Signals Young Writers Awards 2022

We were delighted to receive a very strong field of over seventy submissions for the Signals Young Writers Awards 2022. Our Judge Tania Roxborogh, gave this feedback – What an honour it was to have the opportunity to read the entries. As a reader and judge, I’m looking for language that surprises and delights me; a story that takes me on a journey and shows me something new or a new way at looking at something that’s always been. I’m impressed with writers who take risks, who push the conventions a bit without being too clever that I lose the reason for the writing. The winning entries are exemplars of all these. For those shortlisted, I say, well done. Great writing. My advice: ensure that you don’t leave your reader without a clear sense of next steps in the story and always, always remember the wisdom in the whakataukī ‘Ahakoa he iti, he pounamu’ – every word, every image must earn its place in your writing.

We are very happy to announce the young writers who have received an award in the three categories of Fiction, Non-fiction and Poetry. They receive a cash prize ($150 each) and the overall winner also receives an additional $150.

The winners are:

Fiction: Anthony Pita for A Hundred Counterfeit Stars

Non-fiction: Loji Moharram for Reflections on Emotional Expression

Poetry: Rebecca Greenwood for The Room is Your Comfort Zone

 Overall Winner: Anthony Pita

Congratulations to all three winners and huge thanks to all those who submitted, to our judge Tania Roxborogh and also to Penguin Random House New Zealand for their support.

View the winning submissions via the links above.

The writers shortlisted for the awards include: Aniela Endaya, Ella Perry, Imaan Brown, Jennifer Lau, Oshadha Perera,

Kylan Prileszky, Lizzie Peters,  Penny-Ana Clarke and Sarah Watene.

Those who were highly commended by the judge included: Cosmo Campbell, Honour Mitchell, Lucy Walton,  Reema Arsilan and Shima Jack.

The Michael King Writers Centre is currently working on a new framework for our Young Writers Programme and hopes to be able to offer more exciting opportunities in 2023.  If you would like to join our newsletter database please email: with YWP Database in the Subject Line and indicate if you are a teacher, student or alumni.