All Pikihuia entries are submitted to the judges by the title alone to ensure no biases, yet when it comes to quality writing, it is the tried and true that are prevailing. More than half of the Māori writers who have been previously published by HUIA are appearing once again on the finalists’ list.
One familiar name that has not only been selected for the short story category but also for the novel extract category is Ann French (Ngāpuhi) who resides in Tauranga. French has been selected as a finalist and published five times in HUIA’s collections of short stories.
When asked what she thought makes a good story, French (pic left) commented, ‘A good story must have heart and touch the understanding and instincts of the reader. A good story is also about humans and all their fallibilities and strength. I think Māori people have great strength.’
Having been largely recognised as a short fiction writer, French is starting to enjoy the practice of novel writing and stated that, ‘It was the easiest thing to produce 5000 words for a novel because it came straight from the heart. I write from the heart and I write what I feel at the time.’
The Pikihuia Awards for Māori Writers, formerly known as the HUIA Short Story Awards, were set up in 1995 and held in an effort to find Māori writers. Huia Publishers has since published hundreds of books, including many award-winning titles, and continues to host the Pikihuia Awards with the support of the Māori Literature Trust.
For many established Māori writers, these awards are where they started as writers. This year’s winners will be announced at a ceremony in August where Huia Short Stories 9 will be launched, featuring the short story and novel extracts finalists.
The featured artwork for the Pikihuia Awards for Māori Writers 2011 was designed by Wiremu Barriball. His artwork will also feature on this year’s book cover.
The finalists for Best Short Story written in English are:
Anahera Gildea (Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga); Anita Tipene (Ngāpuhi); Ann French (Ngāpuhi); Challen Wilson (Ngāti Tamaterā, Ngāti Kuia, Kai Tahu, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Koata); Dionne Norman (Ngāti Kurī, Whakatōhea); Helen Waaka (Ngāti Whātua); Hira Hunapo (Ngāti Hine, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Raukawa, Te Arawa); Lesley Rain Walker (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Rongomaiwahine); Marama Salsano (Te Aitangi a Māhaki, Tūhoe); Mark Sweet (Ngā Māhanga); Olivia Giles (Te Āti Awa, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Kahungunu, Te Whānau-a-Apanui); Piripi Evans (Ngāti Mutunga, Ngāi Tahu); Raschel Miette (Ngāpuhi); Robert Madden (Whānau-a-Kai, Te Aitanga a Māhaki); Sharon Clair (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Tukorehe, Ngāti Ranginui); Tania Waikato (Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Tūhoe, Ngāti Hine); Tania Bayer (Tainui); Terence Rissetto (Ngāti Pāoa, Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Māmoe, Waitaha).
The finalists for Best Short Stories written in Māori are:
Fred Te Maro (Ngāti Porou); PJ Akuhata (Te Aitanga a Māhaki, Tūhoe); Te Atawhai Kumar (Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa); Erin Thompson-Pou (Ngāti Rangiwewehi, Ngāi Tāmanuhiri, Waikato); Mataia Keepa (Te Arawa, Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Rārua).
The finalists for Best Novel Extract are:
KT Harrison (Ngāti Mahuta, Ngāti Pāoa, Ngāti Hauā); Anahera Gildea (NgatiNgāti Raukawa ki te Tonga); Ann French (Ngā Ppuuhi); Gordon Te Araroa-Ham (Ngāti Tūwharetoa); Mark Sweet (Ngāa Māahanga); Marama Salsano (Te Aitangi a Māahaki, and Tūuhoe).