The Shag Incident, a novel by Aucklander Stephanie Johnson, has won this year’s Deutz Medal for Fiction in the Montana New Zealand Book Awards. Runners up were The Hopeful Traveller by Fiona Farrell, also a novel, and a short story collection, When Gravity Snaps, by Owen Marshall.
The Montana Medal for Non-fiction was awarded to Wine Atlas of New Zealand by Michael Cooper, winner of the lifestyle and contemporary culture category. Other category winners and runners up for the medal were A Sort of Conscience: The Wakefields by Philip Temple (biography); Te Araroa: The New Zealand Trail by Geoff Chapple (environment, reviewed on p7); No Idle Rich: The Wealthy in Canterbury & Otago 1840-1914 by Jim McAloon (history); Len Castle: Potter by Nancy Pel and Len Castle (illustrative); Playing God by Glenn Colquhoun (poetry); Spirit in a Strange Land: A Selection of New Zealand Spiritual Verse edited by Paul Morris, Harry Ricketts & Mike Grimshaw (reference and anthology).
The New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc) Best First Book Awards recognises new authors. Its Hubert Church Award for Fiction went to the novel Queen of Beauty by Paula Morris, the Jessie Mackay Award for Poetry to Feeding the Dogs by Kay McKenzie Cooke, and the E H McCormick Award for Non-fiction to The Year of the Horse by Sam Mahon.
Reviewer of the Year is David Eggleton. The New Zealand Listener won the Books Pages of the Year award.