Prize winners

The International Institute of Modern Letters awards several literary and script prizes annually. Browse a list of our previous winners.

The following prizes and prize winners relate to the MA in Creative Writing and date back, in some cases, to 1997. There is also a full list of IIML Project Scholarship recipients, dating back to the scholarships' establishment in 2006.

Adam Foundation Prize in Creative Writing

The Adam Foundation Prize in Creative Writing was established in 1996 through the Victoria University Foundation by Denis and Verna Adam because of their strong wish to support the development of creative writing in New Zealand.

In each year the Adam Prize is awarded to the author of the best page-based portfolio for the MA.

Winners

2017

Tayi Tibble

In a Fish Tank Filled with Pink Light (poetry collection)

Published as Poūkahangatus, Victoria University Press (VUP), 2018

2016

Annaleese Jochems

And Lower (novel)

Published as Baby, VUP, 2017

2015

Nick Bollinger

Goneville (music memoir)

2014

Craig Gamble

The Watch List (young adult novel)

2013

Helena Wiśniewska Brow

Give Us This Day: a memoir of family and exile

Published by VUP, 2014

2012

Kerry Donovan Brown

Lamplighter (novel)

Published by VUP, 2014

2011

Hera Lindsay Bird

And Together We Fight Crime (prose poetry collection)

2010

Rayne Cockburn

Someplace for Boys (novel)

2009

Ashleigh Young

Can You Tolerate This? (personal essays)

2008

Lynn Jenner

Dear Sweet Harry (mixed genre)

Published by Auckland University Press (AUP), 2010. Winner of Best First Book Award for Poetry at the 2011 NZ Post Book Awards.

2007

Eleanor Catton

The Rehearsal (novel)

Published by VUP, 2008 and subsequently by Granta in the UK (2009) and Little Brown in the US (2010). Winner of the NZSA Hubert Church Best First Book Award for Fiction at the 2009 Montana NZ Book Awards, and the 2009 UK Society of Authors' Betty Trask Award.

2006

Anna Taylor

Going Under: Stories (short story collection)

Published as Relief by VUP, 2009

2005

Michele Amas

After the Dance (poetry)

Published by VUP, 2006. Shortlisted for the NZSA Jessie Mackay Award for Best First Book of Poetry at the 2007 Montana New Zealand Book Awards.

2004

Emily Dobson

A Box of Bees (poetry)

Published by VUP, 2005

2003

Josh Greenberg

A Man who Eats the Heart (novel)

Published by VUP, 2004

2002

Cliff Fell

The Adulterer's Bible (poetry)

Published by VUP, 2003. Winner Best First Book of Poetry at the 2004 Montana Book Awards.

2001

Paula Morris

Queen of Beauty (novel)

Published by Penguin, 2002. Winner Best First Book of Fiction at the 2003 Montana Book Awards.

2000

Tim Corballis

Below (novel)

Published by VUP, 2001

1999

No award made.

1998

William Brandt

Alpha Male (short fiction)

Published by VUP, 1999, and subsequently published by Jonathan Cape. Winner Best First Book of Fiction at the 1999 Montana Book Awards.

1997

Catherine Chidgey

In a Fishbone Church (novel)

Published by VUP, 1998. Winner Best First Book of Fiction at the 1998 Montana Book Awards.

Biggs Family Prize in Poetry

The Biggs Family Prize in Poetry has been awarded annually  since 2006 to recognise the potential of a graduating poet.

Winners

2017

Sam Duckor-Jones

People from the Pit Stand Up

2016

Natalie Morrison

The Better to See You

2015

Nina Powles

Luminescent

2014

Faith Wilson

Dolly Mix Tape

2013

Morgan Bach

Some of us eat the seeds

2012

Zarah Butcher-McGunnigle

Autobiography of a Marguerite

2011

Rachel Sawaya

The Bones in the Baobab

2010

Aleksandra Lane

Birds of Clay

2009

Bill Nelson

The Wolf Market

2008

Louise Wallace

Since June, published by VUP, 2009

2007

Joan Fleming

2006

Amy Brown

The Propaganda Poster Girl, published by VUP, 2008

Brad McGann Filmwriting Award

A generous donation in memory of noted New Zealand filmmaker Brad McGann led to the establishment, in 2013, of the Brad McGann Filmwriting Award for MA in Creative Writing graduates. The award will be presented annually to a graduating scriptwriter from the IIML who has, through their folio of work, demonstrated excellent potential as a film scriptwriter. It is intended to support the further development of their work.

Winners

2017

Richard Dey

Ngawi

2016

Callum Fordyce

Heroin and Dandelions

2015

Ali Burns

Adah

2014

Abigail Howells

Standing Up

2013

Lisa Cherrington

Emoha

David Carson-Parker Embassy prize in Scriptwriting

David Carson-Parker, with the Victoria University Foundation, established the David Carson-Parker Embassy Prize to be awarded to a student from the Scriptwriting stream of the MA in Creative Writing. This prize was originally funded by the Embassy Trust, which was formed in July 1996 to preserve and restore the early 20th century theatre turned cinema, and to support the infrastructure of the local theatre and film industry. With the completion of the Embassy restoration and the winding up of the Trust, one of the trustees, David Carson-Parker, generously stepped in to continue funding the prize, and to increase its value.

The IIML was saddened by the news of David Carson-Parker's death in October 2012.

Winners

2017

Sarah Harpur

Blast the Museum! (film script)

2016

Anya Tate-Manning

Waikouaiti Whalers (drama series)

2015

David Brechin-Smith

Devils & Dust (film script)

2014

Jack Barrowman

The Sun at Night (film script)

2013

Alison McLachlan

The Staceys (TV drama series)

2012

Vinay Choudary

The Bloody Mulligans (film script)

2011

Barbara Burke

Orla (film script)

2010

Maya Hammarsal

Abandoned Islands (film script)

2009

Colin Hodson

Life on the Island (film script)

2008

Simon Hall

Miracle Road (film script)

and

Hannah McKie

McKenzie Country (play script)

Premiered at BATS Theatre, Wellington, June 2011

2007

Tusi Tamasese

The Orator (film script)

World-premiered in competition at the 68th International Venice Film Festival, 2011. Released late 2011 and submitted as New Zealand's entry to the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 2011 Academy Awards. The Orator / O Le Tulafale  has won multiple awards and received widespread critical acclaim. (Writer/director Tusi Tamasese.)

2006

Brendon Simpson

Into Africa (play script, working title)

2005

Lucy O'Brien

Katydid (play script)

Premiered at BATS Theatre, Wellington, 2010 and won several prizes including Outstanding New Playwright for O'Brien at the 2010 Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards.

2004

Marian Evans

Mothersongs/Chansons Maternelles (film script)

2003

Renata Hopkins

The Waiting Game (TV drama series)

2002

Claire Ashton

Vena Cava (film script)

IIML Project Scholarships

Up to six IIML Project Scholarships have been awarded annually since 2006 to completing Master of Arts in Creative Writing students, based on merit and academic need. Students can only apply after submission of their final MA folio and scholarships are awarded by recommendation of the examiners. In each case, the examiners must be satisfied that four to six weeks of funded full-time writing will help bring a folio project to a level where it is ready for submission to a publisher, production house, or theatre.

Several of the project scholarships have been funded through the generosity of specific donors. These include the:

  • Michael Hirschfeld Project Scholarship—awarded to a script or screen writing student.
  • Jean Squire Project Scholarship—awarded to a student in the page writing programme, with preference for it to go to a children's writer where appropriate.
  • Abby Letteri Family Project Scholarship—awarded to a promising graduating writer.

2017

Lindsay Christopherson - Michael Hirschfeld Project Scholarship

Greta (Claire) O'Loughlin - Jean Squire Project Scholarship

Clare Moleta (Writing for the Page)

Joshua (Essa) Morris (Writing for the Page)

Lynne Robertson (Writing for the Page)

Jonathan Watt (Scriptwriting)

2016

William Connor - Jean Squire Project Scholarship

Roxane Gajadhar - Michael Hirschfeld Project Scholarship

Cherie Lacey (Writing for the Page)

Isla Macleod (Scriptwriting)

Eamonn Marra (Writing for the Page)

Nicole Phillipson (Writing for the Page)

2015

Whitney Cox - Jean Squire Project Scholarship

Helen Crampton (Writing for the Page)

Katherine (Alex) Hollis (Writing for the Page)

Justine Jungersen-Smith (Writing for the Page)

Ryan Knighton (Scriptwriting)

Finnius Teppett - Michael Hirschfeld Project Scholarship

2014

Agnes Almeida - Jean Squire Project Scholarship

Judith Cowley (Scriptwriting)

Douglas Dillaman (Writing for the Page)

Anahera Gildea (Writing for the Page)

Patrick Dunn (Writing for the Page)

Renee le Bas - Michael Hirschfeld Project Scholarship

2013

Linley Boniface - Jean Squire Project Scholarship

Avi Duckor-Jones (Writing for the Page)

Joanne (Louise) Harness - Michael Hirschfeld Project Scholarship

Emma Hislop (Writing for the Page)

Rachel Kerr (Writing for the Page)

Maryse Ridler (Scriptwriting)

2012

Samantha Byres - Jean Squire Project Scholarship

Susan Francis (Writing for the Page)

Kirsty Hamilton (Scriptwriting)

Andrew James - Michael Hirschfeld Project Scholarship

Gregory Kan (Writing for the Page)

Adam Stewart (Writing for the Page)

2011

William Agnew (Scriptwriting)

Ken Heaton (Writing for the Page)

Lucy Kirton (Writing for the Page)

Alexandra Lodge - Michael Hirschfeld Project Scholarship

Emily McHalick (Writing for the Page)

Rosabel Tan - Jean Squire Project Scholarship

2010

Sam Burt (Scriptwriting)

Amy Head (Writing for the Page)

Simone Kaho (Writing for the Page)

Sarah McCallum (Writing for the Page)

April Phillips - Michael Hirschfeld Project Scholarship

Sylvie Thomson - Jean Squire Project Scholarship

2009

Breton Dukes (Writing for the Page)

Kay Corns (Writing for the Page)

Gwyneth Hyndman (Scriptwriting)

Emma Martin (Writing for the Page)

Melissa Reid - Jean Squire Project Scholarship

Amy Rountree - Michael Hirschfeld Project Scholarship

2008

Rachel Cookson - Jean Squire Project Scholarship

Sylvie Haisman (Writing for the Page)

Heather Mackenzie (Writing for the Page)

Simon Hall (Scriptwriting)

Martha Hardy-Ward - Michael Hirschfeld Project Scholarship

Tina Makareti Dahlberg (Writing for the Page)

2007

Philipa (Pip) Adam (Writing for the Page)

Sarah Bainbridge (Writing for the Page)

Rachel Callinan (Scriptwriting)

Mariana Isara - Jean Squire Project Scholarship

Brent Kininmont (Writing for the Page)

Tim Worrall - Michael Hirschfeld Project Scholarship

2006

Pip Desmond (Writing for the Page)

Emma Gallagher - Jean Squire Project Scholarship

Therese Lloyd (Writing for the Page)

Rebekah Palmer - Michael Hirschfeld Project Scholarship

Brendon Simpson (Scriptwriting)

Nick Stanley (Writing for the Page)

Glenn Schaeffer Award

This award is currently in abeyance.

The Glenn Schaeffer Award, also known as the Schaeffer Fellowship, has provided the opportunity (from 2001) for Victoria's leading MA in Creative Writing graduates to go on to grant-aided study at North American co-centres of the IIML, such as the Iowa Writers' Workshop, the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, and the University of California (Irvine). it is only available to New Zealand citizens.

Winners

2007

Ellie Catton (novelist)

2006

Therese Lloyd (poet)

2005

Alice Miller (poet)

2004

Emily Dobson (poet)

2003

Tracey Hill (novelist)

2002

Anna Livesey (poet)

2001

Paula Morris (novelist)

2000

Tim Corballis (novelist)

Kate Duignan (novelist)