It was wonderful to receive a very strong field of over 70 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.
The young writers who have received an award in the three categories of Fiction, Non-fiction and Poetry received a cash prize ($150 each) and the overall winner also received an additional $150.
The winners were:
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 included: 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.