Category Archives: News

‘The Claim’ long-listed for Michael Gifkins Prize

I’m pleased to report that my next novel, The Claim, was long-listed for the  national Michael Gifkins prize. The prize is run by Australian publishers, Text Publishing, and is for an unpublished novel by a New Zealand author. This was its first year.

Sadly, it did not get to final short-list of three, but even reaching the  long-list from 182 entries is satisfying. The next step is to arrange for publication.

The book is set in New Zealand, and is very loosely based on George Eliot’s Silas Marner – in my opinion, one of the most perfectly crafted novels ever written. As in that, the story is built around a man’s struggle  between the lure of gold and of love. In the process, it explores the parallels between prospecting, story-telling and love, and suggests that all three depend on the willing suspension of disbelief.

The blurb for the cover is likely to go something like this:

On his claim in a remote valley, in the western hills of South Island, Evan Cadwallader prospects for gold, disaffected with life. On a stormy night, he rescues a young woman, suffering from hypothermia and close to death. He carries her to his cottage and nurses her back to health – and thus starts an enigmatic relationship in which truth and trust and love seem never quite to be resolved. Who is she? Where did she come from? What is the secret of her life? Will she add to his disaffection and prove once and for all how deceitful life is, or lead him to a new beginning of hope and love?




New Book Launch

By the Tracks We Leave will be published by CreateSpace in early November 2017.

Over the following few weeks it will be launched by releasing copies at  selected ‘little free libraries’ both in New Zealand and other countries – from where its progress around the world will hopefully be tracked.

For more details visit  the book page, via the link above.

Or, to purchase the book, go to



News Flash

One of my poems recently won first prize in a poetry competition organised by Tasman Libraries.

The poem, Midge, was written as a lament for my much-loved schnauzer, as he struggled against cancer exactly two years ago. Winning the prize is a fitting tribute to a wonderful companion.

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David Briggs at Writers at Lunchtime

On August 3rd, David  will be speaking about his new novel, The Direction of Our Fear, at Writers at Lunchtime, at The Prince Albert, 113 Nile Street, Nelson. 

Come any time from 11.30 am, but make sure to be there at 12.30 pm to hear David’s talk. Entry is free.

Book launch

On September 22nd, starting at 16.00, David will be launching his new novel, The Direction of Our Fear, in the Jaycee Room, Founders Park, Nelson. 

Entry free; everyone welcome.

UPLI Poetry Prize

To my delight, I was recently informed that one of my poems, entitled Motueka, had won a silver medal in the 2015 United Poets Laureate International poetry competition.

The winning poems will be published in an anthology and  exhibited on the UPLI website.

The prize money will be donated to Piano on Tour.