After much anticipation, the finalists for the 2017 Pikihuia Awards for Māori Writers have been selected.
Writer Whiti Hereaka judged the Best Short Story written in English and was impressed with the standard of writing. ‘It was a pleasure to judge this year's Pikihuia Award for Short Stories in English’ she said. ‘I was impressed by the diversity of the stories, reflecting the many experiences of being Māori in our society. The stand out stories for me subverted my expectations: unexpected points of view, or twists on familiar story lines.’
For Poia Rewi, the judge of the Best Short Story written in Māori, the expansive nature of the stories along with their language proficiency was striking. ‘From the interpretation of dreams to earthquake experiences, rugby world cup to rugby on the marae ātea, Iron Māori to Māori emigration and repatriation, boarding school and disobedience to mythical kaitiaki, there is diversity and creativity across the board’ he said. ‘The level of Māori Language proficiency is admirable and likewise, the application of dialect, synonym and metaphor are also worth noting – we compliment the authors, their whānau and their teachers, and Huia for affording the opportunity to writers to engage their literary potential.’
The 24 finalists are:
Best Short Story written in English, judged by Whiti Hereaka
Best Short Story written in te reo Māori, judged by Poia Rewi
Best Film Script, judged by Julian Arahanga
Best Novel Extract, judged by Paula Morris
Best Short Story Written by a School Student in English, judged by Robyn and Brian Bargh
Best Short Story Written by a School Student in te reo Māori, judged by Kawata Teepa
Stories from selected finalists will feature in the latest short story book HUIA Short Stories 12. The book will be launched and the winners will be announced at the 2017 Pikihuia Awards to be held at Te Wharewaka o Poneke, Wellington on Saturday 9th September 2017.