September 20, 2019
Pikihuia finds new Māori voices
A Melbourne-based wahine with Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa and Aboriginal whakapapa has won the First-time writer in English award in this year's Pikihuia Awards for short stories.
White Sheep by Penny Smits was one of a number of entries that spoke about significant social issues such as identity, colonisation, sexual abuse, mental illness, and incarceration.
The First-time writer in te reo Māori winner was Wellington-based Amiria Stirling from Te Whānau-a-Apanui with Whakaurupā Taku Aroha.
Judges of the six categories say they were impressed by the confidence in the writing, the diversity of stories, and the courage of the entrants to submit and share their stories.
Whiti Hereaka says there was a a confidence in the writing, with writers who knew how to create vivid worlds and characters which created engaging stories.
First-time judge Carol Hirschfeld says it's clear a new generation of confident, young Māori storytellers are emerging and they are speaking with authenticity and authority.
All finalists and selected entries from the competition have been published in the book Huia Short Stories 13 which was launched at the awards ceremony.
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