Winning and short-listed essays from past competitions can be read in Landfall 194, 198, 203, 212, 216, 218, 220, 222, 223, 224, 226, 228, 230, 232, 234, 236, 238, 240 and 242.
The winner is announced and published in each November issue.
About the competition
The purpose of the competition remains as it was at the outset: to encourage New Zealand writers to think aloud about New Zealand culture, and to revive and sustain the tradition of vivid, contentious and creative essay writing in this country – as embodied in the non-fiction of early Landfall contributors such as Bill Pearson, in the essays of past winners of this competition, and in the essays the journal continues to publish.
- Essays should not exceed 4000 words.
- The competition is judged by the editor of Landfall.
- The winner is announced and published in each November issue of Landfall.
- The winner receives $3000 and a year’s subscription to Landfall.
- Entries for the 2023 Landfall Essay competition are now open. The closing date for receipt of entries is 31 July 2023.
Conditions of entry
- Essays will be fully developed, independent works and will be no more than 4000 words long.
- Essays will be on a topic of the author’s choosing.
- Essays will not have been published elsewhere.
- Writers will be New Zealand citizens or New Zealand permanent residents.
- One entry per person will be accepted.
- The judge will assess the merits of the essays and reserves the right not to award a prize. No correspondence with the judge will be entered into.
- Landfall reserves the right to publish the winning entry, and other shortlisted entries, at the editor’s discretion.
- It is a condition of the competition that the winning writer’s name and photograph may be used by Landfall for publicity purposes.
How to enter
- Email your essay as a Word or RTF file to firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Landfall Essay Competition’ in the subject line. Your name should NOT appear on the essay itself.
- Include your name, address and telephone number in the body of the email.
Landfall Essay Competition winners and short-listed authors
2021: Andrew Dean. 2nd: Claire Mabey. 3rd: Susan Wardell. Highly commended: Norman Franke, Susanna Elliffe. Commended: Ethan Te Ora, Alexis O’Connell, Jayne Costelloe, Bonnie Etherington
2020: A.M. McKinnon. 2nd: Tan Tuck Ming. 3rd equal: Anna Blair and Siobhan Harvey. Highly commended: Sarah Barnett, Shelley Burne-Field, Anna Knox, Una Cruickshank
2019: Tobias Buck and Nina Mingya Powles (1st equal). 3rd: Sarah Harpur
2018: Alice Miller. 2nd: Susan Wardell. 3rd: Sam Keenan
2017: Laurence Fearnley and Alie Benge. Shortlisted: Ingrid Horrocks, Lynley Edmeades, Sue Wootton, Kate Camp and Mark Houlahan
2016: Airini Beautrais. 2nd: Michalia Arathimos. 3rd: Carolyn Cossey
2015: Tracey Slaughter. 2nd: Phil Braithwaite. 3rd: Louise Wallace. Highly commended: Therese Lloyd
2014: Diana Bridge. Runners-up: Sarah Bainbridge, Simon Thomas and Scott Hamilton
2013: Tim Corballis. Runners-up: Eva Ng and Maggie Rainey-Smith
2012: Elizabeth Smither. Runners-up: Majella Cullinane and Jane Williamson
2011: Philip Armstrong. Runner-up: Siobhan Harvey. Commended: Ruth Nichol, Raewyn Alexander and Natalie Kershaw
2010: Ian Wedde
2009: Ashleigh Young
2008: Alice Miller, Kirsten Warner
2006: Anna Sanderson
2004: Martin Edmond and Tze Ming Mok
2002: Patrick Evans and Kapka Kassabova
1999: C.K. Stead and Peter Wells
1997: Gregory O’Brien