that the Watties.
I was a judge in the last-ever Wattie Book Awards in 1993 and convenor of the first Montanas in 1994. I was a judge again in 1999 and convenor in 2000. Ten years later, I am convenor of the inaugural NZ Post Book Awards. This must be some kind of record.
But that’s enough about me. The new awards have a simplified structure with only four categories – poetry, fiction, illustrated non-fiction and general non-fiction. There will be five finalists in the non-fiction categories, three each in fiction and poetry.
Present company excepted, the judges are a stellar line-up. Every one of us is a published author and two were category winners in the Montana Book Awards. We all have to read the 160 or so entries and select the shortlists – without too much blood on the floor – before the announcement on 22 June. Then we have to choose the winners before the main event on 27 August.
So, no pressure.