Entries open for 30-year-old awards

Ronald Hugh Morrieson on guitar.

Ronald Hugh Morrieson on guitar.

As the entries opened for a premiere literary competition, celebrations started too. 

The Ronald Hugh Morrieson Awards have been going for 30 years and honour the work of Ronald Hugh Morrieson, and Cath Sheard, the South Taranaki District Council (STDC) Libraries and Cultural Services Manager, said for the last three decades the awards have gone from strength to strength.

"When the awards first started, only secondary school students in South Taranaki could enter, whereas today the competition is open to anyone throughout Taranaki," Sheard said. 

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 The new section is sponsored by the Normanby Lions Club and the Taranaki Daily News, with the event as a whole sponsored by the Lysaght Watt Trust. 

"Last year we also offered a new section for secondary school students to cover non-fiction writing. This section is a research article piece." 

Morrieson, who was a novelist and short story writer in Hawera, wrote four novels: a coming of age tale The Scarecrow, 1963, Came a Hot Friday, 1964, Predicament, published in 1975,  and his only contemporary novel Pallet on the Floor, 1976.

All have been adapted for the cinema, the only New Zealand writer to have acquired this achievement.

Two short stories were published posthumously, in 1974; Cross My Heart and Cut My Throat and The Chimney.

Sheard said each year the authors who judge the awards always come away impressed at the wealth of talent we have in Taranaki. 

"So I encourage anyone who has wanted to have a go at writing, to put forward a piece – whether it be a drama script, a short story or poem," Sheard said. 

"For those interested we also run several writing workshops. You have until  August 16 to get your entries in, so put pen to paper, or fingers to the keyboard." 

There are five categories in the awards; The Secondary School Poetry and Short Story categories, the Open section Poetry and Short Story categories and the Secondary School Research Article category – the winner of which receives a one-year subscription to the Taranaki Daily News and $500.

The new section is sponsored by the Normanby Lions Club and the Taranaki Daily News, with the awards as a whole sponsored by the Lysaght Watt Trust. 

Further details can be found on the Library page of the STDC website southtaranaki.com or contact the STDC Libraries on 0800 111 323.

 - Stuff

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