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Storylines Joy Cowley Award

The Storylines Joy Cowley Award is open to all New Zealand writers and is made annually, when merited. There is a monetary prize of $1500 from Scholastic New Zealand, and an offer of publication. Scholastic has produced a poster celebrating previous Storylines Joy Cowley Award winners.

2017 Commendations

 There is no winner of the Joy Cowley award in 2017, but four commendation certificates were awarded to:
  • Christine Ashton, Southland, My Friend Fred - Highly Commended
  • Lottie Holt, Auckland, The Princess and the Pirate - Highly Commended
  • Elaine Bickell, Wellington, The Enormous Feet - Commended
  • Belinda O’Keefe, Christchurch, The Truly Magnificent Stick  -Commended
 JCA Shortlist w LL and Penny Scown Scholastic MM Day 2017 -188
Two authors highly commended for the Storylines Joy Cowley Award, Lottie Holt and Elaine Bickell with Scholastic’s Penny Scown and Storylines Trustee Libby Limbrick. (Photo: Crissi Blair)



Joy Cowley 1Established in 2002, the Storylines Joy Cowley Award recognises the exceptional contribution Joy Cowley has made to both children’s literature and literacy in New Zealand and internationally. The aim of the award is to foster the publication of excellent picture books by writers permanently resident in New Zealand.

The award is open to new writers and to already published writers who have never had a trade picture book published. Previous winners are not eligible.

The manuscript submitted must not have been published in either print or digital format for trade (i.e. sold through physical or online bookstores) or for educational purposes (such as school readers), or be in the process of publication in any format.

Manuscripts, with accompanying form and fee payment, must be postmarked no later than 31 October each year. The manuscript, of no more than 1000 words, must be for a ‘traditional’ picture book for children two to seven years.

The judging panel is made up of representatives from Storylines and Scholastic New Zealand.  

The award winner is announced in March and the published book launched the following year.

Entry form and checklist:

Recipients of the Storylines Joy Cowley Award are:Storylines_Joy_Cowley_Award_logo_1.jpg
  • 2003: Julie Leibrich; manuscript published as The Biggest Number in the Univers
  • 2004: Jean Prior; manuscript published as The Waka
  • 2005: Kyle Mewburn; manuscript published as Kiss! Kiss! Yuck! Yuck!
  • 2006: Moira Wairama; manuscript published as The Puppet Box
  • 2007: No award
  • 2008: Michelle Osment; manuscript published as Tiny Miss Dott and Her Dotty Umbrella
  • 2009: June Peka; manuscript published as Magpie Mischief
  • 2010: Lucy Davey; manuscript published as Out of Bed, Fred! August 2011
  • 2011: Sarah Johnson; manuscript published as Wooden Arms
  • 2012: Isaac Drought; manuscript published as Alphabet Squabble
  • 2013: Aimee McNaughton; manuscript published as I Can’t Imagine How That Happened
  • 2014: Emma Vere-Jones, manuscript published as Stan the Van Man
  • 2015: Joy H. Davidson, manuscript titled Witch's Cat Wanted, Apply Within
  • 2016: Sarah Grundy, manuscript titled The rare and endangered Archew, to be published as The Curious Ar-chew



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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