Nominations for Pikihuia Awards 2019 are open

By Tema Hemi

The Māori Literature Trust invites Māori writers to submit their short stories for the 2019 Pikihuia Awards.There are six new categories in this year's awards and the awards have been restructured to encourage Māori writers to enter regardless of what level they are at. 

Taking our stories to the world and providing a pathway for the up and coming Māori writers. Submissions are judged anonymously by a panel with a wealth of experience in literature and every year have to sort through over three hundred entries. The Māori Literature Trust have plans to capatilise on and publish composers and their compositions that feature at future Te Matatini festivals. Winners and finalists will be published in the Huia Short Stories 13 - a series of contemporary fiction by Māori writers published by Huia Publishers. 

Chair of the Māori Literature Trust and judge Robyn Bargh says, "So we thought this time we wanted to open it up so everybody can enter and they'll be competing with people at a similar level. I think its important to remember what we are trying to do here that is take Māori stories to the world. There are different judges for the different categories. So the judges this year include Paula Morris, Whiti Hereaka, myself and Poia Rewi for the Te Reo Māori categories. But the main focus is that we're looking for a really good story. 

Bargh also had this to say about capturing the Māori literature and composers at Te Matatini, "The fact that a lot of the compositions that have come through Te Matatini are really our literature, its Māori literature, literature in te reo Māori that is coming from those competitions and so we've thinking about how we could capatilise on that, publish some of it, use it for other purposes."