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What's the Story May 2013

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ISSN 11750189: Volume 12: Issue 2: May 2013.
Storylines Festival of New Zealand Children’s Writers and Illustrators 10 -18 August 2013.
The 20th Annual Storylines Festival of New Zealand Children’s Writers and Illustrators  10-18 August 2013 has been confirmed. Special Events are being planned nationally to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Festival in 2013. Here are some important dates for your diary:
  • Dunedin Family Day, Saturday 10 August, Dunedin Central Library, 11am-4pm.
  • Christchurch Family Day, Sunday 11 August, South Library, 10am-3pm.
  • Northland Family Day, Kaitaia, Saturday 17 August, Te Ahu Centre, 10am-2pm.
  • Wellington Family Day, Saturday 17 August, 10am-3pm.
  • South Auckland Family Day, Saturday 17 August, Vodafone Events Centre (formally TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre), 11am-3pm.
  • Auckland Family Day, Sunday 18 August, Aotea Centre, 10am-3pm

Storylines 20th Anniversary Gala Event, Saturday 17 August. Tickets will be available soon for purchase through the Storylines website. and guest speakers announced.

  • Northland Story Tour 15 and 16 August. 
  • Auckland Story Tour 12 – 17 August.
Workshops, Saturday 17 August, Auckland. Childrens Illustration, Artstation Ponsonby, Writing for adults and children, National Library Centre, Parnell.

Tickets and details available soon for purchase through the Storylines website.


Auckland, South Auckland and Northland Story Tour. Reminder.

A reminder that Story Tour Applications will close on 1 June 2013 so get your application in now. The Story Tour brings New Zealand writers and illustrators into schools and early childhood centres. The Story Tour is provided at no cost to schools and takes place as part of the Storylines Festival. This is an unique opportunity for students to meet their literary heroes and to get an insight from a writer or illustrators perspective. Now's your chance for your students to get answers to some of those burning questions: Where do their ideas come from? What was the inspiration? How did they know they wanted to become a writer or illustrator? How did they make their dream a reality?

If you would like the Auckland or Northland Story Tour to visit in 2013, schools which have not been visited in the recent past, are invited to apply to be a host school for the Story Tour. There is a high demand for the Story Tour to visit, so we rely on you to work with us to make the visit to your school a success.

Storylines Festival Volunteers:

With so many events planned we need your help! Each of our regions require assistance on the day to help with arts and crafts, minders, set up and pack down and a myriad of other jobs too many to name. Come for the day. Half a day or just a few hours – your contribution will assist us! There are even jobs to be completed in the weeks leading up to the Family Days. If you would like to register your interest for your region, then please email Vicki Cunningham, stating the Family Day that you would like to help with and we’ll put you in contact with your local regional coordinator. Family Days are being held in: Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, Kaitaia, South Auckland and Auckland.

Golden Yarns Hui: Reminder.

This year’s gathering of children’s writers and illustrators is being held in Christchurch at Queen’s Birthday weekend. Extending the theme of the successful Spinning Tales held in Auckland in 2011, Golden Yarns offers something for everyone –– a stimulating programme of craft-based sessions, workshops and panel discussions, complemented by exhibitions of illustration art and keynote addresses by Greg O’Brien and Kate de Goldi.

The weekend is being organised by Te Tai Tamariki: New Zealand Children’s Literature Preservation Charitable Trust. Based in Christchurch, Te Tai Tamariki’s immediate goals are to preserve and display illustrations from children’s literature, including exhibitions that tour throughout the country. Taking on this year’s writers and illustrators hui is part of our effort to re-establish ourselves after losing our premises in the February 2011 earthquake. We are distributing the programme early so that you can make your bookings.

Sponsor's Spot: Illustration Workshop for Adults.

Storybook Character Development with Nina Rycroft and Sandra Morris
Learn how to make your storybook character run and leap right off the page , then sculpt it into a 3D model for useful reference when later illustrating your book.
Saturday 10 August and Sunday 11 August 9am-5pm
Cost: $330.00
Spaces are limited.
To book or for more information contact Sandra Morris mobile: 021 0639312 or www.illustrationschool.co.nz

News from Wellington!

The Wellington Regional Committee for the 2013 Storylines event have now had their second meeting. Because we are a small group that has worked together many times on this and on other book-related projects, we are very aware of what is going to work  and, importantly, what isn’t!!

If you came to a meeting you would see at once that we have taken our job seriously and because we are all in love with John McCrystal’s Shackleton Bear Goes South we all have our own Shackleton bears who come to each meeting and read quietly in a corner while we plan. We are hoping very much on the actual day that the Michael Fowler Centre will be full of bears (yes, we have named ours – under the paw). Because of this Deep South emphasis a lot of the events will be given over to interactive Antarctic ‘doings – exploration/ animals/ snow caves. In this, and in everything else we do of course, the emphasis of the day will be on books and their creators but people will also need to watch out for buskers, a musical extravaganza (a piece of blizzard music?)  on the enormous stage in the auditorium, learning to juggle (and making their own juggling balls) and something special that involves 12 boxes of toilet paper (and hopefully the Rolly dogs that goes with one of the brands!)

Storylines Margaret Mahy Day 2013 – the report.  

The eagerness of the attendees to mingle at the annual Storylines Margaret Mahy Day is evident by the earliness they arrive. By the time registrations officially opened at 9am, there was already a considerable gathering chatting; browsing through the offerings of the Dorothy Butler Children’s Bookshop; investigating the possibilities of  Booktrack; perusing the displays about Storylines and its awards, Lindy Fisher and Jennifer Beck’s Remember that November, and the stunning artwork submitted by the Storylines Gavin Bishop Award finalists; supporting Storylines’ IBBY membership by purchasing raffle tickets; not to mention buying the wonderful Margaret Mahy postage stamp pack. (New Zealand Post made a generous offer for the day, with 20% of sales on the day going to Storylines, with the costs the same as if we’d bought them directly through New Zealand Post. I, for one, made use of that!) [We have a limited number available on our website!]

First of all, thank you so much to Kings’ School for hosting us, particularly Caroline Prebble, Tony Sissons (head master and Storylines trustee), and Joanna Baynes (librarian and absolute rock). Not only is it a great venue, they sponsor a lovely morning tea, held in the glorious dining hall.

At 9.30, the official part of the day began, with the AGM of the Storylines Foundation, including the annual report – available in full in the 2012 The Inside Story, the Storylines year book.

Speaking of which, one of the Notices of Motion at the AGM concerned the long term future of the year book. Rest assured, Dear Members, the year book will still be available, but its future as a printed book, free to all members, is being reviewed. Printing costs mean that it is becoming increasingly cost prohibitive to continue as is. However, there will be still be the option to print copies for members, at their request. More detail will be provided as it becomes available.

The other Notice of Motion was to keep membership rates at their current level, which was carried.
After the AGM were the awards’ presentations – a chance to celebrate the wonderful winners and finalists. (See below.)

Lindy Fisher and Jennifer Beck spoke on the creation of Remember that November, originally published in Peace Story, published by the Korean section of IBBY. The remit for the original story was to look at choices and cultures and their celebrations. Jennifer focussed on 5 November as an example – being the date of both the Gunpowder Plot and Parihaka. In both situations people felt the laws were unfair and protested, although in different ways. The two stories struck a chord: the choice between violence and non-violence. And, how do we celebrate historical events? Which ones do we acknowledge? Lindy and Jennifer were available to discuss the work, with original artwork on display throughout the day.

Betty Gilderdale took the opportunity to announce the publication of Magical Margaret Mahy, an updated edition of Introducing Margaret Mahy, a biography written for children. With this behind her, Betty took her courage in her hands and wrote her own memoir.

Then, there was more time to mingle, explore and shop during tea. Those of us who snuck out of the dining hall to bask in the sun, were rewarded by a beautiful view of the Waitemata Harbour and Rangitoto, framed by the school buildings.

After tea, it was time for the presentation of the Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal and the recipient, Bill Nagelkerke’s Margaret Mahy Lecture, entitled ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’. Introduced by Helen O’Carroll, a former colleague of Bill’s at Christchurch City Libraries, Bill’s breadth of knowledge and willingness to share, has been valued by the wider library community around New Zealand. Now, with his writing, translation, and judging, his reach has spread internationally. For such a modest man, he has been reluctant to brag – so it is entirely timely for his light and talent to be celebrated. The text of his speech will available in the next year book.

2013 MM Day Bills speech 33 Bill with medal(copy)

Now, to the awards…

The 2013 Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award was presented by Tessa Duder, a task she has been honoured to fulfil in all by one year since the Award’s inception in 1999. In 1979, New Zealand children’s literature exploded with the publication of Under the Mountain. 1982 was another stellar year, which included the publication of the winning title, How Maui Slowed the Sun by Peter Gossage. It is a strong and powerful retelling of the Maui story, both in text and illustration. The title was reprinted in 1985 and 1990, Puffin took over publication, with reprints in 1995 and 1998, and a new edition in 2011.
Peter Gossage said that the Maui stories were always a pleasure to do, over the 10 years it took him to do the six books in the series. He felt that it was good to know that a few generations have gotten to know the legends through his books. 

Scholastic representatives were on hand to present the Storylines Joy Cowley Award, as the Award sponsor. Lynette Evans, Acting Publishing Manager, spoke of the honour Scholastic feels at sponsoring the Award in the name of such an icon. She also thanked Storylines, as the publishing industry owes them a huge debt for bringing to light new talents and manuscripts. Three of the previous winners have sold over 11,000 copies; six of them have been published in te reo Maori; Kiss, Kiss, Yuck, Yuck by Kyle Mewburn has been published internationally. And, occasionally, runners-up are also published – as with last year. In 2013 there were over 200 entries, with the winner being ‘I can’t imagine how that happened’ by Aimee McNaughton. (Proving that talent can be genetic, Aimee’s mother, Iona, was the inaugural winner of the Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon Award.)2013 MM Day JCA presentation 05 finalists with Joy and Scholastic(copy)
Joy commented that the winners of the Award are different every year, but what they have in common is that they are all original, inspiring, good reads. Amy thanked all involved in the award – as it gave her the impetus to practice what she preaches as an English teacher, encouraging her students to enter awards. She thanked her parents for the sense of humour, and for bringing her up in a house full of books; her mother for her editing advice; and her grandfather who inspired the story.

Then, it was on to the Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon Award, also sponsored by Scholastic. Of the previous recipients, six have gone to have other books published by Scholastic, the most successful being Vince Ford (with 13 books published by Scholastic). Some general comments on the entries are that stories need to entertain, and offer more than the standard fare. Some stories just trail off. Some are a mismatch between the age of the subject matter and the reader. Some fail to draw the reader in. The three finalists all contain a little magic and, remarkably, two are by the same person, Juliet Jacka.

Juliet thanked Storylines and Scholastic for making a vehicle for turning aspiring writers into published authors. She thanked her Aunt Lou and her mum, Robin, for being part of family of word and crossword lovers/Nazis. She also thanked her husband Dan, and her daughters Rose and Imogen (three and one) – particularly as Dan was at home for the weekend, in sole charge. The girls inspired her to keep writing, as she couldn’t ask them to follow their dreams, without following her own.

The floor was then handed to HarperCollins, to discuss the Storylines Tessa Duder Award. There is no award this year, but the 2013 winner, A Necklace of Souls by Rachel Stedman was launched. Vicki Marsdon, Associate Publisher at HarperCollins, spoke of her delight at being involved in the Award, and to be launching the book. She spoke of how difficult it is to be a writer at the current time, and it is harder to get into the market as an unpublished author. The appeal of Rachel’s work is that she tackled the tough fantasy market with a maturity that belied the fact that she was a first-time novelist. A recent review said that it is ‘a brilliant fantasy that left me awestruck… one of the finest piece of fantasy I’ve ever read’.  Rachel is working on a sequel, so we will know what happens next.
Tessa thanked HarperCollins and mentioned that the first winner (Reach by Hugh Brown) is a finalist in the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards. The Award was created because Storylines wanted to find new authors, and it has succeeded with Hugh and Rachel.
Rachel thanked the Award team, and her family. Her daughters weren’t allowed to read the manuscript until it was published, and commented on her use of the word ‘faggot’ – for a bundle of sticks. Rachel’s husband was caught up in the story, and did the illustrations.

2013 MM Day GBA presentation 07(copy)Then, over to Jenny Hellen of Random House, for the Storylines Gavin Bishop Award. Jenny spoke of the demanding entry process, with 37 entries this year and all were fantastic. It was hard choosing the shortlist, but the panel finally got it down to six. All are amazingly talented. There were another five which were loved, but didn’t quite make the shortlist. The shortlisted entries will be going on display, arranged by Gavin through Te Tai Tamariki. The winner, Patrick McDonald, will have his first book published in October, with the text by Kyle Mewburn.
Patrick thanked the Award team and his parents, who ensured that he had a wide variety of picture books while growing up. Some of those were written and illustrated by people in the room.
Gavin congratulated Patrick and the shortlisted entries, as all of the work was of an enormously high standard. Patrick, quite clearly, is capable of continuing and developing as an illustrator. The finalists’ art will be framed and put into an exhibition at the Golden Yarns Hui, which will then be toured and hopefully picked up by galleries around New Zealand for the next two years.

The Storylines Notable Books list was also announced, with certificates presented to the winner author / illustrator / publisher, if they were present on the day. The remaining certificates will be posted out shortly.
The Storylines Notable Books has been undergoing some process changes, with entries submitted by publishers. There will be stickers – undated – so that publishers can add them to the winning titles, thus spreading awareness of the list, and Storylines, to a wider community. Changes may also be afoot for the junior fiction category, as it is difficult to judge books written for a beginner reader level, with those written for a year 8 reader. This year, there seemed to be a number of beginner reader books that stood out, which is a pleasing conundrum to be presented with. Conversely, there were few submissions for the young adult category this year.

Now, we just have a year or so to wait until the next time we can gather and celebrate the Storylines community and all it represents.

~ Annie.



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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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