Call for Judges of the 2023 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards

The organisers of the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards are calling for expressions of interest from readers with a deep knowledge of New Zealand literature who would like to be considered as judges of the 2023 awards.

Applications are invited from members of the public with relevant experience, and from the literature community. Suitable candidates may be authors, former publishers, editors, event organisers, scholars, reviewers, critics, booksellers, or librarians. The organisers particularly welcome expressions of interest from Māori applicants.

The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards offer four principal prizes each year: the Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction; the Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry; the Booksellers Aotearoa New Zealand Award for Illustrated Non-Fiction; and the General Non-Fiction Award. There are also four awards for first-time authors (the Crystal Arts Trust Best First Book awards) and, at the discretion of a specially appointed judge, Te Mūrau o te Tuhi, a Māori Language Award.

The judging of each of the four subject categories is undertaken by a panel of three judges with the relevant expertise and experience in that subject. One of the three will be appointed as convenor. The judges begin their reading in mid-September 2022.

Potential judges may express interest directly or be nominated by members of the literature community and book industry. A panel from the New Zealand Book Awards Trust Te Ohu Tiaki i Te Rau Hiringa which comprises industry stakeholder representatives, is responsible for final selection and recruitment. Geographic, cultural and community representation, as well as relevant qualifications and experience, will all be considered in the final make-up of the panels.

Expressions of interest forms and background information on the judging process and judges’ responsibilities can be downloaded from the New Zealand Book Awards Trust website or supplied on request by emailing

2023 Judging Panel - General information - read this before applying

Expression of interest form

Applications must be submitted by 5pm on Wednesday 29 June, and should include a brief resumé demonstrating the applicant’s experience for the judging role.

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, Booksellers Aotearoa New Zealand, Crystal Arts Trust and the Auckland Writers Festival.


Link to more information on NZ Book Awards Trust website:

Editor’s Notes:

The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards are the country’s premier literary honours for books written by New Zealanders. First established in 1968 as the Wattie Book Awards (later the Goodman Fielder Wattie Book Awards), they have also been known as the Montana New Zealand Book Awards and the New Zealand Post Book Awards. The awards are governed by the New Zealand Book Awards Trust (a registered charity). Current members of the Trust are Nicola Legat, Paula Morris, Jenna Todd, Anne Morgan, Melanee Winder, Melinda Szymanik, Richard Pamatatau and Garth Biggs. The Trust also governs the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults and Phantom National Poetry Day.

Released on behalf of the New Zealand Book Awards Trust by:

Belinda Cooke,, tel 021 481 044