Mountain Book Competition

Mountain Book Competition

The 4th MOUNTAIN BOOK COMPETITION will be in 2020 and will open for entries on January 1st 2020, with the last entries accepted on 30 March, 2020.

We will take a break from the Book Competition in 2019, but are looking for writers and publishers who would like to do book launches and talks at our Festival June 28 to July 3 in Wanaka.

The NZ Mountain Book Festival is an exciting event, bringing the best adventure books written on the world’s remote places and extreme sports. The festival features; guest speakers, readings, seminars, book signings and launches. The Festival offers a wide spectrum of experiences for the adventure book-loving audience.

We bring their spirit of adventure, from around the world, to the alpine villages of Wanaka (June 28 to July 3) and Queenstown (4-6 July) in 2019.

The mountain book competition provides an opportunity for writers to showcase their work, receive merit and win cash prizes. We invite you to submit your book for consideration.

The theme is: Adventure Sports and Lifestyles. Please note that the subject matter criteria are extremely broad. There must be a link, however, with adventure sports or people, and also be set in the world’s mountains, lakes, rivers, oceans or skies. These adventure sports can include (but are not limited to) Mountain climbing, rock or ice climbing, tramping, trekking, caving, kayaking, canyoning, white water rafting, base jumping, and paragliding. As are entries which consider mountain culture or wild environments.





You can enter literature in any of the following categories;

Magazine Article / Essay Award – articles or short form essays with mountaineering, tramping, climbing or general adventure themes between 1,500 and 3,000 words. Articles may be fiction or non-fiction and be submitted by individual authors, publishers or editors. Articles must have NOT been previously printed or published online (English editions only).

$250 prize sponsored by NZ Wilderness Magazine NZ’s magazine of the outdoors. 

Mountain or Adventure Fiction and Poetry — includes fiction and poetry books with a focus on adventure topics. Creative narratives about climbing and mountaineering, all aspects of adventure sports, exploration and mountain culture are acceptable (English editions only).

$250 prize for the winner.

Category sponsored by Relishes Cafe – Relishes is an iconic restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner on Wanaka’s waterfront. We serve contemporary and innovative cuisine, as well as fresh daily baked goods, locally roasted Venus coffee and an extensive selection of New Zealand wine.

Mountain and Adventure Literature, Non-Fiction — includes non-fiction books, such as memoirs, biographies and narratives on mountaineering, climbing history, guidebooks, travel books, mountain exploration, mountain culture, and human experiences of any kind in the mountain wilderness (English editions only).

$250 prize for the winner.

Category sponsored by Bike It Now!providing high quality Otago bike retail, tour, hire and workshop service for those wanting to enjoy the cycling trails in the Central Otago, Southern Lakes, MacKenzie and Waitaki regions

Grand Prize book award will be awarded to a book chosen from the above categories.

$500 prize sponsored by Wanaka Paper Plus.





2018 JUDGES:

Judge jo-weggery-web Chief Judge
David Vass – Chief Judge.

Dave has a passion for reading and writing about the mountains. He is particularly interested in the ways we express our interactions with the natural world, be it through words or actions. He has always been impressed with the variety of these expressions and is looking forward to reading this year’s efforts.

 Joanne Waide –  Book Judge.

Joanne is an English, Art History, and Drama teacher, currently working at Mt Aspiring College. She has worked in education for 19 years with an interest in strengthening literacy and critical thinking in the secondary school English curriculum.

Dr Simone Celine Marshall –  Book Judge.

Simone is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Otago where she lectures in writing, and has a particular interest in travel writing. She challenges the reader, creates new ways of expressing ideas, and reveals the literary links between cultures and landscapes.

Alistair Hall – Magazine Article Judge

Alistair is the Editor of  Wilderness Magazine, NZ’s magazine of the outdoors.



Magazine articles/ Essays

  1. Read the rules for the competition.
  2. Email your entry directly to

Book entries.

  1. Read the rules for the competition.
  2. Complete the online entry form
  3. Send us your literature. Books should be mailed/couriered to:
    1. NZMFF Mountain Book Competition
      17 Drake Place,
      Lake Hawea
      Otago 9382,
      New Zealand.




  1. First Editions – to be eligible for the 2020 NZMFF Mountain Book Competition, Books must be published after 2010.
  2. New editions of previously published titles may be eligible if previous editions have not been entered in the competition in the past. Each title may be entered in the competition only once.
  3. Entries may be submitted by authors or publishers. Please coordinate to avoid duplication.
  4. Essays must be un-published to be eligible. This includes electronic publication.
  5. All works must be in English.

Shipping of books

  1. All book entries shipped from outside New Zealand must include a completed customs declaration attached to the outside of the parcel. Please note that the declared value should be equivalent to the cost of materials only. The use of retail values on international shipments may generate duty and/or taxes; these will be charged back to the sender.
  2. Shipping, customs duty and taxes are the responsibility of the entrant.

Entry process

  1. Entries close at 5pm, March 30, 2020.
  2. For books, a fully completed entry form and a copy of the literature must be received by this time.  Early submission is encouraged and appreciated.
  3. For book entries, the copy of your literature can be second hand, or an advance reading copy. The copy is necessary for the judging process.
  4. Essays must reach by the closing time.
  5. Book entries must be accompanied by a synopsis of a maximum of 200 words. Other promotional materials such as media releases, reviews, etc, may be sent separately to but are not a requirement.
  6. Book entries must include a medium-resolution image file (JPEG preferred, max 2Mb) of the book cover (or author if the cover is not yet confirmed)

Sale of books during the festival

  1. All entrants are invited to have their books for sale during the festival.
  2. All books will be sold by Wanaka Paper Plus from a stand at the festival.  If you wish to have books on sale, please let us know so that we can coordinate with Paper Plus.
  3. Self published titles: We’ll put you in touch with Paper Plus. It is then the authors responsibility to provide the copies to directly Paper Plus. They will be sold on a ‘sale on behalf’ basis, with unsold copies returned to the author.
  4. Titles published through a commercial publishing house: We’ll let Paper Plus know you’d like your book on sale. It will then be the responsibility of Paper Plus to place a normal commercial order for the books from your publisher.


  1. The competition organisers reserve the right to select the category most appropriate for a submission.
  2. The competition organisers reserve the right to use excerpts from, and/or complete entries submitted, for promotional purposes.
  3. At the discretion of the competition organisers, winning authors and publishers may be notified in advance.
  4. Decisions made by the jury will be final.
  5. All books entered will be made available for viewing at the Festival Library during the 2020 event.
  6. Essays may be forwarded for publication to Wilderness Magazine.
  7. All books entered will be donated to a local library after the festival. Authors may request the copy to be returned to them, at the authors expense.
  8. The dispatch of any entry to the Festival implies acceptance of these regulations by the entrant.

If for any reason you foresee difficulty in meeting these requirements or you have questions about your book’s suitability please contact the book competition coordinator at: