One of New Zealand’s best-loved writers, Dame Joy Cowley is a finalist in this year’s Ashton Wylie Mind Body Spirit Literary Awards’ Book category for her non-fiction work Veil Over Light.

She joins four other authors from all over the country writing about issues as wide-ranging as global ethics, living cooperatively, mystical and shamanic practise and Māori healing wisdom.

The Awards’ convenor of judges Joan Rosier-Jones says this year’s Book category entrants were particularly strong.

“It was a difficult decision deciding on a shortlist of five from 42 book entries, many from household name writers.

“This year’s finalists were selected for their understanding of the Mind Body Spirit genre, the compelling and accessible way they each convey their stories and their books’ excellent production values. Each of these books are worthy winners and hold much wisdom for our world,” says Ms Rosier-Jones.

The 2019 Mind Body Spirit Literary Awards Book category finalists are:

Veil Over Light: Selected Spiritual Writings by Joy Cowley (FitzBeck Publishing)

Standing Upright Here: Global Ethics for the 21st Century by Gwen S Francis (Austin Macauley Publishers Ltd)

The Infinite Game by Niki Harré (Auckland University Press)

Into the World: A Handbook for Mystical and Shamanic Practise by Leila Lees (Lasavia Publishing Ltd)

He Atua Wahine at the Source of Ancient Māori Healing Wisdom in Aotearoa, New Zealand by Charlotte Mildon (Tamariki Ora Books Ltd)

A record number of 57 entries were received in this year’s Unpublished Manuscript category.

“This year’s manuscript entries were tremendously broad in their subject matter, scope and genre. We received poetry collections, memoirs, novels and academic non-fiction works. In the end the five selected works pulled us in from the start.

“Each of the five manuscript finalists are from writers that hold great promise and we sincerely hope they are published and received by a wide audience.”

The 2019 Mind Body Spirit Literary Awards Unpublished Manuscript category finalists are:

The Time Lizard’s Archaeologist by Trisha Hanifin

The Language of Yin by Gabrielle Harris

You Are Loved by Anca Sarah Joicey

Deva: The Song at the Heart of the Matter by Jacquelyn E Lane  

The Love Path by Averil Nichole Richardson

The Book category winner and the Unpublished Manuscript category winner each receive a $10,000 prize.

The awards are unique in the country for their encouragement of writing in the Mind, Body, Spirit genre. The awards were established in 1999 thanks to a bequest from the late businessman, Ashton Wylie.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony at Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, Westhaven Marina, in Auckland on Friday 16 August, 2019.