01 Nov 2009
For the first time, in 2009, the New Zealand Society of Authors 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. We are confident that we will be able to secure funding to enable this award to continue on an annual basis.”
The recipient of the award will be announced at a function in mid-December 2009, and they will be featured on the NZSA website.