Prime Minister's Awards for Literary Achievement

Each year the Prime Minister's Awards for Literary Achievement recognise New Zealand writers who have made a notable contribution to New Zealand literature in the genres of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. New Zealanders are invited to submit a nomination.


Closing dates:

Find out who got funded recently

$60,000 in each category

6 Apr 2018

Artforms funded:

This content is tagged as Literature .

1. Check your eligibility

Who can be nominated

Nominees must:

  • be living New Zealand writers, ie New Zealand citizen or resident
  • be writers whose work has been acclaimed and acknowledged by their peers and the general public
  • not be a previous recipient of the award in any genre — see previous recipients.


Acclaim and acknowledgement of the writer may be shown by having:

  • written a body of work that has received national acclaim
  • received a major fellowship, residency, book award and/or international recognition
  • shown leadership in the New Zealand literary sector.

Who can make a nomination

  • Only New Zealand citizens, residents and organisations can nominate writers.
  • Writers can nominate themselves.


Nominees and those making nominations cannot be:

  • employees of Creative New Zealand
  • employees of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • members of the Arts Council.

2. See what's funded

Award categories

One award is made each year in each of three categories:

  • fiction: any genre including novels, short stories, plays, children’s fiction, and scriptwriting
  • poetry
  • non-fiction: any non-fiction discipline — the quality of the work is the main determinant.

3. Make an application

Downloads (application forms and criteria)

Register or Log in

How to nominate a writer

Email us with the name of the writer or writers you wish to nominate by 5pm on the closing date. You can nominate a maximum of one writer per category. There is no form to fill out.

Include a brief statement about why you have nominated the writer/s and which criteria they meet. 


4. Assessing applications

Nominations are assessed by an expert literary panel and recommendations forwarded to the Arts Council for approval.

5. Notification of results


The recipients of the awards are contacted by phone and email once the Arts Council has approved the recommended recipients on 27 June 2018.

Public announcement

The awards are announced in our media release.

We will list award recipients on our website. You can also see all winners since the award's inauguration in 2003.

Results - Prime Ministers Awards for Literary Achievement.

Awards presentation 

The winners are invited to an official function in Wellington to receive the awards shortly after the public announcement.

6. On completion

We do not require a completion report from the recipients of this award.

7. Who to contact

For more information or advice: