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Storylines Management Committee profiles

Leonie Agnew

Aucklander Leonie Agnew joined the Storylines Management Committee in April 2016. She began writing as a child but it was winning the Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon Award in 2010, with her novel Super Finn, that provided the breakthrough.  This book went on to multiple awards in the 2012 New Zealand Post awards: the Junior Fiction award, the Best First Book award and the Children’s Choice award. It was also a finalist for the LIANZA Esther Glen Medal that year.  
Since then she has written two more novels, The Importance of Green and Conrad Cooper’s Last Stand (winner of the 2015 Esther Glen Medal). In 2015 she was chosen as the winner of the Master of the Inkpot Competition run by prestigious UK children’s publisher David Fickling Books for her manuscript, The Impossible Boy.  A former advertising copywriter, Leonie works as both writer and primary school teacher.  

Helen_Beckingsale_2.jpgHelen Beckingsale

Helen has been a children’s book enthusiast since encountering Tom Fitzgibbon and Betty Gilderdale at North Shore Teacher’s College and visiting Dorothy Butler’s bookshop when it was still based at her home in Birkenhead. She was a member of the Children’s Literature Association for many years and has been a member of the Storylines management committee since 2000. She is currently Children’s and Teens Librarian at East Coast Bays Library.
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Christine Dale

Christine Dale holds a DipBus and has worked in the publishing industry for over 25 years, many years as Publishing Manager at Scholastic NZ Ltd. During that time she helped to foster the strong relationship between Scholastic and Storylines with the establishment of first the Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon Award and then the Storylines Joy Cowley Award. She has also illustrated several books and written one picture book. After retiring from Scholastic she has continued to support new writers as a member of the Manuscript Assessors Association through her design company dahlDESIGN. She continues to work with writers and illustrators of children’s books, as well as designing and project managing other works. 

Tessa Duder 1Tessa Duder

Tessa Duder was a founding member of Storylines’ forerunner, the Children’s Book Foundation begun in 1989. Her 40-odd books for both adults and children include novels, non-fiction, plays and anthologies. She is a past president of the NZ Society of Authors (PEN Inc), and has served on the Board of the Spirit of Adventure Trust since 1993. Among her awards are the Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal, the Meridian Energy Katherine Mansfield Fellowship 2003, the Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award for a Much-Loved Book 2005 and the 2007 Artists in Antarctic fellowship. She holds a O.B.E. and Honorary Doctorate from the University of Waikato. Tessa has been a Storylines Trustee since the inception of the Trust Board.  See also Tessa's author profile. 

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Sarah_Fordyce_1.jpgSarah Fordyce

Sarah has avidly read everything from cereal packets to toothpaste tubes since the age of 3½, but since finding Storylines has focused her attention on the distilled essence of good literature: children's books, She has been with Storylines since 2001, joining the management committee in 2005.

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Kaaren Hirst

Kaaren has 25 years’ experience in school libraries and working on committees. Active as an Auckland representative on the National Executive of the School Library Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (SLANZA), she was convener of SLANZA’s Auckland regional committee for seven years and co-convener of the SLANZA national conference held in 2011 at St Cuthbert’s College. She has volunteered at Storylines Family Festival Days for the last seven years, and chairs the Storylines Festival national committee.

Lois Huston

Lois has been a dedicated school librarian  in Auckland for twenty years, and now works as Senior Librarian,m Children and Youth at the New Lynn War Memorial Library in Auckland. In 2004 she won a SLANZA Award of Merit for the promotion of children's literature. She has served a total of nine years on the management committee since 2001.

Libby_Limbrick_1.jpgLibby Limbrick

Dr. Libby Limbrick has worked in teacher education for the past two decades. She has recently retired as Head of the School of Arts, Languages and Literacies at the Faculty of Education, University of Auckland and the School of Curriculum and Pedagogy.  Most of her teaching has been with postgraduate qualifications for teachers specialising in literacy education. Libby is a strong advocate for the place of literature in teaching children to read and write. She has been a member of Storylines and its predecessors, the Children’s Book Foundation and then Children’s Literature Foundation of New Zealand, since 1992. She is currently Co-director with Rosemary Tisdall, of NZ IBBY, hosts for the 35th International Congress of IBBY, Auckland 2016.  

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Bridget Mahy

Bridget Mahy teaches English at Epsom Girls’ Grammar in Auckland. She grew up in libraries and as a consequence has maintained a keen interest in children’s literature. She is a Director of Mayhem Multimedia which oversees the management of the late Margaret Mahy’s body of work. 
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Wayne_Mills_1.jpgWayne Mills

Wayne was for many years Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Education, University of Auckland, in the School of Arts, Languages and Literacies, and before that, in the Faculty of Education at Waikato University. While living in Hamilton he started the Kids’ Lit Quiz™ which has since enjoyed a steady growth to include some 10 other countries.  He is now the full-time Quiz Master, travelling constantly to run New Zealand heats, national finals in other countries leading up to the annual international World final. In 2008 he was awarded the Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal for his distinguished contribution to children’s literature, and in 2011 the civil honour OMNZ. See also Wayne's Storylines Margaret Mahy award profile.

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Helen_Villers_1.JPGHelen Villers

As a Senior Lecturer in language and literacy at the University of Auckland's Faculty of Education, Helen manages to find a picture book or a novel to read aloud in every lecture – for pleasure first and, where possible, for every single theme and topic within a course – even hard ones like assessment, disability or difference. Helen loves to read, and if there is time left over, to run, to garden and spend time with friends and family. 

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The Storylines Trust and Foundation together comprise New Zealand's only national organisation working year-round specifically to promote children's and young adult literature through an annual Festival in six regions, author awards, publications, advocacy and other activities ... 



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