Mansfield Short Story Award

Each year Katherine Mansfield House & Garden invites entries for the Mansfield Short Story Award from Year 12 and 13 students in the Wellington Region. The award is a $500 cash prize made possible by a generous bequest from Gay Saker, a long-time Wellington English teacher. Entries for 2023 closed on 16 August 2023. This page will be updated when entries open for the 2024 Award, likely in July. For those who missed the deadline or are keen to enter other competitions for young writers, there is a list of opportunities here.

Mansfield Short Story Award 2023

On Wednesday 20 September, ten of the eleven finalists and their guests, including teachers and Principals, attended an awards event at the National Library. This year's judge was award-winning writer Sue Orr. In her opening comments, Sue said she found the shortlisted stories remarkable for the variety of subject matter explored by the writers, making the competition difficult to judge. She said, “I love reading high school short stories because it affords me the privilege of being a witness to the first steps in the careers of tomorrow’s star writers of Aotearoa New Zealand.” You can read the full media release for the awards here.

All the finalists stories can be found below, with the award given to Amaya Colombick for her story 'Ouroboros'. Runner-up and highly commended stories are noted below. Congratulations to all the finalists and thank you to all of this year's entrants. We were thrilled to have so many schools from throughout the region represented in the entries and the finalists. Huge thanks to Joan McCracken and the National Library for hosting the event, and to all those who attended to support the students.

Judge Sue Orr with ten of the eleven finalists.

Amaya Colombick, Kāpiti College | Ouroboros (Winner)

Nadia Scott, Newlands College | Jacob (Runner-Up)

Sophie Leung-Wai, Hutt Valley High School | Fishing (Highly Commended)

Rebecca Connolly, St Mary's College | Patupaiarehe (Highly Commended)

Abby Sangwine, Newlands College | Great Guy's Decision

Carly Hyde, Newlands College | Hidden

Joshua Toumu'a, Wellington High School | Performance Artists in Another Life

Matilda Rumball-Smith, Samuel Marsden Collegiate School | The Last Five

Maxim Ericson, Wellington College | Sip. Burn. Sip. and Dandelions

Merekara Te Tau Rupapere, Mākoura College | That's What Made Her Feel Loved

Tamanna Amin, Sacred Heart College | So Faux Strong

Mansfield Short Story Award 2022

Judge Victor Rodger with all eleven finalists.

Hannah Wilson, Raphael House Rudolph Steiner School | Henry and Eliza (Winner)

Elise Jung-Leask, Wairarapa College | Borame (Highly Commended)

Carly Hyde, Newlands College | Leave Me Alone (Highly Commended)

Maxim Ericson, Wellington College | Full Grey Sky (Highly Commended)

Alysha Wilson, Wellington Girls' College | The Eyes

Campbell Anderson, Tawa College | Star-Crossed Muderers

Hilary Smith, Hutt Valley High School | The Ceramic Mask

Jade Stapleton, Samuel Marsden Collegiate | First Date

Jessie Davidson, Wellington High School | Pickled Onions

Meredith Butcher, Chilton St James School | Good Driver

Rebecca Connolly, St Mary's College | The Gravediggers Club


The finalists and their stories from 2016-2021 can be found below. Enjoy!

2021 KM Short Story Award 

Guest judge Airini Beautrais (who beamed in via Zoom from Whanganui). Ten talented writers were shortlisted for the award, which was won by Cadence Chung from Wellington High School with 'Oxford'. Highly commended certificates were presented to Freya Turnbull from Onslow College and Ruby Barton from Samuel Marsden Collegiate School.

Cadence Chung | Oxford (Winner)

Freya Turnbull | Good For Her (Highly Commended)

Ruby Barton | [Untitled] (Highly Commended)

Eliza Cartmell | Birth/Life/Death

Emma Wilson | Anniversary Day

Hamish Baguley | Detention

Hannah Wilson | The Yellow House

Heather Darby | Jack.

Holly Inglis | Wings

Monty O'Rielly | Coping

2020 KM Short Story Award

Guest judge Tina Makereti. Eleven talented writers were shortlisted for the award, which was won by Nadezhda Macey from Wellington High School with 'Matahiwi'. Highly commended certificates were presented to Avni Labhsetwar from Newlands College and Cadence Chung from Wellington High School. Images from left: The finalists; winner Nadezhda Macey with judge Tina Makereti; guests view items from the Alexander Turnbull Library's Katherine Mansfield collection.

Nadezhda Macey | Matahiwi (Winner)

Avni Labhsetwar | Hidden Sacrifices (Highly Commended)

Cadence Chung | The End of the World (Highly Commended)

Leila Barber | Memory

Gemma Bennion | Only July

Holly Inglis | The Matchmaker

Geneva King | The Red Trees

Valerie Villanueva | You Reap What You Sow

Georgia Wearing | Sumatra's a Type of Tiger

Maria Williams | Dear Amelia

Oliver Errington | Untitled

2019 KM Short Story Award

Guest judge Kate Duignan. Ten talented writers were shortlisted for the award, which was won by Asylvia Redgrave from Onslow College with 'The Log-Woman'. Highly commended certificates were presented to Jemima Dowle from Samuel Marsden Collegiate School, and Julia Lockerd and Kate Twomey from Wellington Girls' College.

Asylvia Redgrave | The Log-Woman (Winner)

Jemima Dowle | Perfect Peter (Highly Commended)

Julia Lockerd | Katherine's Ghost (Highly Commended)

Kate Twomey | So Eden Sank to Grief (Highly Commended)

Tegan Martin | Crashing Down 

Zoe Peet | Keys between my Fingers

Elizabeth Hogan | Of Dinosaurs and Love

Maggie Tu | Untitled

Alex Donovan | Sanctitude

Ella Tait | Untitled

2018 KM Short Story Award

Guest judge Pip Adam. Ten talented writers were shortlisted for the award, won by Elsie Christoffel of Wellington East Girls' College. Runners up were Olivia Sinclair from Onslow College, and Ella Strachan and Kate Twomey from Wellington Girls' College.

Elsie Christoffel | Letter to Love (Winner)

Olivia Sinclair | Gone To Sea (Runner up)

Ella Strachan | Untitled (Runner up)

Kate Twomey | Alice (Runner up)

Madeleine Somerville | I Am

Elizabeth Schumaker | Me and Her

Emma Brown | I've Been Absent From My Skin

Ella Speden | Wasteland

Anneke Hutt | Hide

Elsie Christoffel | Good art

2017 KM Short Story Competition

Guest judge Mandy Hager. From ten shortlisted stories, the winner was Sarah May of Samuel Marsden Collegiate School. Runners up were Emin Kaya of St Patrick's College, Renee Hanrahan of St Mary's College, and Katie Fenton of Wellington Girls' College.

Sarah May | Morning Coffee (Winner)

Emin Kaya | Kaş (Runner up)

Renee Hanrahan | The Elephant in the Room (Runner up)

Katie Fenton | Concerto in B Major (Runner up)

Judah Dabora | One Thousand Cranes

Matthew Canlas | Winter's End

Barnard Patel | Flotsam

Zalan Orban | Night Riders

Lauren Phang | Beaming lights

Tom Hughes | A Date at the Lights

2016 KM Short Story Award

Guest judge Mandy Hager. Out of ten finalists, the winner was Katie Reed from Samuel Marsden Collegiate School. 

Katie Reed | Imperfection (Winner)

Varvara Sidorenko | Letters From My Grandmother 

Maya Duckworth | Night Prayer   

Isla Hutching-Bryant | Fooled 

Sarah May | Language 

Alexander Sharples | Clerical Error 

Caroline Kay | All of these Lights 

Tom Hughes | The Boom, the Bar and the Bathroom 

Isabella Chayter-Waddy | Flotsam 

Summer O'Dwyer | The Difference of a Bullet 

2015 KM Short Story Award

Guest judge Kate De Goldi (not pictured). The award ceremony was held at Old St Paul's and the winner was Augusta Collett from Wellington East Girls' College with 'The Autologist'.