The New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc.) are proud to announce that Leanne Radjokovich has been selected to receive the 2009 Lilian Ida Smith Award.
Born in Hamilton , Leanne now lives in Auckland , and is currently completing the Master of Creative Writing at AUT University . Her stories have been published in the School Journal, broadcast on Radio New Zealand, were shortlisted twice for the Reed Fiction Award, and have been shortlisted five times for Ireland 's prestigious Fish Short Story Award.
Leanne will be using the award towards a short story collection called Happiness and Other Stories. “It is about everyday New Zealanders,” she comments, “pensioners, cleaners, sickness beneficiaries, and pot-smoking twelve-year-olds.”
Chris Else, who convened the selection panel, comments that, “Leanne stood out because of the crispness of her style and the subtlety of her characterisation. Her writing is comic and moving, beautifully understated and exhibits a feeling for dramatic irony that draws the reader into the story.”
Previous recipients of the Lilian Ida Smith Award include Sue Orr, who published a short story collection this year entitled Etiquette for a Dinner Party, and Rachael King, who has recently published her second novel.