2022 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards - longlist announced

Longlists for New Zealand’s Premier Literary Awards Revealed

Books exploring politics, fashion, social change, war, contested histories and family relationships sit alongside works celebrating our natural world and the enduring legacies of our activists and artists in the longlists for the 2022 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.

Forty poetry, prose and non-fiction titles make up the longlists announced today. Selected from an impressive and highly competitive field of 160 entries, works range from deftly crafted intimate worlds to full-colour books that soar in scope and scale. Ten of the longlisted works are by first-time authors.

New Zealand Book Awards Trust spokesperson Dr Paula Morris says that each of the four longlists speak to the diversity and excellence of books published last year, with both experienced and debut writers represented.

“The range of publishers reflects the ingenuity and high quality across the industry, including the smallest of independents, and the imagination and expertise informing every aspect of our local publishing landscape.”

The 2022 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards longlisted works are:

*represents debut authors.

Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction

  • A Good Winter by Gigi Fenster (Text Publishing)
  • Aljce in Therapy Land by Alice Tawhai (Lawrence & Gibson)
  • Entanglement by Bryan Walpert (Mākaro Press)
  • Everything Changes by Stephanie Johnson (Vintage, Penguin Random House)
  • Greta & Valdin by Rebecca K Reilly (Te Herenga Waka University Press)*
  • Kurangaituku by Whiti Hereaka (Huia Publishers)
  • Loop Tracks by Sue Orr (Te Herenga Waka University Press)
  • She’s a Killer by Kirsten McDougall (Te Herenga Waka University Press)
  • The Pink Jumpsuit: Short Fictions, Tall Truths by Emma Neale (Quentin Wilson Publishing)
  • Unsheltered by Clare Moleta (Scribner Australia, Simon & Schuster)*

Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry

  • Bird Collector by Alison Glenny (Compound Press)
  • Ghosts by Siobhan Harvey (Otago University Press)
  • Party Legend by Sam Duckor-Jones (Te Herenga Waka University Press)
  • Rangikura byTayi Tibble (Te Herenga Waka University Press)
  • Sea-light by Dinah Hawken (Te Herenga Waka University Press)
  • Sleeping with Stones by Serie Barford (Anahera Press)
  • The Sea Walks into a Wall by Anne Kennedy (Auckland University Press)
  • Tōku Pāpā by Ruby Solly (Te Herenga Waka University Press)*
  • Tumble by Joanna Preston (Otago University Press)
  • Whai by Nicole Titihuia Hawkins (We Are Babies Press)*

Booksellers Aotearoa New Zealand Award for Illustrated Non-Fiction

  • Bill Hammond: Across the Evening Sky by Peter Vangioni with Tony de Lautour, Rachael King, Nic Low, Paul Scofield and Ariana Tikao (Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū)
  • Conversātiō: In the Company of Beesby Anne Noble with Zara Stanhope and Anna Brown (Massey University Press)
  • Dressed: Fashionable Dress in Aotearoa New Zealand 1840 to 1910 by Claire Regnault (Te Papa Press)
  • He Ringatoi o ngā Tūpuna: Isaac Coates and his Māori Portraits by Hilary and John Mitchell (Potton & Burton)
  • Hei Taonga mā ngā Uri Whakatipu | Treasures for the Rising Generation: The Dominion Museum Ethnological Expeditions 1919–1923 edited by Wayne Ngata, Anne Salmond, Natalie Robertson, Amiria Salmond, Monty Soutar, Billie Lythberg, James Schuster and Conal McCarthy et al (Te Papa Press)
  • Joanna Margaret Paul: Imagined in the Context of a Room by Lauren Gutsell, Lucy Hammonds and Greg Donson (Dunedin Public Art Gallery)
  • NUKU: Stories of 100 Indigenous Women by Qiane Matata-Sipu (QIANE+co)*
  • Shifting Grounds: Deep Histories of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland byLucy Mackintosh (Bridget Williams Books)*
  • Te Puna Waiora: The Distinguished Weavers of Te Kāhui Whiritoi by Ngāhuia Te Awekōtuku, Donna Campbell, Awhina Tamarapa and Nathan Pōhio (Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū)
  • The Architect and the Artists: Hackshaw, McCahon, Dibble by Bridget Hackshaw (Massey University Press)*

General Non-Fiction Award

  • After Dark: Walking into the Nights of Aotearoa by Annette Lees (Potton & Burton)
  • Bloody Woman by Lana Lopesi (Bridget Williams Books)
  • Come Back to Mona Vale: Life and Death in a Christchurch Mansionby Alexander McKinnon (Otago University Press)*
  • Enough Horizon: The Life and Work of Blanche Baughan by Carol Markwell (The Cuba Press)
  • From the Centre: A Writer’s Life by Patricia Grace (Penguin, Penguin Random House)
  • He Kupu Taurangi: Treaty Settlements and the Future of Aotearoa New Zealand by Christopher Finlayson and James Christmas (Huia Publishers)*
  • Helen Kelly: Her Life by Rebecca Macfie (Awa Press)
  • The Alarmist: Fifty Years Measuring Climate Change by Dave Lowe (Te Herenga Waka University Press)*
  • The Mirror Bookby Charlotte Grimshaw (Vintage, Penguin Random House)
  • Voices from the New Zealand Wars | He Reo nō ngā Pakanga o Aotearoa by Vincent O’Malley (Bridget Williams Books)

The 2022 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards shortlist of 16 titles will be announced on 2 March.

The Awards welcomed The Crystal Arts Trust as the new sponsor for the Best First Book Awards in November last year. The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards winners, including the four Crystal Arts Trust Best First Book Awards recipients, will be announced at a public ceremony on 11 May during the 2022 Auckland Writers Festival.

To find out more about the longlisted titles go to

The Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction, which offers $60,000 to the winner in 2022, is judged by Otago Daily Times journalist and books editor Rob Kidd; Booksellers Aotearoa’s programme coordinator and avid reader Gemma Browne; and award-winning writer and freelance oral historian/researcher Kelly Ana Morey (Ngāti Kurī, Te Rarawa, Te Aupōuri). They will be joined by an international writer in deciding the ultimate winner from their shortlist of four.

The Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry is judged by author, poet, reviewer and teacher Saradha Koirala;internationally published and award-winning poet, playwright, short story writer and novelist Apirana Taylor (Ngāti Porou, Te Whānau ā Apanui, Ngāti Ruanui and Te Āti Awa); and writer, editor and bookseller Jane Arthur.

The Booksellers Aotearoa New Zealand Award for Illustrated Non-Fiction is judged by museum curator Chanel Clarke (Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Porou, Waikato Tainui); photographer, author and urbanist Patrick Reynolds;and former publisher and co-founder of Godwit Press Jane Connor.

The General Non-Fiction Award is judged by poet and non-fiction author, book reviewer and blogger Nicholas Reid, award-winning journalist and photographer Aaron Smale (Ngāti Porou); and poet, historian, former diplomat and Fulbright alumna Leilani Tamu.

The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards are supported by Ockham Residential, Creative New Zealand, Jann Medlicott and the Acorn Foundation, Mary and Peter Biggs CNZM, The Crystal Arts Trust, Booksellers Aotearoa New Zealand and the Auckland Writers Festival.