Having just posted a media announcement on the 2018 Ngaio Marsh longlist (the media announcement is here), now for a few personal comments. Firstly and most importantly, if you've been standing by waiting for a review to be posted (especially if your book was in the submissions list), this is the reason for the delay.
This year 69 submissions were made to the New Zealand Crime Writing awards and that's a LOT of reading. Plus it's not really fair to be posting comments / reviews up front when there is much discussion, consideration, rethinking, comparing and contrasting going on in the background. Which focus, needless to say, is now being switched to the longlist entries - all of which now need to be reread, considered, contrasted, stared at, notes made about, opinions formed, changed and generally agonised over before sending my conclusions out to the Judging Wrangler Craig Sisterson and waiting like everybody else for the final conclusions to be collated.
I will admit that when the size of the submissions list first appears it is a little daunting. There's a lot of books to be read in the first pass, but it quickly becomes less of a task and more of a joy as you rapidly come to realise the sheer breadth and depth in that stack. The variety is enormous, there's an increasing sense of multi-cultural celebration and bravery in many of the books being submitted. It's an exciting feeling - staring at this huge, teetering, cat endangering pile of books and wondering what little treasures will be lurking. And the joy when you open something, start reading and think, oh boy. Oh wow. Oh yes.
So heartiest congratulations to absolutely everybody who submitted their books to the awards this year. It was another rewarding year and here's hoping there are a lot more of them.