Pip Adam's The New Animals wins Ockham New Zealand Book Award

Fellow IIML graduates Annaleese Jochems and Hannah Mettner won Best First Book awards in the fiction and poetry categories.

Author and creative writing teacher Pip Adam has won the Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize for her 2017 novel The New Animals at the 50th Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.

The prize includes $50,000 cash and has been previously won by Catherine Chidgey, Eleanor Catton, Emily Perkins, Charlotte Grimshaw and Lloyd Jones. The 2018 judging panel for the Prize included poet, novelist and academic Anna Smaill, journalist and reviewer Philip Matthews, bookseller and reviewer Jenna Todd and the Scottish writer, journalist and editor Alan Taylor. The panel described The New Animals as 'a strange, confrontational, revelatory novel that holds a mirror up to contemporary New Zealand culture' and 'the book with the most blood on the page. It will give you an electric shock. It will bring readers back from the dead.'

Pip holds an MA and a PhD in Creative Writing from Victoria's International Institute of Modern Letters. She co-convenes the IIML's CREW 254 Short Fiction | He Kōrero Paki, lectures on fiction and creative non-fiction at Massey, teaches creative writing at Arohata and Rimutaka Prisons as part of the award-winning Write Where You Are Collective, and hosts the Better off Read podcast.

Debut novelist and MA in Creative Writing graduate Annaleese Jochems won the Hubert Church Best First Book Award for Fiction for Baby, described by the judges as 'a strange and strangely moving love story built on obsession, narcissism and damage...The kind of novel that lingers in the memory long after you put it down.'

The Jessie Mackay Best First Book Award for Poetry was won by poet, editor and MA in Creative Writing graduate Hannah Mettner for her collection Fully Clothed and So Forgetful . The panel Mettner's debut 'opens doorways into thought and meanings that lie beneath the surface' and 'stretches the imagination of both writer and reader...These poems of poise and deceptive complexity demonstrate Mettner’s considerable talent.'

All three books were published by Victoria University Press.

Congratulations to all the winners and finalists.