Raglan is a hotbed of literary activity and success this week, with three local writers shortlisted for major national awards.

Andre Ngapo has been shortlisted for the BNZ Katherine Mansfield Award for his short story “Small Galaxy”. The Katherine Mansfield is probably New Zealand’s most prestigious literary award, and Andre faced stiff competition from a field of over 750 entries to secure his place on the shortlist of seven.

Judge Albert Wendt commented that Andre’s story was “an unpretentious, complex, lyrical story about love, longing and regret…the story shines and wins our affection, making us relive/re-experience the loves that we once had and lost.”

Well-known in the community as a teacher and musician, this is not the first time Andre has experienced literary success. In 2008, he was the winner of the Sunday Star Times Short Story Competition, and his stories for children are regularly published in journals in New Zealand and abroad.

Also announced this week, was that Isa Ritchie and Sarah Johnson have both been shortlisted for the Kobo/NZ Authors Publishing Prize, giving Raglan writers two spots on the shortlist of five. Isa has been shortlisted for her novel manuscript “Missing Indicators”; Sarah for her children’s novel manuscript “The Bold Ship Phenomenal”.

Both Isa and Sarah are seasoned writers. Isa published her first novel The Seekers Garden last year, while Sarah won the Joy Cowley Award in 2011 for her picture book Wooden Arms.

A proportion of the judging for the Kobo prize is by the public. From 1 October, readers can enjoy excerpts from all of the shortlisted manuscripts online before voting for their favourite. The winner will have their manuscript published as an e-book by Kobo. Visit www.authors.org.nz after 1 October to cast your vote.