Entries now open for 2023 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards

Entries have opened for the Aotearoa’s premier literature awards, with a significant increase in prize money on offer.

The New Zealand Book Awards Trust Te Ohu Tiaki i Te Rau Hiringa is now inviting submissions for the 2023 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, which promote excellence in, and provide recognition of, the best books for adult readers published annually in Aotearoa. In 2023 the total prize money package available for these prestigious awards will top $120,000.

Books published between 1 January 2022 and 31 December 2022 will be considered for the 2023 awards. There are two submission dates. Publishers are asked to observe the guidelines for sending entries in two tranches, which are in place for ease of sending to judges.

Submissions for titles published between 1 January 2022 and 31 August 2022 are now open and will close 5pm on Tuesday 13 September 2022. Online entries for titles published between 1 September 2022 and 31 December 2022 open on Wednesday 14 September and close 5pm on Wednesday 26 October 2022.

For books in the second tranche, page proofs will be accepted if books publishing in November and December have not been printed at the time of the online submissions closing. In these cases, finished books must arrive with the Awards Administrator, Ockham New Zealand Book Awards c/- Auckland Writers Festival, Suite 9A Wellesley Centre, 44-52 Wellesley Street West, Auckland 1010 no later than 5pm on Thursday 24 November.

The winner of the Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction will receive a minimum of $62,000 in 2023 and each of the other main category prizes will earn their winners $12,000 (up from $10,000 in recent years). Te Mūrau o te Tuhi, awarded at a judge’s discretion for a book written entirely and originally in te reo Māori will also attract a prize of $12,000 if presented. Each of the Crystal Arts Trust Best First Book winners, for fiction, poetry, general non-fiction and illustrated non-fiction, will be awarded $3000 (up from $2500).

Click here for eligibility criteria and a Call for Entries information pack for the 2023 awards, then enter online here.

All entries must be submitted online at and fees paid by credit card via the online submission form.

For any further enquiries, please email Awards Administrator Chris Chan at