Former Rotorua author Tom McLean, who writes fiction under the pseudonym Tom Remiger, won the 2019 Michael Gifkins Prize for his novel Soldiers at the Auckland Writers Festival this weekend.

He received a contract with publishing company Text and a $10,000 advance against royalties.

The award was accepted on his behalf yesterday afternoon.

McLean is originally from Rotorua but now lives in the United Kingdom where he is completing a doctorate in English literature.


Congratulations to Tom Remiger who was awarded the 2019 Michael Gifkins Prize for an Unpublished Novel at an Auckland Writers Festival event.

Posted by Auckland Writers Festival on Saturday, 18 May 2019

He said the award was "a stunning validation that the sometimes doubt-plagued experience of writing a novel was an effort worth making".

"That my novel will make its way out into the world with the support of such excellent publishers and editors is both reassuring and profoundly exciting, and I'm looking forward to the next stages of the process."

Soldiers is about what happens to men who go to war.

After the death of Corporal Daniel Cousins in what is apparently a training accident, a young officer, Lieutenant Breen, becomes obsessed by the case.

Was Cousins murdered by one of his own?

Breen must also come to terms with his unexpected love affair with his superior officer.

Text will publish Remiger's winning manuscript in May 2020.