Entry Procedures and Regulations

Our MOUNTAIN BOOK COMPETITION was open for entries from January 1 until March 30, 2024. 

The NZ Mountain Book Festival is an exciting event, bringing the best adventure books written on the world’s remote places, the environment and adventure 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 village of Wanaka (June 21 to 25) in 2024.

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. After the competition closing date, we will invite select entrants from the competition to participate at the festival.

The festival theme is ‘Adventure Sports and Lifestyles.’

All entries must be about adventure sports or people, and be set in the world’s wild places: mountains, lakes, rivers, oceans or skies. These adventure sports can include (but are not limited to) mountain climbing, skiing, rock or ice climbing, tramping, trekking, caving, kayaking, adventure sailing, canyoning, white water rafting, base jumping, or paragliding.

All entries must be non-fiction.

Entries which primarily consider mountain culture or wild environments must have a strong link to adventure activities.  Eg; A book about the culture of the Sherpa people and how that interacts with mountaineering, or a book about difficult and adventurous conservation efforts in remote mountains are in theme. A book solely about a natural environment without any human adventure element is not in theme.


What a competitive year for adventure storytelling! We had outstanding entries in this year’s book competition and our judges had their work cut out for them narrowing these to this year’s finalists. Head judge Laura Williamson said, “Reading through this year’s Mountain Book Festival entries was a pleasure, narrowing down a list of finalists was hard yakka. Every book stood out in its own way. In the end, the winners stood out even more, each approaching our wild places and the people who explore them in new and profound ways.”

Check out this year’s finalists and award winners below, and join us at this year’s festival for readings, book signings, special presentations, and book launches.

Mountain and Adventure Narrative Award

Stories and accounts about specific adventures. 

Everest Mountain Guide by Guy Cotter
A Fine Line by Graham Zimmerman
2024 Award Winner: Adventures with Emilie by Victoria Bruce

$250 prize (sponsored by Wanaka Paper Plus.)

The following were Highly Commended by the judges: 

Finding Frank by Louise Maich
Unsinkable by Alan Corcoran


Mountain and Adventure Heritage Award

Guidebooks, coffee table/picture books, history books, analyses, reflections on mountain culture, environments or ethics, advocacy with a direct link to human adventure.

Erebus: The Ice Dragon by Colin Monteath
Takahē by Alison Ballance
2024 Award Winner: Tongariro National Park: An Artist’s Field Guide by Desmond Bovey

$250 prize (sponsored by Bike it Now!)

Nankervis/Bamford NZ Mountain Book of the Year

$2000 prize, courtesy of the award’s founders, John Nankervis and Dave Bamford.

John and Dave have immersed themselves in the New Zealand mountains, first as prolific exploratory mountaineers (both here and abroad) and, as their physical powers have waned, as afficianados of mountain writing. Both have extensive collections of mountain themed books but feel there is always room for more, especially at the quality end of the spectrum. The award is for a book that brings the mountain experience – in whatever form – into the hearts and minds of the reader. It must be set in the mountains of Aotearoa/New Zealand, or written by New Zealander. 

It should leave people with a knowledge of, and respect for, the place the mountains play in the human and physical worlds. The prize is only awarded for a book of the very highest quality, and may not be awarded every year. The prize is $2000 and (obviously), the adoration of hordes of armchair adventurers around the country. The NZ Mountain Film and Book Festival look forward to receiving entries that will further our feeling and knowledge of the mountains – and mountain people – of Aotearoa/New Zealand.

2024 Winner: Erebus: The Ice Dragon by Colin Monteath

The founders of the award, together at Chancellor Hut


Laura Williamson
Laura Williamson is the editor of the print magazine 1964: mountain culture / aotearoa. She co-wrote ‘The Blue Moments Project’ song and spoken word cycle and her book The Bike and Beyond: Life on Two Wheels in Aotearoa New Zealand is out now as part of the BWB Text series.
Marjorie Cook

Marjorie Cook is the editor of the Wānaka Sun and a senior journalist for the Otago Daily Times.

She did a BA in English Literature and a law degree at Otago University.  

After  moving to Wānaka in 2003, she took up new outdoor activities, including multisport and open water swimming. Marjorie has two six month overseas solo cycle tours under her belt. 

When not busy in the editing chair or chasing news stories, she reads books, enjoys her garden, swims, cycles, indulges in creativity and dreams about adventures.

Allan Uren

Allan lives in Wānaka. He’s a jack of all trades when it comes to climbing and considers himself lucky to be still doing it after nearly 35 years.

He failed School Certificate English but hasn’t let the lack of formal training stop him from writing.

He’s written for the Wilderness and New Zealand Geographic magazines and been published in the Alpinist magazine and is co-author of the Mt Aspiring Region mountaineering guidebook.

How to enter the NZMFF Mountain Book Competition

  1. Read the rules for the competition.
  2. Complete the online entry form (entries closed 30 March 2024)
  3. Send us your literature. Books should be mailed/couriered to:

NZMFF Mountain Book Competition
66 Lagoon Ave
Albert Town
Wanaka, 9305
New Zealand

8th Annual Competition Rules, 2024

  1. First Editions – to be eligible for the 2024 NZMFF Mountain Book Competition, Books must be published after 2014.
  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. All works must be in English.
  5. To be eligible for the Nankervis & Bamford NZ Mountain Book of the Year award, the book must be set in the mountains of NZ, or written by a New Zealander or permanent resident. 
  6. Entries must be still in print and available for purchase from within New Zealand, or from a New Zealand-based distributor*, in sufficient quantity for sale at the festival book stall.

*Overseas authors/publishers can still send judging copies from overseas, but sale quantities must come from within New Zealand. 

  1. Entries close on March 30, 2024. Early entries are encouraged and appreciated. A fully completed entry form and a hard copy of the book must be received by this time. 
  2. E-books or PDFs are not eligible, as physical qualities of the book are considered in the judging criteria. 
  3. Book entries must be accompanied by a synopsis of a maximum of 100 words. Other promotional materials such as media releases, reviews, etc, may be sent separately to programme@mountainfilm.nz but are not a requirement.
  4. 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).
  1. Each title can be entered in one category only. The competition organisers reserve the right to re-categorise any entry as they see fit. Fiction titles or those which do not match the festival theme will not be considered for judging. 
  2. The competition organisers reserve the right to promote the entry as they see fit using; short excerpts of the text, any associated imagery and/or accompanying material supplied by the entrant.
  3. If a book is selected as a finalist, the entrant agrees to provide an additional TWO copies of the book for judging purposes at the entrants expense. 
  4. At the discretion of the competition organisers, winning authors and publishers may be notified in advance.
  5. Decisions made by the jury will be final.
  6. All books entered will be made available for viewing at the Festival Library during the 2024 event.
  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.
  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.
  1. The festival may invite publishers to provide titles for sale at the festival: It is a condition of entry that the title is in print and available for sale on request. 
  2. All books requested for sale will be sold by Wanaka Paper Plus from a stand at the festival.  
  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 (at the authors own expense).
  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.

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: programme@mountainfilm.nz