Creative Writing alumna wins Gifkins Prize

19 May 2018
Ruby Porter

Master of Creative Writing alumna Ruby Porter has won the inaugural 2018 Michael Gifkins Prize for an Unpublished Novel.

Ruby's manuscript 'Attraction' was chosen from close to 200 entries. Ruby completed the manuscript as part of her Master of Creative Writing at the University of Auckland in 2016.

Ruby describes 'Attraction' as "a novel in which the past is constantly interrupting the present".

"In the present, an unnamed protagonist takes a road trip between Auckland, Whāngārā, and Levin with her best friend, Ashi, and a newer friend, Ilana, who she is sleeping with. Jealousies between the friends, eating disorders, a near drowning and a dying grandmother complicate their journey and the narrator finds herself alone and stranded in Levin. In the past of the novel looms a much older ex-boyfriend, family suicides, and New Zealand’s own colonial history."

Master of Creative Writing convenor Associate Professor Paula Morris says Ruby "is a talented, inventive writer, and a bold new voice in contemporary literature".

"I'm delighted that her novel and potential as a fiction writer are being recognised."

Ruby's work has so far been published in journals and online.

Two New Zealand judges, Jill Rawnsley and James George, selected the longlist which then went to Text Publishing in Melbourne for the shortlist selection. Judges there commented that "the selection revealed an extraordinary diversity of writing and an enviable depth of talent".

Ruby's manuscript was chosen as the winner from a shortlist of three by award-winning novelists Lloyd Jones and Patricia Grace and a representative from Text Publishing.

The winning prize was $10,000 and publication by Text Publishing.

Find out more about the Master of Creative Writing