Prizes Offered by Literary or Other Societies
The P.E.N. (New Zealand Centre) makes two annual awards for achievement by New Zealanders resident in the country. The Jessie Mackay Poetry Award (inaugurated in 1940) was at first for published or unpublished work. Up to 1955 major and minor prizes were given in each year; since that date, one major prize has been given, for published work only. Jessie Mackay (1864–1938) was a notable literary figure, poetical as well as polemical. Winners have been Douglas Stewart, Paula Hangar, R. I. F. Pattison, Mary Greig, Mary Stanley, Ruth Gilbert, James K. Baxter, Charles Spear, Pat Wilson, Paul Henderson, W. H. Oliver, Allen Curnow, M. K. Joseph, and Basil Dowling.
The Hubert Church Award for Prose was established in 1945, partly from a memorial bequest made to the P.E.N. by Mrs Catherine Church. Hubert Church was a poet, novelist, and critic who died in 1932. This award is for the best prose of any kind published in the previous year. Winners have been M. H. Holcroft, Lilian Keys, David Ballantyne, J. C. Beaglehole, Frank Sargeson, Janet Frame, Oliver Duff, E. H. McCormick, James Courage, Maurice Duggan, Dennis McEldowney, M. K. Joseph, Maurice Shadbolt, and Noel Hilliard.
In 1952 the value of both awards was raised to £25, and in 1959 to 50, with the aid of a subsidy from the Literary Fund. In 1964 the value of the Hubert Church Award was raised to £100.
The New Zealand Library Association offers the Esther Glen Award, a medal, for the most distinguished contribution to New Zealand literature for children, published in New Zealand during the year by an author resident in the country. Owing to the restricted field, it has been awarded only four times since its inauguration in 1945, to Stella Morice, A. W. Reed, Joan Smith, and Maurice Duggan.
The British Drama League holds an annual one-act-play competition.
The New Zealand Women Writers' Society in 1959 promoted the Katherine Mansfield Memorial Award. This, a biennial award, open to New Zealanders by birth or residence, offers a prize of 50 guineas each for a short story (published) and an essay (published or unpublished, as under local conditions a serious critical, biographical or historical essay would not easily reach print). The financial sponsor is the Bank of New Zealand, of whose board of directors Sir Harold Beauchamp, Katherine Mansfield's father, was member and chairman for many years. Winners of the award were Maurice Duggan and Elsie Locke (1959), C. K. Stead (1961), and Maurice Shadbolt (1963). A subsidiary prize went to a young Maori writer, Arapera Blanc in 1959.