A Boost for Mid-Career Writers

This announcement comes from the weekly e-newsletter of the New Zealand Society of Authors, of which I’m a member. NZSA membership isn’t cheap, but if you’re a New Zealand and serious about your career as a writer, it is definitely worth considering. The weekly e-newsletter carries a lot of information I don’t get from other sources – yes, not even from blogs or Twitter.

I think I am eligible for this award, and if so, I plan to have a crack!

NZSA and Manchester Trust announce New Writers’ Award for 2009

For the first time, in 2009, the New Zealand Society of Authors together with the Manchester Trust is proud to be able to offer an award to recognise the oeuvre of published work by a mid-career writer. The purpose of the award is to offer recognition to an author who may not necessarily have previously achieved a high level of publicity for their work.

The award will be open to writers of fiction, poetry, short fiction collections, and literary non-fiction, and is worth $3,500.

A mid-career writer is defined as being one who has published a minimum of three books and a maximum of six. According to the 2007 survey commissioned by the Society of Authors, it was found that mid-career writers earned low amounts from their writing, and often had to struggle to find writing time. Writers who were identified as being mid-career earned an average income of around $10,000 directly from their writing. A large number of these writers received less than $1,000 per year.

Anecdotally, the mid-career of a writer can be slow as new writers often garner more media interest for their publications, and unless a writer is shortlisted for an award, their work can quickly fall into a black hole.

The NZSA hopes, by offering this award, to go some way to redressing such issues, at least for one writer, by offering both some monetary assistance and recognition of their work.

“We are delighted to be in a position to offer this award,” says Maggie Tarver, CEO. “Mid-career writers have been an area of focus for us for some time now, and this award concludes a lot of hard work and research. With ongoing sponsorship from the Manchester Trust we are thrilled to be able to offer this award again in 2010.”

The recipient of the award will be announced at a function in mid-December 2009, and they will be featured on the NZSA website. The closing date for nominations is 6 November 2009. You can get the nomination form online or from programmes (at) nzauthors.net.nz

3 thoughts on “A Boost for Mid-Career Writers

  1. Whoever thought up this award knows a lot about writers. There should be more awards like this, because the problem it attempts to address is a very large one. In the UK the emphasis is still on 'new talent'. That's fine, but it ignores the fact that, from a professional point-of-view, the earliest part of a writing career is not the hardest part.

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