Five South Taranaki entrants are finalists in the Ronald Hugh Morrieson Literary Awards.
The awards honour the work of Morrieson, who was a novelist and short story writer from Hāwera. Morrieson wrote four novels between 1963 and 1976, all of which were adapted for the cinema.
There are five categories in the awards: secondary school poetry and short story, open section poetry and short story, and secondary school research article.
There were 124 entries this year, with Airana Ngarewa of Pātea; Hāwera's Liam Finer, Sasha Finer and Koren Miller; and Maria Taylor of Stratford named among the 13 finalists.
Research article judge Matt Rilkoff said this year's entries "made their influencers real".
"It is no easy task to bring a person to life using words," Rilkoff said.
"They revealed their motivations, their character, their charming idiosyncrasies, their habits and their philosophies."
Short story judge Whiti Hereaka said she was a "big believer that stories and art help us all to navigate this often strange world", particularly when it had been "tipped off-kilter" by Covid-19.
"Some of the entries into the short story competition this year reflected what is happening in our world, dealing with the realities of lockdown and the strains of mental illness.
"There were also humorous stories and stories of hope."
Poetry judge Glenn Colquhoun congratulated all the entrants and thanked them for their contributions.
"It is a brave and fragile thing to pick and pen and paper and write one's observations and recollections of the world," Colquhoun said.
The awards ceremony will be at the Hāwera Community Centre Hall at 7pm on Wednesday, October 28, with the judges commenting on their respective categories and the winning works.
To RSVP for the awards night, email firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, October 23.