The winners - the wonderful winners - were announced last night at the annual shindig of authors, publishers, booksellers and interested others.
My congrats to them all, but especially to Chris Bourke for his thoughtful book on NZ music history 'Blue Smoke' which scored a hat-trick: NZ Post Book of the Year, the General Non-Fiction Award and the People's Choice Award. And to modest, hard-working Southerner Laurence Fearnley who I've got to know because she's a Penguin author too (my one novel to her seven! you can see why I say 'hard-working') and who won the Best Fiction Award for The Hut Builder.
I stood backstage with Laurence in 2008 waiting for the Fiction winner to be announced. There were four of us finalists that year (controversially, people wanted five) but Charlotte Grimshaw was overseas and the fourth, Alice Tawhai, had sent a proxy as she likes to remain anonymous. Anyway, we were standing there nervously in the half-dark waiting for the result to be read out, and then Laurence's name was called. There was a muddly moment as we realised she was Fiction runner-up and I pushed her gently towards the stage. Then Charlotte Grimshaw was announced winner of the Fiction Prize, and then the Medal for Fiction and Poetry, if I remember rightly. She thanked everyone via video on a giant screen.
I bet Laurence is thrilled to bits to have it the other way round this year.
All the winners are here.