Welcome to the 2016 Weekend Name Drop Awards, an auspicious, inaugural event sure to never be repeated. Before we get to our nominations and presentations, let’s review what this series was all about.

This time last year, I launched The Weekend Name Drop series including an explanation of how it would work and what I hoped it would achieve. Namely (pun intended), I hoped to:

  • share the creative exploits of writers, artists, musicians and others I have met in person or online.
  • write posts that wouldn’t take as long as book reviews.
  • select people who would enjoy sharing their posts with others
  • create a bit of fun for me, those profiled, and anyone else who follows my blog and writing.
Kelli Cruikshank – Name Drop #1

The posts involved a lot more work than I anticipated and I had incorrectly proclaimed I would not need to involve anyone. I quickly realised I needed the cooperation of each participant in order to use photographs and other content, however, I thoroughly enjoyed corresponding and collaborating with all of these terrific people.

In all, I wrote 53 posts, featuring 55 creative people, 28 women and 27 men.

37 are based in New Zealand, 10 of whom live nearby in the Taumarunui region.

14 are based in Canada, 6 of whom are in Pictou County where I grew up.

As you might expect, the majority of posts featured writers, 35 in all. However, I mixed in 8 musicians, 10 artists, photographers and/or artisans, 1 radio host, and 1 deity.

Without a long-term plan to do so, I featured a family member at the start, mid, and end points of the series.

new_sea_land_cover_webAlong the way, I have featured new books and book covers, previously unpublished poems, memorials, and many terrific samples of work. The series gave me an opportunity to honour family, idols, old friends and new friends. The best part of the experience was the behind-the-scenes correspondence I had with these folks, enabling me to reconnect or develop our connection further. I am grateful to all of them for their openness, generosity and trust in me.

One thing these creative, non-competitive people did not realise, was that they would be considered for the 2016 Weekend Name Drop Awards, probably because I only made the event up this week!

So, without further adieu, let’s wrap up this series by acknowledging the following nominees and winners. Please don’t ask what the prizes are – there are none. Haven’t I done enough for these people?!?

The award categories are:

  • Most Unique Feature Photo
  • Renaissance Person
  • Memory Lane
  • Social Media Interaction
  • Most Views

23982135Most Unique Feature Photo

Steve Braunias, writer
Maria Cole, photographer
Bronwyn Elsmore, writer
Derek Fraser, musician
Jess Richards, writer

Winner: Steve Braunias

I asked for feature photographs from participants. Instead, Mr Braunias provided me with a stipulation that I use the cover from his book, Madmen, featuring the likeness of John Key. It worked.

Hiruharama I – Merrilyn George – 500 W X 900 mm H

Renaissance Person

Merrilyn George, artist/writer/historian
Christodolous Moisa, writer/artist
Leanne Reynolds, artist/animator
Z.R. Southcombe, writer/artist/entrepeneur
A.D. Thomas, writer/artist

Winner: Merrilyn George

I like the word “creatives” because it acknowledges that creativity comes in unending variety. Some exploit whatever medium suits the task, as we see in these nominees. Another name for this award might be “Most Difficult to Categorise”. Merrilyn George has intent to her work, driven by her faith and her love of the past. This finds its expression in a variety of intriguing forms.

With Rob Currie in Halifax

Memory Lane

Rob Currie, musician
Derek Fraser, musician
Cynthia MacLean, writer
Sheldon MacLeod, radio host
Jennifer McGrath, writer

Winner: Rob Currie

I really enjoyed catching up with all sorts of old friends, but Rob and I managed to meet up in Halifax after his post. Thanks for the Tim Horton’s coffee too, Rob!

Social Media Interaction

name-drop-awardsSarah Butland, writer
Tony Chapelle, writer
Cat Connor, writer
Rob Currie, musican
Debbie Lamey-MacDonald, artist
Cynthia MacLean, writer
T.K. Roxborogh, writer
Z.R. Southcombe, writer

Winner: Z.R. Southcombe

One of the fun things about writing these posts was sharing them on social media and seeing the interest that participants showed in others in the series. Z.R. Southcombe stands out because she uses both Facebook and Twitter to great effect – and it seems appropriate to award this to one of the nominees I have yet to meet in person!

Our final category is Most Views received by individual posts:

Karen Corbin

Most Views

James Cannon, carver
Karen Corbin, musician
Kelli Cruickshank, writer
Nicky Hager, writer
Frank MacMaster, writer

Winner: Karen Corbin

Yes, well done, Karen. Karen’s presence and adoring fans on Facebook led to a runaway win in this category. It’s great to have friends and I’m certainly pleased to count all 54 participants among mine.

Thanks again to all participants and to those who have read these posts, shared them, and hopefully discovered some new people to admire. Below is a list of all the fine folks featured this year. Click on the ones you’ve missed!

Kia ora and Happy New Year!



Tui Allen – Pirongia, New Zealand
Bianca Begovich
 – Kapiti Coast, New Zealand
Steve Braunias
 – Auckland, New Zealand
Sarah Butland
 – Pictou County, Nova Scotia, Canada
Stuart Campbell
 – Taumarunui, New Zealand
Tony Chapelle
 – Palmerston North, New Zealand
Cat Connor
 – Wellington, New Zealand
Thom Conroy
 – Palmerston North, New Zealand
Ron Cooke
 – Taumarunui, New Zealand
Kelli Cruikshank
 – Scotsburn, Nova Scotia, Canada
Louise de Varga
 – Auckland, New Zealand
Martin Edmond
 – Sydney, Australia
Bronwyn Elsmore
 – Auckland, New Zealand
Nicky Hager
 – Wellington, New Zealand
Anna Jackson, Wellington, New Zealand
Tim Jones
 – Wellington, New Zealand
Lynelle Kuriger
 – Taumarunui, New Zealand
p.d.r. lindsay
 – Otago, New Zealand
Cynthia MacLean
 – Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
Frank MacMaster
 – Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Jennifer McGrath
 – Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
Christodolous Moisa
 – Whanganui, New Zealand
Emily Perkins
 – Wellington, New Zealand
Jess Richards
 – Wellington, New Zealand
Helen Rickerby
 – Wellington, New Zealand
Joan Rosier-Jones
 – Whanganui, New Zealand
T.K. Roxborogh
 – Dunedin, New Zealand
James Russell
 – Auckland, New Zealand
Tina Shaw
 – Taupo, New Zealand
Z.R. Southcombe
 – Auckland, New Zealand
William Taylor
 – formerly Raurimu, New Zealand
A.D. Thomas
 – Manunui, New Zealand
Tim Upperton
 – Palmerston North, New Zealand
Nix Whittaker
 – Taumarunui, New Zealand
Bianca Zander – Auckland, New Zealand


Duane Andrews – St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada
Karen Corbin
 – Pictou County, Nova Scotia, Canada
Rob Currie
 – Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Jim Dorie
 – formerly Pictou County, Nova Scotia, Canada
Derek Fraser
 – Berwick, Nova Scotia, Canada
Ed Kowalczyk 
 – Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Sam Millen – Palmerston North, New Zealand
Bruce Springsteen – Monmouth County, New Jersey, U.S.A.

Artists, Photographers & Artisans

James Cannon – Taumarunui, New Zealand
Maria Cole
 – Taumarunui, New Zealand
Fraser Findlay – Taumarunui, New Zealand
Merrilyn George
 – Ohakune, New Zealand
Debbie Lamey-MacDonald
 – New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, Canada
Ivan & Janice Millen
 – Durham, Nova Scotia, Canada
Leanne Reynolds
 – Palmerston North, New Zealand
Sophie & Justin Stockbridge
 – New Plymouth, New Zealand

Radio Hosts

Sheldon MacLeod – Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada


Jesus of Nazareth – Heaven and in believers’ hearts

The Weekend Name Drop has been a weekly feature on this blog, promoting people I have encountered who are doing creative things.

Antony Millen is a Canadian living and writing in New Zealand. He is the author of three novels: Redeeming Brother Murrihy, Te Kauhanga and The Chain.

Smashwords Cover Te_Kauhanga_Cover_for_Kindle (2)The_Chain_Cover_for_Kindle

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