Once there were Watties, then Montanas, now New Zealand's big book awards are sponsored by New Zealand Post I wonder what they'll be called (Posties? Craig Innes'?).
Just what the New Zealand Post Book Awards will look like in 2010 is clearer today with the announcement of a streamlined format with, "Fewer categories, more judges and bigger prizes."
Books will be judged in four main categories: Poetry, Fiction, Illustrated Non-fiction and General Non-fiction, with a finalist list of 16. A ‘Book of the Year‘ will be chosen from the finalists.With fewer categories, the prize pool has been substantially increased, with the overall winner of ‘Book of the Year’ receiving $15,000. Winners of the four Category Awards will each receive $10,000, the Māori Language Award $10,000, Readers’ Choice Award $5,000, and the winners of the three NZSA Best First Book Awards, $2500.
For a comparison with the old Montanas, Emily Perkins received $15,000 as this year's Montana Medal winner for Fiction/Poetry ($10,000 for medal + $5,000 for category winner). And gone are the Environment, History, Reference and Anthology categories (perhaps 'subsumed within Illustrated Non-fiction and General Non-fiction is more correct than 'gone'...).