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enewsletter archive

Enjoy the archive of our enewsletters:


April 2013 enews.

Welcome to April and autumn. Storylines has just begun its official year, with the annual Storylines Margaret Mahy Day and Storylines Foundation AGM, held on Saturday at King’s School in Remuera. A full report of the day will be published in the May issue of What’s the Story? For now, we celebrate and acknowledge the Storylines award winners, announced and / or presented on the day:

Thanks must be given to the wonderful team at King’s School, who make the day so memorable and seamless. Not to mention the hardworking team of Storylines volunteers – and to Vicki Cunningham, the redoubtable Storylines Events Manager. 

Storylines needs your help! Volunteers needed!

The Storylines 20th Annual Festival of New Zealand Children’s Writers and Illustrators is fast approaching and added to the Festival events this year is a  new Family Day in South Auckland.

We are looking for people in the South Auckland area who would be keen to join the organising committee, share  their ideas and take on one aspect of the day. We need people who have the get up and go to create arts and crafts relevant to New Zealand Books, coordinate volunteers or liaise directly with the guests themselves. There are many different and varied roles that need filling. 

So if you have some time to attend meetings once a month, or have time to complete some preparation work, or are available on Saturday 17 August for part or all day,  then we would love to hear from you. A meeting for those interested in assisting us with this Family Day has been organised for Thursday 9th May 2013, 4pm, at The Coffee Club in Manukau. We hope to see you there.

Please contact Vicki Cunningham, Storylines Events Manager for more details about how you can help. 


Gecko Press win at Bologna Children's Book Fair

Wellington based children's publisher Gecko Press has won the 'Bologna Prize for the Best Children's Publisher of the Year in Oceania' at a ceremony last night in the 250 year-old Teatro Communale, the famous Bologna Opera House. The awards were initiated this year as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Bologna Children's Book Fair. 

The awards went to publishers in each region of Europe, Africa, Asia, central-South America, North America and Oceania, for courageous and innovative publishing in the past year.

Exhibitors at the Bologna Children's Book Fair voted for the winners. 

Publisher Julia Marshall was honoured to receive the award. ‘We are very grateful to all the originating publishers of the books we choose to translate for our list, and to all our very special Gecko Press authors, illustrators and publishing team. We are extraordinarily proud to be recognized for publishing curiously good children's books, as we enter our eighth year in publishing.’

Publisher Julia Marshall is available for interview. Please contact publicist Angela Radford

Golden Yarns Hui

Writers and Illustrators! Golden Yarns Hui over Queen’s Birthday weekend in Christchurch – book now! The programme is full and exciting.

Alex – the movie

Special screening at TheVic Theatre, Devonport, Auckland 

Saturday 20 April at 4pm

Meet star Lauren Jackson and author Tessa Duder

To celebrate 25 years since the publication of Tessa Duder’s classic young adult novel Alex, a special screening of the 1993 movie adaptation Alex has been arranged by the Michael King Writers’ Centre. 

The movie was scripted by Ken Catran, directed by Australian Megan Simpson (Dating the Enemy and many tv productions) and produced by Tom Parkinson of Isambard Pictures. The cast included Elizabeth Hawthorne and three leading Australian actors. 

Lauren Jackson, the then 15-year-old star, will attend the screening. Since 1993 she has built up a strong reputation as an actor, also as director, producer and writer for both short films and theatre. A pupil of Auckland Girls Grammar at the time of filming, she graduated with a degree in German from the University of Auckland and from Toi Whakaari New Zealand Drama School, and also spent some years in Germany. Now married and living in Auckland, she has a young daughter. 

Both she and Tessa Duder will speak about their experience filming Alex and answer audience questions. 

For bookings, please visit TheVic website


In-School educational musical for 2013: And The Winner Is!

AND THE WINNER IS... is an education musical that has been created to celebrate the 2013 Storylines Festival while combining a love of reading with exciting physical competition. 

Watch a selection of the following 2013 New Zealand Children’s Book Awards shortlisted books come to life, encouraging students to engage with reading in an active and energetic manner and reinforcing the idea that in all areas of endeavour participation is more important than winning.

  • Melu by Kyle Mewburn, Ali Teo & John O’Reilly

  • Mister Whistler by Margaret Mahy & Gavin Bishop

  • Remember that November by Jennifer Beck & Lindy Fisher

  • Red Rocks by Rachael King

Areas of Learning: Reading, literacy, physical education, acceptance of others, performing arts

Curriculum coverage: English, Health & PE, SOSE/HSIE, The Arts

Every child in the room was completely entranced by the story and how it all related to their own lives. Perform lived up to my expectations again! Rutherford Primary, Auckland

An engaging performance! Lovely subtle references to the stories and cleverly scripted. Wadestown School, Wellington

I’d be struggling to find a way to make the show more entertaining or educational! Great job! Southbridge School, Christchurch



For more information and touring dates in terms 2 & 3 visit the Perform website

That's all for the month! Enjoy the upcoming school holidays - with some reading. We'll be in touch next month with photos and fun from the Storylines Margaret Mahy Day.

Storylines Margaret Mahy Day 2013:

2013 MM Day Birthday cards for Margaret display 01(copy)
2013 MM Day GBA finalists display 01(copy)2013 MM Day AGM 01 Libby welcome(copy)

2013 MM Day GBA presentation 07(copy)
2013 MM Day JCA presentation 05 finalists with Joy and Scholastic(copy)

2013 MM Day Betty Gilderdale 01(copy)

March 2013 enews.


How Maui Slowed the Sun wins prestigious Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award.

How Maui Slowed the Sun by Peter Gossage was first published in 1983. This April its longevity and place in the canon of well-loved New Zealand Children’s Literature will be celebrated when it is awarded the Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award for a much-loved book.

How Maui Slowed the Sun by Peter Gossage. The Maui series by Peter Gossage, and in particular, How Maui Slowed the Sun (now published by Puffin, New Zealand), is one of the staples of library and home bookshelves around New Zealand. Gossage retells the traditional tales of Maui the trickster with economic and expressive language and bold, graphic illustrations that create a powerful mythological landscape. With sales of the Maui books in the tens of thousands, Gossage is surely one of New Zealand’s most widely read storytellers of Maori legends.

Peter Gossage is a graphic designer and artist who has worked in commercial and creative artistic fields for more than forty years. His first job on leaving school was at an advertising agency and he later worked as a display artist at the Auckland War Memorial Museum and as a graphic and scenic artist at TV2. When his drawings of Maori motifs on a television commercial drew interest from a publisher in the 1970s, he went on to write and illustrate his famous Maui series. Gossage now lives in Auckland and is the author and illustrator of more than 20 titles.

The Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award was established in 1999 to honour the memory and contribution to children’s literature of teacher and writer the late Gaelyn Gordon. The award is made annually for a work of fiction seen by Storylines as one which has stood the test of time and which is recognised as a successful, enduring children’s book. The award is for a book by a living author that is still in print and that has not won a major New Zealand award.

Dr Libby Limbrick, chair of Storylines Children’s Literature Charitable Trust commented that, ‘Storylines is delighted to have the Gaelyn Gordon Award to recognise books that are enduring children’s classics in New Zealand. Most books only have the chance to receive this sort of recognition at the time of publication and it is so important to acknowledge the success of books like How Maui Slowed the Sun, which has now influenced generations of New Zealand children.’

Remember, this is just one of the awards to be acknowledged and celebrated at the Storylines Margaret Mahy Day on 6 April. Book your tickets now.

Also among the awards presented, are those for unpublished manuscripts:
The shortlist for the Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon Award is:
  • ‘The Pirate, the Prophet and the Truth’ by Brydie Bain
  • ‘The Keeper of Spirit Hill’ by Juliet Jacka
  • ‘The Night of the Perigee Moon” by Juliet Jacka   
The shortlist for the Storylines Joy Cowley Award is:
  • ‘The Grub-a-lub’ by Morganne Collier
  • ‘The Rubbish Bin Cat’ by Jennifer Healey
  • ‘Big Blue Eye’ by Sharyn Jones
  • ‘Metal Fred’ by Sabrina Malcolm
  • ‘The Origami Door’ by Sabrina Malcolm
  • ‘I Can’t Imagine How it Happened’ by Aimee McNaughton
  • ‘The Animals’ World Cup’ by Heidi Poimatagi  

Schools in Auckland and Northland – remember, applications for the Storylines Festival Story Tour are now open! Find out all about it here.

Authors and illustrators! You can now book and pay for the Golden Yarns Hui!


Remembering Margaret Mahy

Storylines and New Zealand Book Month are proud to present an evening to celebrate the marvellous Margaret Mahy in story and verse.
Join readers Kate De Goldi, Leonie Agnew, Tessa Duder and children as they present a programme of some of Margaret’s most loved stories and poems like 'Down The Back Of The Chair' and 'Bubble Trouble' and yes, some surprises drawn from her novels, essays and more. Suitable for children age 8 upwards.
When: Thursday 21 March 2013, 7pm for 7.15 start
Where: National Library Centre, Stanley Street, Parnell
Cost: Optional gold coin donation
This is just one of the events happening throughout the country as part of New Zealand Book Month… please visit their website for details of other events and information 

Nic’s Cookbook wins an international award.

Scholastic New Zealand is delighted to announce that Nic’s Cookbook, written by 10-year-old Nicholas Brockelbank, has won the Best Fundraising, Charity and Community Cookbook category of the strongly contested Gourmand World Cookbook Awards for the Pacific region.
His win was announced at the Paris Cookbook Fair on Saturday 23 February.
Nic’s Cookbook was the New Zealand winner in two categories announced December 2012: the Best Fundraising, Charity and Community Cookbook and the Best Children and Family Cookbook.
Previous New Zealand recipients of awards have included Annabel Langbein, Brett McGregor and Jo Seagar.
Nic lives with muscular dystrophy and is the 2012–2013 ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). He and Scholastic NZ are donating half of the royalties from sales of this book to the MDA.
Nic started cooking at eight years old when one of his teachers suggested it might help with his schoolwork. He has since shown significant improvements in reading, spelling and maths.
Nic’s Cookbook was born from Nic creating his own ‘cookbooks’, which were photocopied booklets of his favourite recipes that he sold to family and friends to raise money for charities.
In 2011, he went on to win the TVNZ Good Morning Kids’ Cook Off with his Chicken and Broccoli Pasta recipe, which features in the cookbook.
Since the publication of his book in October 2012, Nic has held a sell-out book launch, made guest appearances on TVNZ Saturday Breakfast, What Now and Attitude TV, and done Whitcoulls in-store cooking demonstrations, assisted by celebrity chefs Simon Gault and Brett McGregor.
Nic’s Cookbook has been a regular feature in the top-10 NZ children’s bestseller list.


Listen to Michael Morpurgo FREE!
The New York Times best-selling author takes you on his journey with War Horse, starting with tales of his childhood in a bombed out London during World War II, to years later when during a chance conversation with a World War I veteran in a Devon pub he learned of the role of horses on the front lines of the Great War.  
This conversation inspired him to write a novel about World War I England, France and Germany seen through the eyes of its protagonist, a horse named Joey.  
That novel, War Horse, would years later be adapted for the theatre by playwright Nick Stafford with the Handspring Puppet Company, directed by Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris, and become a world-wide stage phenomenon.
Running Time: 1 hour approximately
Free ticketed event, bookings essential.
Monday 25 March, 5.30pm ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre 

Alzheimers Auckland is holding a Garden Party fundraiser on 23 March and we are very fortunate to have Kate De Goldi as our guest of honour. The event will be held at the stunning Pah Homestead in Hillsborough and it is set to be a fabulous evening. Tickets are available through eventfinder

New Zealand writers with a special interest in the mind, body, spirit genre are encouraged to enter their work into the 2013 Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust Literature Awards.
The Awards recognise both budding and published writers by offering two of the largest prizes awarded for literature in New Zealand.
To be eligible for the awards, writers must be New Zealand citizens residing in the country. Unpublished manuscripts must be submitted by 31 March 2013, and be between 20,000 and 100,000 words in length. Published books must be submitted by 31 May 2013, should be 48 pages or longer and must have been published between 1 April 2012 and 31 March 2013.
The Awards will be presented in a ceremony at the Ashton Wylie Charitable Trust’s own venue, Hopetoun Alpha in Auckland on 16 August 2013.
Submission forms and entry details are available from The New Zealand Society of Authors.  
July 2012 enews.

Letter from the Storylines Trust Chairperson, Dr Libby Limbrick: 

The Trust Board is sorry to announce that Elizabeth O’Halloran is unable to renew her contract as Executive Officer for Storylines for personal reasons. Elizabeth was appointed a year ago at a time that required her to develop, rapidly, an understanding of Storylines, and in particular the Festival, which was about to happen; only two months after signing her contract. That she managed to pick up the demands of funding applications, and the accountability reports required by the funders, is a testament to her skills and commitments, while balancing family demands with a baby, Leo, who was then only a few months old. The Storylines Trust thanks Elizabeth for all she has done for Storylines, and for children’s literature, during this time. She has assured us that she wants to maintain an active interest in Storylines, and indeed has agreed to stay on for three months while we appoint a new EO, and to guide the appointee as he/she gets established. We look forward to our on-going contact with Elizabeth, and Leo, wishing her much happiness and success in the future. The position of Executive Officer is advertised on The Big Idea. Applications close 21 July 2012. Please pass this on to any suitably qualified people you know.

19th Annual Storylines Festival of New Zealand Children’s Writers and Illustrators 18 -26 August:

Time is fast evaporating for this year’s Festival and with only five weeks to go until we kick off the 19th Annual Storylines Festival, our Regional Coordinators (and their committees) have been working tirelessly to ensure that everything is in place! This year's Festival is looking bigger and better than ever before! With a fantastic line-up of authors, illustrators and storytellers coming to your local region, you won't want to miss out. To see who is coming to your local region, a full list of guests is now available on the website. Don’t forget to mark your regions date in your calendar and we hope to see you there! We’ll have competitions, spot prizes, book launches and the opportunity for you to meet your literary hero! Look out for the full programme which will be updated on the website in early August.


Calling all volunteers!! Find out about volunteering on the day here.
So what are some of the planned competitions and workshops around the regions?

Saturday 18 August 2012, Dunedin City Library, 11.00am – 4.00pm:

Dunedin Family Day Competitions:
  • Twisted Tales: What if the glass slipper had fit the Ugly Sisters or the Big Bad Wolf was vegetarian? Write a classic fairy tale with a twist. (Max 300 words)
  • Whaley Weird Inventions: A whale is beached at Sandfly Bay. Draw a wacky invention to help it get back into the ocean. (Max size A4).
  • Book prizes for the best writing and illustrations in each age group: 4– 8 years and 9 – 12 years.
Create your entry in the competition zone at the Family Day – or create your entries in advance. Please put your name, age, school, phone number and email address on the back of your entry and ask a parent or guardian to sign it as being your own work.
Entries close at 2.30pm on 18 August. Prizegiving is at 3.30pm in the Heritage Hotels Book Talk space, Ground Floor, Central Library. Prize-winning entries will be published on the Storylines website.
Zine Workshop with Spencer Hall, Dunedin City Library Level 2, Teen Space 1.00pm – 2.30pm:
Do you love graphic novels, comics, zines and manga? Now’s your chance to make your own Zine with Dunedin Comic Collective frontman, Spencer Hall. Create your own Zine which you can take away at the end. Suitable for ages 10+
$5 per workshop.
Bookings are essential and all materials will be supplied.
For more information or to book tickets email the library or call 03 474 3690.

Sunday 19 August 2012, Michael Fowler Centre, 10.00am – 3.00pm:

Storylines Wellington Family Day Competitions:
  • Your Perfect Pet! Write a one page story about your perfect pet – OR – 
    The Taniwha of Wellington Harbour – Draw your own Taniwha. Let your imagination run wild.
  • Book prizes for the best writing and illustrations in each age group: 4 – 8 years and 9 – 12 years.
Enter in the competition zone at the Family Day – or create your entries in advance.
Please put your name, age, school, phone number and email address on the back of your entry and ask a parent or guardian to sign it as being your own work.
Entries close at 2pm. Prizegiving at 2.30pm in the Auditorium. Prize-winning entries will be published on the Storylines website
Plus: The Voice – Storylines Read Aloud Competition.
Bring your favourite fiction story and be prepared to read for 30 seconds in your best ever reading voice.
Bring your family and friends to vote for you! 1.00pm in the Books Alive Room in the Auditorium.
Writing Workshop with Fleur Beale Michael Fowler Centre 10.00am – 11.30am:
Do you enjoy writing fiction or want to improve your writing skills? Then book now for a focussed session with Fleur Beale, an award winning and popular New Zealand author.
Suitable for ages 11+
$15 per workshop
Bookings are essential and all materials will be supplied.
For more information or to book tickets visit the website.

Sunday 19 August 2012, Catholic Cathedral College, 10.00am – 3.00pm:

Storylines Christchurch Family Day Competitions:
  • Pen a Poem or design a book cover: Write a haiku poem or choose your favourite book and design a new cover (A4). Let your imagination run wild.
  • Book prizes for the best writing and illustration in each age group: 4-7 years, 8-11 years and 12-16 years.
Please put your name, age, school, phone number and email address on the back of your entry and ask a parent or guardian to sign it as being all your own work.
Enter the competition with work done over the holidays, at home or at school and bring them along on the day.
Entries close at 1.30pm. Prizegiving is at 2.30pm in the Competition Zone. Prize-winning entries will be published on the Storylines website.


Saturday 25 August 2012, Whangarei Central Library and The Old Library Community Arts Centre 10.00am – 2.00pm:

Storylines Northland Family Day Competitions:
  • Beastie I.D. (This competition takes place only at the Storylines Family Day):
    • Collect your Beastie starter pack from the Ringmaster
    • Look for Beastie body parts at each activity zone; put them together to spell BEASTIE
    • You can decorate your Beastie at the competition zone if you want to impress the Ringmaster
    • Take your finished Beastie to the Ring Master to get a prize Beastie Evolution 
  • Beastie Evolution: Create a new species of Beastie:
    • Your Beastie should be small, about the size of a cell phone
    • You can make your Beastie out of anything you like, for example clay, feathers, beads, shells etc. 
    • Please give your Beastie a scientific name that describes its personality; what it’s like or where it lives.         (For example: Librarius smartipantii = A clever Beastie that lives only in libraries)
  • Beastie Dreaming – What is the Beastie dreaming?
    • Draw a picture or write a poem to create the Beastie’s dream (Beastie might dream about rainbows or his holiday or Beastie friends… or anything at all)
Heads up! 
All competitions can be entered on the day (materials provided).  Beastie Evolution and Beastie Dreaming can be completed at home or school but must be handed into the Library on or before the day for judging.
Pick up entry forms either from Whangarei Libraries, the library website …or ask your teacher (most Whangarei school teachers will have the forms)
Don’t forget to supply your name and phone number with your entry 
All competitions will be judged, and prizes awarded, at the Storylines Family Day.
  • Book prizes for the best writing, illustration and construction in each age group: 4 – 7 years, 8 - 11 and 12 – 16 years.
Please put your name, age, school, phone number and email address on the back of your entry and ask your parent or guardian to sign it as being your own work.
Entries close at 12.00pm.
Prizegiving at 1.30pm in the Books Alive room, The Old Library Community Arts Centre.
Prize-winning entries will be published on the Storylines website.
Exhibition at The Old Library Community Arts Centre The Illustrator’s Studio:
Take a glimpse into the studios of some of Northland's best illustrators. A range of Northland illustrators will be exhibiting some of their favourite pieces, as well as giving the public a glimpse into their studios and working process.  

Sunday 26 August 2012, Aotea Centre: The Edge, 10.00am – 3.00pm:

Auckland Family Day Competitions:
  • Write a story or design a book cover.
  • Take a well-known Superhero that you like and imagine that you are telling your friend about him/ her. What would you tell them? Write a one-page story (maximum 300 words) about your Superhero –
  • Choose your favourite book and design a new cover for it (maximum size A4).
Let your imagination run wild!
Book prizes for the best writing and illustration in each age group: 4-8years and 9-12 years.
Please put your name, age, school, phone number and email address on the back of your entry and ask a parent or guardian to sign it as being all your own work.
You can create your entry in the Competition Zone at the Family Day – or create your entries in advance.
Entries close at 1.30pm. Prizegiving at 2.30pm in the Competition Zone. Prize-winning entries will be published on the Storylines website. Scholastic
Best Loved Bear Competition:
Bring your favourite soft toy to Best Loved Bear at 11.00am in the Scholastic Books Aloud room on Level 4 Goodman Fielder Room and be into win a lucky prize!
Puffin Short Story Awards Prizegiving:
Join us for the Puffin Short Story Awards Ceremony at 12.30 on Level Two, Owens Foyer where our lucky winners in each age group (Junior, Intermediate and Senior) will win an Apple iPad and books for their school library.
Storylines Workshops for Children and Adults:
Saturday 25 August 2012, National Library Centre, Parnell In Auckland, we have some fantastic workshops planned and tickets are now available for purchase.
Hosted by the National Library Centre in Parnell (Stanley Street) on Saturday 25 August, we have six children’s workshops and two adult workshops planned for this year.
Tickets are only $15 for children’s workshops and $20 for adults.
All materials will be supplied. You just need to bring your imagination!
Don’t be disappointed – book you tickets today as places are limited for each workshop!
Children’s Workshops: Adult's Workshops:
Storylines Special Event: Meet the Authors and Illustrators Tuesday 21 August 2012 and Wednesday 22 August 2012:

Storylines in association with TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre are giving schools the unique opportunity to meet authors and illustrators ……..

Thank you to all the schools who have applied to attend this special event.

We have filled three sessions and currently only have seats still available in the Wednesday PM session for years 9+. So hurry and book your space today for your students.



Let the Sport of Reading Begin!: Kids Lit Quiz™ World Final and Gala Dinner:  

Awakeri Primary School. Oh the drama! Towards the end of the day I was as nervous as watching that rugby match (you know, the one played over Labour Weekend last year).
Yes, it was tense on 4 July at the Owen G Glenn Building, University of Auckland. With supporters from around the world cheering on every team – not just their own – it also wasn’t a quiet afternoon Well, it was... while the questions were being answered.
There were six teams from around the world competing:
  • Australia: Canberra Grammar School
  • Canada: University of Toronto Schools
  • New Zealand: Awakeri Primary School (Bay of Plenty)
  • South Africa: Roedean School, Johannesburg 
  • UK: George Watson's College, Edinburgh
  • USA: Squadron Line School, Connecticut
All the schools had fascinating stories, highlighting their dedication and commitment to the Quiz – and not just by the students. Rosemary Tisdall, one of the volunteers organising the event, was the emcee for the day – and shared stories of natural disasters, sabbaticals cut short, nerve-wrackingly close finals…
It was wonderful to see the support the Quiz has, from the patron Lady Susan Satyanand, the sponsors (Whitcoulls, Softlink, South Pacific Books), the event sponsor – Graeme Aitken (Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Education, University of Auckland), the international guests (organisers from the overseas teams, including the Northern Ireland organiser, Tanja Jennings, who attended, although Northern Ireland wasn’t in the World Final this year).
Wayne Mills, the Quizmaster, has worked tirelessly on the Quiz, building it from a competition of 14 teams in the Waikato 21 years ago to this – a world event, with thousands of schools competing. Wayne became a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2011 New Year’s Honours List.
The New Zealand team – Awakeri Primary School from the Bay of Plenty led from the first round and held their nerve throughout the rest of the quiz.
The final results were:
  1. New Zealand (Awakeri Primary School): 43
  2. South Africa (Roedean School): 34
  3. Canada (University of Toronto Schools): 30
  4. UK (George Watson's College, Scotland): 25
  5. USA (Squadron Line School, Connecticut): 22
  6. Australia (Canberra Grammar School): 19
Now, if I shared the names of the categories (kept secret until the last minute), or any of the questions, I’ll be watching for the heavies to arrive. Instead, I’ll say that the breadth of knowledge the competitors show is stunning. And humbling.
A few hours later, 160 children’s literature and Kids Lit Quiz™ supporters gathered for the Gala Dinner, held at Voyager, the Maritime Museum.
Jealous because you weren’t there? And so you should be. Each table had members from the competing teams. I must admit, there would have been no way I was confident enough to hold my own for dinner conversation with a table full of strange adults when intermediate-school-aged. And then, one child from each team had to SPEAK in PUBLIC to a room for 160 people!!! These one-minute book talks demonstrated the depth of their reading, and their thinking about what they read and enjoyed.
For those wondering:
  • Half Brother by Kenneth Oppel - Katy White (New Zealand).
  • Gone by Michael Grant – Nick Barnard (Australia)
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – Elyse Kassa (USA).
  • Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer – Beth Miller (Scotland / UK).
  • The Cat and the Wizard by Dennis Lee – (Canada).
  • The Velveteen Rabbit: Or, How Toys Become Real by Margery Williams – Nina Jacobson (South Africa).
The guest speakers for the night serendipitously both used the ‘treasure chest’ metaphor. Maybe it had something to do with the pirate display in the museum below? Des Hunt’s sharing of the contents of his treasure chest – all books – led to around the table discussions of what would be in our personal chests. (Members may have read some of my contents in last year’s Inside Story, the Storylines year book.) Author, illustrator and storyteller, Stu Duval, expanded on the theme – with authors wanting to share their treasure, to whoever is willing to listen, or read.
Wayne finished the night by sharing his five greatest things about reading:
  1. Enjoyment and escapism: ‘books are shaped like doors’
  2. When you read, you know you’re not alone (C. S. Lewis) – readers make better decisions, because they can empathise with other viewpoints / people
  3. Reading helps stave off Alzheimer’s and is good for your overall cognitive health – but only if you’re reading all the time. Reading really is food for the mind.
  4. Reading extends your vocabulary – the more words you have, the more ways you can express yourself. Many a survey has shown that the majority of prisoners have literacy issues.
  5. Reading is essential for a democracy – readers are people who question things as a result of their critical literacy. ‘Once you learn to read, you will be forever free’ ~ Frederick Douglass.
~ Annie Coppell. Photo credit Deborah Burnside.  

Nine Mad Writers.  One Crazy Story.  Zero Idea What Happens Next.

Last year, kids got so enthusiastic about a New Zealand online writing project that they invited JK Rowling to join. This year, they might just try and outwrite her. In 2010 a group of New Zealand children's writers had a conversation on Facebook about writing an online junior fiction book collectively, and inviting New Zealand children to join in. FaBoStory was born and a wild and wacky ride it was. This is the third year this team of New Zealand children’s writers have got together to try and outwrite New Zealand kids. They are suckers for punishment.

On the July 16 the FaBostory began, with the first chapter of a junior fiction novel being posted on this year’s FaBostory website. And each week New Zealand kids can pen the next chapter, while the FaBostory team tries to outwrite them and take control of what will be an exciting and crazy plot.

Kyle Mewburn, FaBostory writer, said ‘On week 1 - Writer A writes chapter 1. In week 2 - Writer B writes chapter 2 and completely messes up Writer A's original idea (while cackling gleefully and rubbing evil little hands together). In week 3 - Writer C takes the story off into a completely different direction altogether (while cackling gleefully etc).'

There will be competitions, prizes and ideas stolen.

Kids can write as part of school or library teams or on their own. 

The FaBostory website is live, with all the details available online.

The FaBo Team want the story finished by Christmas. ‘We’ll need a nice lie down by then,’ said Team Member Maureen. ‘We’re up against New Zealand kids, it’s going to be tough!’

Stories should be up to 500 words long and submitted by Friday 5pm in the body of an email to the FaBo team with name, age and school.


Derek Landy touring New Zealand.  

Derek Landy, author of the bestselling Skulduggery Pleasant series, will tour New Zealand from Wednesday 8 to Saturday 11 August. Over the space of four days Derek will visit Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, and speak to more than 3,000 children. His tour will include five public events at which fans will have an opportunity to meet Derek and have their books signed.

Derek Landy’s public events:

  • Thursday 9 August, Wellington:
    • 4.00pm: The Children’s Bookshop: 26 Kilbirnie Plaza, Kilbirnie, Wellington
    • 7.00pm: Whitcoulls Queensgate: Westfield Queensgate, Corner Queens Drive and Bunny Street, Lower Hutt, Wellington
  • Friday 10 August, Christchurch:
    • 4.30pm: The Children’s Bookshop: Shop 5, Blenheim Square, 227 Blenheim Road, Christchurch
  • Saturday 11 August, Auckland:
    • 10.00am: Whitcoulls Albany Westfield: Westfield Albany, Don McKinnon Drive, Albany, Auckland
    • 1.00pm: Paper Plus Botany Town Centre: Botany Town Centre, 588 Chapel Road, East Tamaki, Auckland
For further information, to arrange an interview, or request a review copy, please contact Louise Vallant, Senior Publicist, HarperCollins Publishers. Phone: (09) 443 9246

Speed-dating authors: Alison Robertson speed date.

Sixty Waikato schoolchildren recently spent a morning speed-dating authors, finding out how to write and illustrate better stories.
Four writers, Gretchen Brassington, Sharon Holt, Feana Tu’akoi and Alison Robertson were joined by Nelson-based illustrator-writer Tracy Duncan and illustrator and artist Bruce Potter from Tuakau. The children all had 20 minutes with each author/illustrator learning about different aspects of their craft.  
The day was organised by the New Zealand Book Council, sponsored by the National Library Service and Waikato Children’s Literature Association and and hosted by Hamilton’s Southwell School. Staff from National Library Service and the Hamilton Public Library helped out too.  
Sarah Foster Education Manager at the New Zealand Book Council says they’ve held speed-datingsessions in other regions and find them a good way to cover a lot of different aspects of writing and illustrating.  
‘In Hamilton, each writer took a different approach, one covered structure, another character, others worked on scenes, and by the end of the morning students had a good idea how good stories come together and how good illustrators work. And the age-old message, that in order to write well, you need to read a lot was hammered home, in a good way, by all the writers.’  
Feana Tuakoi speed date. Over the next few weeks will write a 500-word story based on what they learned from the writers and using some of the illustrators’ work as inspiration.  
~ Alison Robertson


NZSA Mid-Career Writers Grant – Opens June 29th:  

A new and valuable grant seeks to recognise and celebrate the contribution of a mid career writer to New Zealand literature. 
CE Maggie Tarver says that in an increasingly youth oriented arts funding environment it is the NZSA’s intention and duty to remember the many talented writers in NZ who just fall somewhere between emerging and esteemed. ‘We think it’s important to provide a grant that celebrates, and is accessible to, writers midway through their career.  Particularly those who have made solid progress but perhaps haven’t received the recognition they deserve.’
The grant is worth $6000 and is open to writers of fiction, literary non-fiction, poetry, short fiction collections (self published work included) and plays. It is intended that the grant be used by the recipient to assist the progress of an existing project.
For the purposes of this contestable grant, a mid-career writer is defined as being one who is over 35 years of age, has published/had produced a minimum of three books or projects, has been actively writing, publishing/producing for a minimum of five years and had made a  significant contribution to New Zealand literature. The applicant must also be a full member of the NZSA.
The grant opens for applications on 29 June 2012. 
The deadline for applications is 31 August 2012. 
Application form and terms & conditions are available to download from the website or can be requested by email.   

Author-in-Residence Competition:

Central Auckland’s New Windsor primary school has a new author-in-residence after winning a nation-wide competition.
Mt Eden children’s author, Melinda Szymanik, in association with publisher Pear Jam Books, held the competition to help engender a passion for reading and creative writing in schools.
Ms Szymanik will take up ‘residence’ in term 3, visiting the school on a fortnightly or monthly basis to work with students and teachers.
New Windsor’s selection as host school was based on what Ms Szymanik and Pear Jam Books felt was a compelling case. ’Their entry outlined their strong school-wide commitment to books and reading but also spoke of the challenge they experienced in providing any additional literary initiatives for their students. Their plan includes opportunities for me to work with an extension class, a book club and give in-class talks.’
New Windsor Library Manager Donna Marquand said, ‘this is such wonderful news… Reading is one of the keys of our school culture.’
Ms Szymanik is a writer of children’s picture books and youth fiction. She was the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards Children’s Choice winner in 2009 for her picture book The Were Nana. Titles published most recently include picture book Made with Love (Duck Creek Press) and a psychological thriller novel for young teens, published by Pear Jam, called The Half Life of Ryan Davis. Ms Szymanik is also a regular visitor to schools and libraries, is a New Zealand Society of Authors mentor, and conducts writing courses and workshops for children and adults.
Three more Auckland schools – Auckland Normal Intermediate, Birkenhead Primary and Stella Maris Catholic Primary in Silverdale – also stand to benefit from the author-in-residence competition. As short-listed entrants, Ms Szymanik hopes to visit each school at least once over coming months.
‘It’s a chance for me to share my love of reading and show how much enjoyment there is to be had in books: because if people enjoy something they will want to keep doing it. It’s also an opportunity for those who aspire to write themselves to meet a writer and discover that they are everyday people who live in their neighbourhood.’

Te Tai Tamariki news:

Thank you to all those who attended the Te Tai Tamariki panel discussion on dystopia in teenage literature. 
For those who were unable to attend, Trevor Agnew has written a brief resume of the evening. Thank you Trevor.

Remember to keep Wednesday, July 18 free.  At 7pm that evening we will have the first of our BookChat evenings.  The books to be discussed are House that Jack Built by G Bishop and Nanberry by J French.  Read them in advance and come along and share your thoughts. The venue will be The Children’s Bookshop, 227 Blenheim Rd., Christchurch.  If anyone who is unable to come wants to email their thoughts to include in the discussion, please do.

Now, for Trevor’s piece:
For Christchurch booklovers a dystopia would be the Children’s Bookshop reduced to rubble, with a group of us huddled around a fire in the wreckage. By that standard, a utopia would be the Children’s Bookshop in its new daffodil yellow premises with colourful chairs dotted among the packed bookshelves. That’s where we were on the night of 21 June, and these notes try to give a hint of what was talked about.
To discuss dystopia novels, we had a well-informed panel:
  • Jillaine Johnstone, Senior Lecturer in Children’s Literature and Literacy
  • Joanna Orwin, author of the The Guardian of the Land, Owl and Sacrifice
  • Jane Higgins, Senior Research Fellow at Lincoln University, author of The Bridge 
Jillaine Johnstone had produced a booklist of ‘Dystopian/ Post-Apocalyptic/ Futuristic Young Adult Literature,’ with warnings of age suitability concerns.
Introducing the ‘fashionable genre of the moment,’ Jillaine noted her own unhappiness with the term ‘dystopia’ but ran through typical aspects. ‘A bleak world where everything is pretty hopeless, people are oppressed, frightened and de-humanised.’ She mentioned that in dystopias governments are usually centralised and totalitarian, police states are often disguised as ‘good.’ A rapid development of technology is often involved. Jillaine noted that characters in dystopias tend to question what has gone before. ‘They may feel ashamed and confused as they make difficult choices in a harsh environment.’ Often they must act directly, be subversive or escape. ‘Most dystopias have strong conflicts; often violence breaks out and main characters suffer great personal cost for their involvement.’
In discussion Jillaine noted that classic dystopias, like 1984 and Brave New World, are often ‘flipped utopias.’ For many of the books now labelled dystopia, she personally favoured ‘science fiction.’(Or for those who think they don’t like science fiction, ‘futuristic’ is a useful label.) 
Jane Higgins had examined her teenage bookshelf and found many science fiction writers (eg Ursula K. Le Guin Dispossessed, Arthur C. Clarke Childhood’s End, Bernard Beckett Genesis) whose works might be called dystopian. She was aware of the problems of labels creating ghettos. Jane preferred to call these books ‘dark and dangerous futures,’ and pointed out that both young adult fiction and science fiction have a long tradition of dealing with ‘dark and dangerous futures.’
In discussion all three panellists mentioned how YA dystopia novels can draw young readers to think about real issues in their world. For example The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins draws attention to the unfair distribution of wealth, aspects of TV programming, etc.  Jane said that The Hunger Games, and to some extent The Bridge, takes something that is happening now and pushes it to the extreme. Jane mentioned that a ‘current concern’ that played a part in creating The Bridge was people being forced out of their home countries by war, hunger and climate change, as well as the problems they face (like being used for cheap labour) as asylum seekers without rights.
Joanna Orwin does not see Sacrifice as a dystopian novel. ‘It is partly post-apocalyptic but is based on history and enables the exploration of big ideas.’ She does not regard Sacrifice as bleak or dark. ‘It is the problem of a small, isolated community with restricted resources.’ Joanna gave the example of infanticide, which horrifies us now, but was once taken for granted as a method of population control. It eased population pressures. Another technique was sending young men out to sea as heroes. ‘We still send our young people off to war and we still glorify it.’
All three panellists agreed that the novels formerly known as dystopian really fit into the category of science fiction or speculative fiction. ‘Science fiction is about possibilities,’ said Jillaine. Jane noted that these labels are a problem for publishers, who fear sales being confined to ‘the geeky anorak crowd,’ so they nervously avoid it. ‘Futuristic fiction is a more acceptable label,’ said Jill, ‘but it’s just a label.’
From the floor, Bill Nagelkerke noted that a ‘dystopia’ is literally a sick world. ‘That’s a label that could apply to every book in this shop.’
Joanna reminded us that young people are idealistic and full of hope, and many do want to change the world. ‘Teenagers like ‘big questions’ and like to feel they have the ability to make changes. Many of these novels remove parents from the scene and leave teens to grapple with the big issues. Often these are clearer, simpler versions of problems we see in our muddled world.
Jane noted that when the New York Times complained that YA fiction was too dark, they were deluged by messages from kids saying, ‘How dare you tell us what to read. We’ll read what we enjoy.’
Note: this is only Trevor Agnew’s thumbnail sketch of what was a fascinating and informative evening of discussion and ideas.
For the full story, why don’t you join us at the next Te Tai Tamariki panel discussion?
~ Mary Sangster Secretary Te Tai Tamariki.

Auckland Writers and Readers Festival 2012:  

There was much anticipation for Auckland Writers and Readers Festival this year, for those of us who love children’s books, with a number of international authors, along with some of our own, participating not just in the school days but in the general programme too, bringing book-mad kids into the Aotea Centre as well as the huge numbers of adults attending.
It’s hard to say who was top of the bill, but the most frequently talked about was Oliver Jeffers who appeared on the first school day and again in a very popular session with Dylan Horrocks, to celebrate the launch of Jeffers’ new picture book The Hueys: The New Jumper. The facility to draw live, shown on the giant ASB Theatre screen, and Jeffers ability to captivate his audience with his quirky drawings and sharp Irish humour had audience members clamouring for his drawings and long lines waiting for him to sign books, as he carefully drew a picture in each book along with his signature.
Huge cheers came forth when superstars of fantasy fiction Eoin Colfer and Emily Rodda arrived on stage. Colfer kicked off his school session with stories, particularly stories about his family where nothing is too precious to be made fun of. Everyone roared with laughter and could appreciate a new side of his fictional hero Artemis Fowl when he talked about the brother the character was based on, and the relish with which he kills off the bad guys – based on his other brothers – in every book. A final volume in the Artemis Fowl series is coming in August and I expect a good many of the audience will be lining up at the bookshop for their copy.
Emily Rodda took a more serious approach, with kids hanging on her every word as she revealed how she has gone about creating the fantastical world that her Deltora, Rin and the new Three Doors series are all based and how real it is to Rodda herself. There were many questions about how she made this fictional world so real and particularly the monsters which appear in them all. Rodda says that she often uses things in our natural world – particularly insects, and told of her horror of discovering our weta. ‘Imagine a weta as big as this room. What could be scarier than that?’
Rodda and Colfer appeared together in the general programme, ably chaired by Kate De Goldi. Colfer was incapable of being serious about anything apart from the need for kids to read, and then read some more. Children perched on the edge of their seats in the packed session and there were still many hands in the air when question time ended and no doubt the queues were long for book signing afterwards, judging by the number of books I saw clutched in small hands. Small children weren’t the only fans – there’s a longstanding faithful readership for these books and there were adults and teens in the audience too, all just as enthralled as the young ones.
YA author Mal Peet was also on the bill. He was here three years ago and is sure to be back again. His books have a growing readership with both teens and adults enjoying his richly woven fiction based very much in the real world. His latest book Life: An Exploded Diagram reaches from WW2 to September 11, with a main focus on the Cold War 50 years ago. This made him a good panellist with Irish novelist Sebastian Barry and young American author Jesmyn Ward, with her book about Hurricane Katrina, to discuss the place of history in their work. Peet had also talked at the school sessions, taking a humorous approach to get across his strong opinions about the importance of history and the joy of books.
The schools’ programme held other gems including Shortland Street writer Victor Rodger who gave his teenage audience the run-down on how the programme is put together, though wouldn’t give away any advance plot details. He gave great advice about the best approaches if scriptwriting is your heart’s desire.
Fleur Beale – our recent Storylines Margaret Mahy Award recipient, was also at the schools programme though I was unable to see her myself – can’t be two places at once, but the secondary school pupils I spoke to afterwards had taken lots of ideas for their own writing away from her session.
Graphic artist Chris Grosz - New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards finalist for Kimble Bent Malcontent hit the stage with his guitar in one hand and a pen in the other and proceeded at a rattling pace that kept his audience’s attention as he showed the wide range of his illustration and book work, finishing with the series of paintings Kimble Bent was based on and how the graphic novel was created.
Poet Laureate Ian Wedde couldn’t believe his eyes when more and still more students poured through the doors for his session – he said he had never had an audience like it for a poetry event before. He shared poems from his childhood and which had special personal meaning for him, and also invited audience members to read their own poems which were startling in their quality.
There are so many top quality authors, illustrators, scriptwriters and poets who appeared over the five days that it would be impossible to cover them all here; these are just the events I was able to attend myself. I had a blast and came away inspired and refreshed. Can’t wait until next year!
~ Crissi Blair.

The Return of The Arrival:

Over the weekend of 13-15 July, Red Leap Theatre returned to Auckland with their award-winning production of The Arrival. I saw the show in Wellington in 2010 and was thrilled to see it return to Auckland. It meant I could treat my mother to a day out. Mum is a Shaun Tan fan, with special memories of seeing him at the Storylines Festival in 2007.

The production didn't disappoint. It was heart-warming, and heart-wrenching. It was 80 minutes of magic. The sheer physicality of the actors was amazing. If you ever see The Arrival advertised again - GO! The people I recommended it to - who went - thoroughly enjoyed it, too. 

So, Red Leap, if you're reading - every couple of years, please :D.

~ Annie.


Children's Book Raises $150,000 for Christchurch:

Children’s picture book Quaky Cat, published in response to the Canterbury earthquakes, has now raised $150,000 for Christchurch charities.
Born of tragedy — the September 2010 earthquake in Christchurch — Quaky Cat is the uplifting story of Tiger the cat's experiences as he wanders frightened and lost through the quake's destruction, and finally gets reunited with his family. Wanting to help the people of Christchurch, author Diana Noonan and illustrator Gavin Bishop donated their services to create the book, and publisher Scholastic New Zealand has, since the book's December 2010 publication, donated 50% of the book’s proceeds to Christchurch charities.
Proceeds from sales of Quaky Cat, including all of Noonan and Bishop’s royalties, are being donated to the Christchurch Women’s Refuge and Te Tai Tamariki Children’s Literature Trust, with Scholastic’s contribution going to the Christchurch Earthquake Mayoral Appeal. At the time of publication, 15,000 copies of the book were gifted by Scholastic to year 1 and 2 children in the Christchurch region.
Minister for Earthquake Recovery Gerry Brownlie presented Scholastic with the Northwest Christchurch Earthquake Award, in recognition of service to the local community in the aftermath of the 22 February 2011 earthquake. 
For further information contact: Diana Murray, Publishing Manager, Scholastic NZ.  

4th Unisa Children¹s Reading Conference: 11-12 September 2012:

4th Unisa Children’s Reading Conference: 11-12 September 2012
Sunnyside Campus of the University of South Africa, Pretoria
Theme: Social media and children
Find out more on their website.

Language is magic: Christopher Paolini in conversation with Jim Mora, Auckland 29 June:  

I love the Storylines family!
I was offered two tickets to see Christopher Paolini in Auckland (my donor’s plans had changed, and they were now seeing him in Hamilton). Even if you’ve never read any of his Inheritance Cycle books (Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr, Inheritance), his personal story is enough to intrigue anyone:
  • Homeschooled, Christopher graduated from high school at 15, and concentrated on writing.
  • In 2002, his family self-published Eragon. Author Carl Hiassen’s son read and loved it, and Hiassen showed his publishers.
  • By the age of 19, Paolini was a New York Times bestselling author.
  • Eragon has since been made into a movie (and, not a very popular one judging by the audience’s reactions every time it was mentioned).
I wrote 11 pages of notes of the chat – but I will not share it all! Just some highlights, and impressions.
Paolini is self-possessed, self-deprecating and a thoroughly decent young man (and I feel old, just writing that sentence). He obliviously has a strong and loving family environment. He admits that being home-schooled gave him the freedom to explore his interests, without pressure or bullying. And, the opportunities to write.
Paolini was a late-comer to the love of reading, but picked it up with alacrity and then seemed to absorb the fantasy cannon at a rapid pace. His aim, in his writing, was to fix the mistakes he felt other authors had made. You know – those times in a book when you’re jolted out of the fantasy and shout (internally or aloud) something like ‘but he has MAGIC! Can’t he just blow them away?!’
And why dragons? (I imagine that, for many fantasy fans, the question is actually rhetorical.) What could be better than having a best friend who can read your mind, fly you where you want to go – and the blast your enemies with fire? No contest really.
As for the future – keep an eye out for book five. But, he’s pretty sure that his next book will be science fiction.
The perennial question: advice to aspiring authors:
  • Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Including reading outside of your comfort zone – you learn more there.
  • Write every single day.
  • Write about what you love the most – some days are going to be hard.
  • Find someone in your life to edit your work.
  • Try to have fun on more days than not.
Oh, and follow him on twitter: @inheritancecp.
~ Annie Coppell.

June 2012 enews

19th Annual Storylines Festival of New Zealand Children’s Writers and Illustrators 18 -26 August

This year's Festival is looking bigger and better than ever before! With a fantastic line-up of authors, illustrators and storytellers coming to your local region, you won't want to miss out. To see who is coming to your local region, a full list of guests is now available on the website. Don’t forget to mark your regions date in your calendar and we hope to see you there!
We’ll have competitions; spot prizes, book launches and the opportunity for you to meet your literary hero! Look out for the full programme which will be updated on the website shortly.
What is planned so far?

Storylines Workshops for Children and Adults
In Auckland, we have some fantastic workshops planned and tickets are now available for purchase. Hosted by the National Library Centre in Parnell (Stanley Street) on Saturday 25 August, we have 6 children’s workshops and 2 adult workshops planned for this year.
Tickets are only $15 for children’s workshops and $20 for adults. All materials will be supplied. You just need to bring your imagination!
Don’t be disappointed – book you tickets today as places are limited for each workshop!
Children’s Workshops:
Writing with:

Illustration with:

Adult Workshops:


Storylines Special Event: Meet the Authors and Illustrators
Storylines in association with TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre are giving schools the unique opportunity to meet authors and illustrators. Find out more here >

Calling all volunteers!! Have you ever considered being a volunteer? Like being close to the action? Storylines are always looking for volunteers to assist us with the Festival. Register for your region today! 

Puffin Short Story Awards 2012
Entries have now closed and our judges are hard at work reading all the entries we have received. The winners of each category will be presented with their prize packs at the Auckland Family Day so we hope to see you there.
Best of luck to everyone who entered!

The Wellington Storylines Festival will be holding writing workshops for teens with the talented and successful New Zealand author, Fleur Beale. If you are budding writer or interested in improving your writing skills then this is a great course for you.  The workshop will run alongside the Wellington Family Day at the Michael Fowlers Centre on Sunday 19 August. Space is limited to provide each student with the best opportunity to improve their skills and get the most out of the session. Tickets are only $15 and will be available for purchase shortly. 

With loads of other events planned here's another wee taster. What do you get when you cross Barbara Else, Anna Mackenzie and Fleur Beale, three great New Zealand writers of children and YA fiction? An awesome discussion panel at the Wellington Storylines Festival Family Day of course! Just one of the many fabulous FREE activities planned for Sunday 19 August at the Michael Fowlers Centre in Wellington.

Sarina Hutton
Storylines Wellington Regional Coordinator

Whangarei is abuzz with Storylines fever once again.
A great team of planners has been formed, many from our last Family Day but also a handful of innovative new members whose fresh ideas for this year’s Family Day are taking shape. New Zealand Post Children's Book Award winner, Catherine Foreman is now a Whangarei local and has taken on a large role in putting together our Illustrators Gallery, which was a highlight of the last Family Day.
The Whangarei Brass Band will provide 'ooom pa pa' at the opening ceremony and our very popular Mayor, in all his regalia, will be there to welcome all comers to the event.
This week we will be brainstorm for an exciting theme, based on 'Animals', as they are the feature of most of our visiting authors and illustrators books so don’t forget to dress up and you could be a spot-prize winner on the day.

Let the fun begin!

Sue Scott
Storylines Northland Regional Coordinator


Christchurch Family Day is starting to take shape with our venue sorted at Catholic Cathedral College. Don’t forget to mark this in your calendars – Sunday 19 August. It's nice to be back 'almost' in the city. Catholic Cathedral College has a great hall with interconnecting library and classrooms, so any inclement weather won’t be an issue. We have some wonderful activities planned and it would be good to have a larger Bookworks craft area this year, so if anyone is interested in helping with this area it would be great to hear from you. We currently need 2-3 people assisting in this area with set-up and preparation. If you have any other ideas that you would like to see at a Christchurch Festival, then please contact me. It would be great to have you involved.
Kim Dovey
Storylines Christchurch Regional Coordinator

Keep Saturday 18 August free because the Storylines Festival returns to Dunedin City Library, for a fantastic day full of entertainers, storytellers, illustrators, activities and competitions.
Preschoolers and infants will love the character costumes, story sessions and face-painting, intermediates will adore the activities and the chance to get a book signed by some of their favourite New Zealand authors and illustrators, while budding writers and talented young artists can be inspired by a variety of discussions with all of our guests on the wonderful world of writing, illustrating and publishing.


And the wonderful thing is.....it’s free. We hope to see you there!
Lynette Hartgill
Storylines Dunedin Regional Coordinator



June 2012.


Storylines Margaret Mahy Day 2012.
Over 100 Storylines members and friends gathered together on Saturday 31 March at Kings School, Remuera, to celebrate the Storylines award winners, attend the AGM, and listen to the annual Margaret Mahy Lecture – given by the Storylines Margaret Mahy Award winner.

The day began with welcomes, and the AGM. Thanks were given to Kings School, who are very generous to Storylines. They host a number of events for us, including Margaret Mahy Day, and last year’s Spinning Tales Hui.

The audience were introduced to Elizabeth O’Halloran, the Storylines Executive Officer, who took over from Christine Young in June 2011. Christine’s work as our inaugural EO was acknowledged. The work of Storylines Event Manager, Vicki Cunningham, was also recognised. (Vicki, however, wasn’t there to hear it – as she was manning the registration desk at the time.)

Then, the formal part of the day – with the AGM, and the presentation of the annual report (which you can read in the 2011 edition of The Inside Story, the Storylines’ year book… free to all members).

Our current membership stands at 470. Please ensure your details, particularly your email address, are updated. You can email the Membership Secretary to do this, or you can do so online, once you have logged in go to ‘manage my account’.

Under general business, Libby Limbrick discussed the IBBY Congress, which we will be hosting in 2016. There is a Congress steering committee meeting already. The IBBY Congress is held biennially, this year it is in London. Storylines Management Committee members Helen Villers and Libby Limbrick will be presenting a paper together. In 2014, it will be in Mexico City. Then… Auckland! The theme will be: Literature in a Multi-Literate World. Thank you to Mike Tisdall for  sponsoring the design and printing of the promotional bookmarks.

The Congresses are amazing. Over 70 countries are represented in IBBY, and most send delegates to the congress. They are multi-cultural in the extreme.

Our new Management Committee are:

Welcome to our new members Katie, David and Pamela.
We welcome input from members throughout the year – so, if there is a sub-committee or area you’re particularly interested in, please let us know. Co-option can happen at any time.

Rosemary farewelled the Management Committee members who have stepped down this year.
Janice Rodrigues and Barbara Smaill joined the committee last year. There is a lot of learning in this year, but luckily they have both offered to stay on and help in sub-committees.

The amazing Helen Schwarcz, who has been the Management Committee meeting chair, has also had to leave the committee.

2012 MMDay Annie. Jill Stephenson has moved house, which has necessitated a departure from the committee.

Annie Coppell is having a break from the Management Committee – although is staying on various sub-committees and doing other tasks for Storylines. Including newsletter editor… so, yes, this is me writing about myself (very disconcerting).

At the conclusion of the AGM came the presentation and announcement of Storylines’ awards.

Storylines Awards:

2012 MMDay GGA Jack Lasenby with  Tessa Duder.  Tessa Duder had the privilege of presenting, for the 14th time, the Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award. Gaelyn was a very good friend of Tessa’s. Gaelyn was a children’s and young adults’ writer for only ten years, arriving onto the scene with one of the shortest acceptance periods ever – David Ling decided to publish her manuscript after reading it over a weekend.

Gaelyn was a big woman in every sense – with a big heart. Tessa encouraged the audience to give their own words to describe Gaelyn – fun, courageous, incorrigible. Her death at about 50 was too soon.

She produced wonderful books, and was known as one of New Zealand’s best authors, who had never won and award. Storylines honours her memory by naming their award, which recognises the enduring popularity of a book, which never won a major award, the Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award. 

This year the award has gone to a much-loved author who has created some of the best characters in New Zealand children’s literature. They are enduring books, enduring characters, and classics of children’s literature. Congratulations Jack Lasenby for Uncle Trev.

Jack thanked Tessa and Storylines for this award in the name of an amazing writer and teacher. ‘What a happy thing it is to remember Gaelyn in this way’. Jack thanked the late Christine Cole Catley, who published Uncle Trev, and helped a youngster from the Waikato who was haunted by a wish, who wanted to tell a story, and not much else.


Penny Scown from Scholastic presented the Storylines awards they sponsor.

Ten years Scholastic announced sponsorship of an award in the name of one of New Zealand’s loved authors. The Storylines Joy Cowley Award now receives over 200 entries a year. They foster talent in the art of writing picture texts – which is not a doddle. The less words, the more every word counts. There has been eight previous winners. Five of these have been translated into te reo Maori. Kiss! Kiss! Yuck! Yuck! by Kyle Mewburn has been published in the USA and Australia. Kyle and Lucy Davey have gone on to publish a number of books with Scholastic (and a few with other publishers).

Certificates were given to the shortlisted entries:

  • ‘Alphabet land’ by Isaac Drought.
  • ‘Granny McFlitter the champion knitter’ by Heather Haylock.
  • ‘The crook chook’ by Tracey Hollands.
  • ‘Adventures with Daddy’ by Cathy Kearse.
  • ‘Metal Fred’ by Sabrina Malcolm.
  • ‘The rainy day picnic’ by Christine Sheehy.
  • ‘Fearless Fred and the dragon’ by Maureen Sudlow.
  • ‘Little creature shines a light’ by Jillian Sullivan.

The 2012 winner of the Storylines Joy Cowley Award is Isaac Drought.
2012 MMDay JCA Issac with Penny Scown. Isaac’s story is child-centred. Younger children will be learning the alphabet, while older readers will pick up the theme of prejudice.
In choosing the shortlist, the judges looked for stories with potential – which will appeal to children, have charm, and a plot to sustain 20-30 illustrations.
Scholastic have heard that, in North Dakota, boys are running in to the library to get their hands on Kiss Kiss Yuck Yuck. They suspect that, the already renamed, Alphabet Squabble will be the same. By the way, Joy says that Isaac is a delightful chap to work with.

In receiving his award, Isaac said that as adults we all like to think with know children, yet the decisions we make about children’s books do not always work for the children. He thanked his parents and his wife. On telling his mother-in-law in Sweden of his award, she asked if it would be on BBC.
When he received the call from Libby, it was a rainy day in Taranaki and the school swimming sports had been called off, and he had bad reception. All he really picked up was ‘check your email’.
The story is the culmination of a few years’ work, and dreaming. He and his wife returned to New Zealand, after years of living in Indonesia, because New Zealand is a hotbed of books and educated people. Last year, he sat at the Spinning Tales hui, seeing what he was up against, and not expecting much.
While teaching in Indonesia he told his Dad’s favourite story of a man who, as a reward, asked for one grain of rice which, each day, would be doubled. At the end of the month – with all the numbers on the board, showing exponential growth – one student asked ‘how many eggs did he have?’. Sometimes, someone will never get it.

The Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon Award was established in recognition of the contribution of the late Tom Fitzgibbon to the growth and strength of New Zealand children’s literature. Penny was his co-editor for his seminal work on New Zealand children's authors and illustrators: Beneath Southern Skies. Tom wrote the preface on 2 September 1992, and sadly died three weeks later. Penny is sure that he would be immensely proud of the books published in his name. Six winners have gone to publish other books by Scholastic. Eight of the books have been sold in Australia, with Chinese rights to one of them. The most successful winner has been Vince Ford, who has a new trilogy under production with Scholastic.

Penny handed over to Margaret Fitzgibbon, the family’s representative on the juding panel. Unfortunately, this year the panel was unable to name a winner. There were five shortlisted entries:
  • ‘The biggest blackest hole’ by Julie Carman – highly commended.
  • ‘Letting off steam’ by Dorothy Fletcher – highly commended. 
  • ‘Batjack’ by Anne Neville.
  • ‘Practically joking’ by Rachel Stedman.
  • ‘Superheroes don't wear glasses’by Gillian Wisnewksi – highly commended.

From Penny, the three highly commended entries created a lot of discussion and were talked about at length. They were all almost there.

Iris Ukulele by Kathy Taylor. Penny then launched last year’s Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon winner, Iris’s Ukulele by Kathy Taylor.
It’s a quirky title, a quirky story, and deserved a quirky cover.
For a new author, Kathy did a remarkable job with the use of language and storyline – the characters and plot are believable – particularly how kids’ relationships with their friends blows hot and cold. You may pick up on the fact that Iris’s best friend, Sidney, is likely gay, but it is handled naturally, without remark, and accepting.

Kathy told us all that she has dreamt of being a writer with an actual book when she entered her first writing competition at the age of seven. Kathy thanked Mandy Hager, Pat Quinn and the Whitireia writing course of 2010. She wrote Iris’s Ukulele while on the course. She learnt about deadlines which, for the procrastinator she is, was a good thing. Her 10-year-old daughter, Rongomai, is a ukulele-player and the inspiration behind Iris. When the first proofs arrived, Rongomai was alarmed at the dedication in the book, because she was worried that the kids at school would think she was Iris and Elijah (Iris’s crush) was the Elijah at Rongomai’s school. Now she grins and thinks it the most amazing thing. She sometimes reads the dedication when she sees the book in shops.
Kathy thanked the Scholastic team, particularly Penny who was gentle. She is thrilled with who the book turned out. Thanks, also, were given to Storylines in general for the amazing things we do, in particular, for the Tom Fitzgibbon Award which is a huge motivation. Kathy is so proud of the Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon logo on the cover of her book.

Next up was Vicki Marsdon from HarperCollins Publishing, to present the Storylines Tessa Duder Award.
Vicki spoke of the talk around about the future of publishing and the publishing industry – will the book disappear? But, the really exciting thing is finding new talent and taking it to a wider audience - and this won't change.
The shortlist for this year’s Storylines Tessa Duder award was very good – the quality of writing that has come through form unpublished authors is wonderful. The judging panel also arrived at the winner quickly. The winning book will have serious international appeal. They have already sent the manuscript to overseas publishers who specialise in fantasy and they are very interested.

The shortlisted entries were:
  • ‘Ella Hennessey’ by Sheryl Buchanan.
  • ‘The Clock-eye Corporation’ by Katie O'Neill.
  • ‘Precipice’ by Stella Rutherford.
  • ‘A necklace of souls’ by Rachel Stedman.

The 2012 winner of the Storylines Tessa Duder Award is Rachel Stedman.
Tessa endorsed Vicki’s comments about the quality of the 17 entries, which are major novels. Tessa thanked the other Storylines’ judges: Lorraine Orman, Gerri Judkins and Annie Coppell. The purpose of the award is to find new voices and talent, and so far it has done so. When reading Rachel’s entry, after three pages Tessa realised that this was someone who can write. 
Rachel said that her son gave her advice on what to say: say thank you to the organisation, to Tessa, to the publisher, to her family, particularly Awesome Alex. Rachel thanked Storylines and HarperCollins for the award, as the manuscript has been five years in draft; and Diane Brown, her writing teacher. Oh, and her family, particularly Alex, who is awesome. Rachel thanked her mother, who died when she was 37 and Rachel 16. Her mother had a love of reading and libraries, and startled Rachel’s father every month with the bill from Whitcoulls. Without the support of the others, Rachel would not have finished the book; but without her mother, she would not have started.

Reach by Hugh Brown. Vicki launched Reach, last year's winner. Reach is a delightful book, which represents a new voice and will appeal to a wide audience. Reach’s story draws you in, and Will’s alternative world captures you. Rachel’s story is fantasy, while Reach is fantastic in parts, but mainly character-driven. They expect to see far more from Hugh Brown, and see him up for awards in years to come.

Hugh congratulated Isaac, Kathy, Rachel and the shortlisted authors. He thanked Storylines, Tessa, and HarperCollins. Hugh found last year to be a lot of fun, thanks to Kate Stone – for a first time author having to change the title, main character’s name and the cover art was a bit challenging. He thanked Deb Glasgow for the internal artwork.
Hugh thanked his own grandparents, who brought him up and, to some extent, he drew upon when developing the characters.

Tessa thanked, on behalf of Storylines, HarperCollins for the commitment and energy they give to award. And admitted that she feels marginally embarrassed when discussing the award, so has asked the Management Committee to refer to it as the ‘TD award’.

Libby announced the results of the Storylines Gavin Bishop Award. Even though there were excellent entries, there was not one winner who stood out. However, Random House will offer again, with submissions this year, to be presented in 2013. (See below for details.)

Then, on to the Storylines Notable Books List. Storylines are hoping to develop the list as a publication to disseminate the information much further than we have reached so far.

On to morning tea! Lovely catering, thank you Kings! Time to catch up, shop – wonderful selection and smiling staff, thank you Children’s Bookshop – and have your books signed…

After tea, we regathered to celebrate Fleur Beale, the 2012 Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal winner.
Wayne Mills had the honour of introducing Fleur. Unfortunately Fleur’s two daughters are currently in London, but her sister was there to support her.
2012 MMDay MMA Fleur with Wayne. Wayne first met Fleur while Fleur was teaching and Wayne was a lecturer at University of Waikato. Slide the Corner had just come out; her husband had been inspirational; with a very identifiable Waikato setting. Then there was Driving a Bargain now, 15 years later, Dirt Bomb. Reading these you get a good story, and a good knowledge of car mechanics.
When I Am Not Esther came out, Wayne emailed Fleur and said ‘that’s a winner’ – which it was, the Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award 11 years later.
The 1990s were a turning point. Fleur’s husband had died, and Fleur had a position at Dunedin College of Education as the Children’s Writer in Residence, then moved to Wellington. Finally the awards started coming in – and quickly. Juno of Taris won the Esther Glen Medal; Fierce September won the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Award Young Adult Fiction category and the LIANZA Young Adult Medal.
Wayne, as the 18th recipient of the Margaret Mahy Medal, was pleased to give the award – and medal – to Fleur, the 22nd recipient.

Fleur then delivered the Margaret Mahy Lecture – feeling no pressure, of course. Fleur decided to address the answer to the perennial question ‘where do the ideas come from’? In the course of scrambling around for a good answer – or any answer – she explored the notion of creativity.

I won’t tell you any more – you’ll just have to read the speech in the next year book.

2012 MMDay MMA Fleur Beale with Helen Villers smallHelen Villers was our spokesperson to thank Fleur, a privilege. ‘What a wonderful conservation we’ve had today. I have Fleur Beale’s books, reading then at the same time, at the same stage, as my children. The outcomes for your readers are magic, and will be for generations to come. I think that your creativity rests in your DNA, as you must have had creative parents to call you Fleur’.

Rosemary Tisdall read Margaret Mahy’s words for Fleur. I won’t reproduce them in full, but here is a snippet:
Fleur Beale is a great children and young adult writer. She is definitely one of the writers who has contributed to the power of young New Zealanders these days to define themselves and the country they live in, in magical, mysterious and yet recognisable ways. She helps young readers to give themselves and their environments – their possible everyday lives – an imaginative dimension. Reading her books one encounters moment when one recognises through metaphor or description something with which one is already familiar, but which is transformed in some way by her writing – transformed for one as reader, and one feels that transformation move into one’s own imagination  and become part of the way one sees the world around one.
The lucky winners of the raffles – which are vital fundraising to help pay for our membership of IBBY and, therefore, keep the Storylines Festival Family Days free for children and parents…
  • Signed collection of Fleur’s books 1: Deborah Burnside.
  • Signed collection of Fleur’s books 2: Barbara Smaill.
  • Signed collection of Fleur’s books 3: Melanie Wittwer.
  • Ben Galbraith artwork ‘Mess’: Cathy Kearse.

So… book your diaries now… 6 April 2013. We'll see you there!
Entries for the 2013 Storylines Gavin Bishop Award are now open.

The biennial Storylines Gavin Bishop Award was established in 2009, and aims to encourage the publication of exciting, high-quality picture books from New Zealand illustrators. It also recognizes the contribution that Gavin Bishop has made to the writing and illustrating of children’s picture books, and gives an emerging talent the opportunity to benefit from his expertise.

In addition to a $1500 monetary prize, the winner of this award will receive mentoring and support from Gavin, and may also receive an offer of publication by Random House New Zealand, who are the proud sponsors of this award.

Each entrant will be require to submit a storyboard, a page of rough drawings and two pieces of finished artwork to fit with text provided by Random House. Entries for the 2013 Gavin Bishop Award are now open, and must be submitted by 30 November 2012. For an entry form, guidelines and other information, please visit the Random House website.

Harriet Bailey was the 2010 award winner, and has gone on to illustrate Hester & Lester, written by Kyle Mewburn and published by Random House in 2011. Harriet’s work, plus the entries from other finalists, are also available to view on the Random House website.


News from Northland:

Kathy Derrick. Storylines member and writer Kathy Derrick has  set up a blog – New Zealand Children's Book Reviews – to provide teachers, parents, librarians and students (approx Years 7-10, ages 10-14) with a resource for the study of New Zealand books and authors. Each month a new book/author will be featured. In the first week of the month she reviews a book, in the second week she interviews the author, in the third week she provides a writing tip for students and in the fourth week of the month she will publish a student’s story which has been selected by the guest author.

This site is more than a book review site. With each book review Kathy will add pertinent links to reinforce or expand the topic so students can explore the subject in full if they choose. It is also a site to come to for writing tips (from her and her guest authors) and provides an opportunity for students to see their own work published on line. Unfortunately Kathy will not be able to publish every story received and initially will publish the guest author’s favourite as outlined above. If there are heaps of good stories (and I’m sure there will be) she might have to start a new blog just for that!


New Zealand Society of Authors news:

NZSA Manuscript Assessment Programme Seeks Submissions.

The NZSA Manuscript Assessment Programme is now open.  This annual programme offers an exceptional opportunity for writers to have their completed manuscript evaluated by an experienced assessor.

An assessment assists an author to improve their work by providing a constructive, detailed report on the project’s strengths and weaknesses, and offering suggestions on how the author might move the project forward. 

A selection panel will choose 13 successful applicants who will be matched with an assessor who specialises in the genre in which the applicant writes. The programme is open to writers of poetry, fiction, short fiction, plays, non-fiction, memoir and children’s fiction (excluding picture books.)

In 2012 two of the assessments will be dedicated to mid-career writers and one will set aside for a manuscript with significant Maori/Pacific Island content.

The programme will also offer five of the successful applicants discretionary ‘mini-mentorships’ to be undertaken when the assessment is completed. These short mentorships begin in early October and will help to guide the writer in the reworking of their manuscript. 

Application Deadline: 1 June 2012

For an application form please contact the NZSA national office by emailing them or visiting their website.

CLL/NZSA Research Grants Open for 2012

Two CLL/NZSA Research Grants are now open for application from writers of fiction or non-fiction.

The first of the grants will be for a fellowship at the Stout Centre in Wellington. This grant offers a study at the Stout Research Centre for up to three months, access to VUW facilities (Internet, printers, library, secretarial services, photocopying and the kitchen), as well as the $3500 award.

The open research grant, also for a $3500 award for either fiction or non-fiction, will be awarded to a project-based application where the applicant is able to specify where the research is to take place.

In 2011 Joan Druett received The Stout Centre Research Grant for a project concerning the first 50 years of United States consuls in New Zealand, a period extending from about 1835 to 1885.  While Tauranga author Jenny Argante received the Open Grant for research into the life of Dame Evelyn Stokes, a Bay of Plenty figure who was one of the first scholars to take seriously the connections between geography and culture.

Deadline:  1 July 2012.

For an application form and criteria please please contact the NZSA national office by emailing them or visiting their website.


Kiwiwrite4kidz presents: The Ebook Journey: your book in the future

Everything you always wanted to know about e-books but were afraid to ask: A workshop that aims to provide practical information and advice to assist writers interested in e-publishing their work.
Saturday 28 April  at Massey University Albany Campus, 8.45am – 5pm


  • The essential elements of producing an e-book.
  • The difficulties, dangers and pitfalls involved in e-publishing and e-books.
  • Ways to maximise your brand, your book sales and your financial return.
  • A chance to speak with experts in book production.

Hear from a local publisher e-publishing new works globally; authors successfully promoting their e-books; an author who has produced her own e-book, and publishing advisory groups; discuss your e-book needs with experienced designers, editors and proofreaders. Featuring a skype with well-known Australian authorpreneur Hazel Edwards.

Speakers include: Jill Marshall, Maureen Crisp, Maggie Tarver, Phillip W. Simpson, Paul de Temple and more.

Cost: $100 for Kiwiwrite4kidz, Storylines, NZSA and Write Good Stuff/Pear Jam Books Members, $130 for non-members (morning and afternoon tea and lunch included).

For more information and to register go to the Kiwi Write4Kidz website.


Sponsored spot: New Children’s Writing Course at the Creative Hub

Janice Marriott-The Creative Hub. Our new Children’s Writing tutor, Janice Marriott says …
‘I love the energy of children and their sense of humour. Humour is an essential element of all communication with children – even my non-fiction books for children have humour in them. The Yates Young Gardener books have animal characters, jokes, and word play. I love changing my style, producing something different every time, because I’m fascinated by language.
I’ve recently moved to Auckland, in order to look after my grandson, Tane, during the working week. In Wellington I had a well-known garden, which I’ve written books about, and opened for garden tours. It used to be full of sweet peas, roses and food. Now I am about to start growing a new garden on the slopes of Mt Eden. Auckland is a very different climate … so I’m venturing into the unknown. I write a monthly page in House and Garden magazine about my life, and give workshops and talks about writing.’

Children's and YA Fiction Writing, starts 26 April 2012, 6-8pm, 8 weeks

Writing for children is all about writing in a simple, fresh, vivid style. Award winning tutor Janice Marriott will offer you techniques to feed your imagination and release your creative powers. Each session will provide a particular craft focus and also offer opportunities for students to share work written during the course. Janice will help you find original ideas for stories, and participants will have input into which topics you would most like to cover in-depth during the course.
The Creative Hub
Teaching rooms: Maritime Museum, Princes Wharf
PO Box 68 090 Newton
Auckland 1145
Website: The Creative Hub.

Email: enquiries@thecreativehub.net.nz.

If you would like to feature in an upcoming sponsored spot, please contact Elizabeth O’Halloran, the Storylines Executive Officer for details.



March 2012.

March already!

This month, we're gearing up to celebrate at the annual Storylines Margaret Mahy Day - where we'll acknowledge the lifelong work and achievements of the 2012 Storylines Margaret Mahy Award winner, the fabulous Fleur Beale. Also among the award winners will be Uncle Trev - well, his creator, Jack Lasenby!
Storylines members, if you haven't already purchased your tickets to the day, you will need to log in to the Storylines website to access the members' rate. 

Looking foward to seeing you there!


Margaret Mahy Day and AGM 2012
  • WHEN: Saturday 31 March. Registrations start at 9am. AGM from 9.30am.
  • WHERE: King's School, 258 Remuera Road, Auckland.
  • For more information and to book. NB: to qualify for the member rate, you will need to login from the homepage of the site before ordering your ticket.

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Kiwi classic wins Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award for a Much-Loved Book 2012 Wellington writer honoured.


Uncle Trev by Jack Lasenby. A classic of New Zealand children's literature, Uncle Trev, has won Wellington writer Jack Lasenby the Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award for a Much-loved Book for 2012.

Described as 'unfailingly entertaining' yarns by a master storyteller, the first collection Uncle Trev was published in 1991, quickly followed by Uncle Trev and the Great South Plan and Uncle Trev and the Treaty of Waitangi. A fourth collection, Uncle Trev's Teeth and Other Stories was published six years later, with Uncle Trev and His Whistling Bull published this year.

The Gaelyn Gordon award is given annually by the Storylines Children’s Literature Association in memory of the late Hamilton novelist Gaelyn Gordon. It recognises a book unheralded at the time of publication but which has remained in print and proved itself an enduring favourite with young readers.

'Jack Lasenby's hilarious stories about archtypal New Zealand characters Uncle Trev, Aunt Effie and  the horse Harry Whakatipu, introduce young readers to the rural New Zealand of his childhood,' says Storylines Trust chair Dr Libby Limbrick. 'He is often justly described as "the grand old man" of New Zealand children's literature, and Uncle Trev as one of its most endearing characters.'

The award will be presented at the Storylines annual Margaret Mahy Day in Auckland on Saturday, 31 March. For more information please contact Storylines Events Manager, Vicki Cunningham.

Book launches in Wellington!

Lucky Wellingtonians!

Next Wednesday 14 March at 6pm, The Children's Bookshop, Wellington, hosts the launch of The Red Poppy by David Hill and Fifi Colston. Check out their website for details, including how to book your space.

Thursday 5 April at 6.30pm, Paraparaumu Library hosts the launch of Reach by Hugh Brown - winner of the 2011 - and inaugural - Storylines Tessa Duder Award. Download the PDF flyer for more information.


Penguin Group (NZ) & Storylines Children’s Literature Charitable Trust team up again with nationwide Short Story Awards for children. 

School-children across the country are again being invited to show off their writing skills in this unique competition.

The competition, which aims to nurture young writing talent, is now open and culminates in an awards ceremony at the Storylines Festival Auckland Family Day on 26 August 2012. Entries are accepted in three categories: Junior (School Years 4-6), Intermediate (School Years 7-8) and Senior (School Years 9-11).

'A writing competition for young writers is a splendid way of encouraging young people to realise the power of words to inspire, entertain, inform, persuade and to explore ideas. Becoming a writer goes hand in hand with becoming a reader. Budding writers feed on the words of the authors. As they see themselves in the author role they become more perceptive and critical readers. Storylines is delighted to work in partnership with Puffin/Penguin in this short story competition. It aligns closely with our aims to support New Zealand writers and illustrators for children and to celebrate reading and writing for young people. We look forward to those who enter the competition being among our published writers of the future.' Dr Libby Limbrick, Chairperson of Storylines, Head of School of Arts, Languages and Literacies, Faculty of Education, University of Auckland.

Entries are now open. You can win an Apple IPad - there are three up for grabs! Category winners also get their hands on 50 books for their school library.
More information is now available including entry forms,  entry criteria, teachers notes and a link to read last year's winning entries.

Kiwi Write4Kidz celebrates New Zealand Book Month.


Kiwi Write4Kidz have some great events coming up during March (New Zealand Book Month). Download the posters to find out more.

Storylines thanks zeald.com for their ongoing support of the Storylines website.


December 2011.

The end of the year is rapidly approaching! And, if you’re anything like me, your head is full of lists of things to be done quick-smart.

Just to add to your list – a quick round up of children’s literature type news. Happy reading and happy holidays! We’ll be in touch again in February.
~ Annie, Storylines editor.


Storylines Betty Gilderdale Award presentation.

2011 BGA presentation John and Ruth with Helen B 1There was a good crowd of well wishers at Turnbull House, in Wellington, on 21 November when booksellers Ruth and John McIntyre of the Children’s Bookshop in Kilbirnie were presented with the Storylines Betty Gilderdale Award for services to children’s literature. They were nominated for this award by the Wellington Children’s Book Association who not only put together a comprehensive and compelling nomination but also organised the venue and the refreshments. Those of us who went from Auckland to represent Storylines had only to make sure we didn’t miss our flights or forget the certificate. Flying to Wellington was a bit dodgy that day with flights delayed or cancelled because of high winds but we made it in plenty of time and were grateful for the organisational powers of the Wellington Children’s Book Association.

Betty herself was unable to be there but had written in appreciation of the choice of the McIntyres as a couple whose work in spreading the word about good children’s books went far beyond the call of duty. John and Ruth alternated in presenting an interesting overview of the development of their business,  followed by a slideshow.

~ Helen Beckingsale.


Storylines manuscript awards numbers.

The judging panels have had their boxes of manuscripts delivered, and they’re all ready to read the entries.

The numbers this year are:

  • The Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon Award 22 entries.
  • The Storylines Joy Cowley Award 205 entries.
  • The Storylines Tessa Duder Award 17 entries.


Arts Foundation Awards – honour for Dunedin illustrator.

Congratulations to Dunedin artist David Elliot, winner of the inaugural $10,000 Mallinson Rendel Award for a children's book illustrator.

2011 Arts Foundation Dinner Ann Mallinson Tessa Duder Libby LimbrickStorylines members, including Trust chair Libby Limbrick and Trustees Rosemary Tisdall and Tessa Duder, were among the 500-plus audience at the Arts Foundation black tie dinner held at Auckland’s new Viaduct Events Centre on 28 November.

It was a truly splendid occasion, mingling with representatives of the art world - artists, dancers, choreographers, film makers, potters, photographers, actors and writers. 

Ten artists were presented with awards totalling $360,000, including the Arts Foundation Laureate and New Generation Awards, the Marti Friedlander Photographic Award and the inaugural Mallinson Rendel Illustrator's Award. 

The Mallinson Rendel Award was established through a donation from Ann Mallinson following the sale of Mallinson Rendel Publishing. To be presented biennially, the award recognises the extraordinary talent of New Zealand’s children's book illustrators and singles out one for special recognition of past achievement and ongoing potential. The judges were Joy Cowley, Graham Beattie and John McIntyre.

Storylines sends sincere congratulations to David, with thanks to Ann Mallinson for her vision and generosity in setting up the award. To have children's artists recognized among 'adult' awards was a fabulous sight to see!

If you're in Auckland, check out The Arts Foundation Wynyard Quarter Arts Series until 11 December.

Certificate in Literature and Library Services for Children and Young People.

Enrolments are now open for 2012 for the Certificate in Literature and Library Services for Children and Young People OP6273. For more information go to the Certificate's page on the Open Polytechnic site. If your 2012 enrolment is received before 5pm 19 December you will be charged 2011 fees, not 2012 fees, so it's worth your while enrolling early.

October 2011 enews.


This month we feature some pretty cool Storylines news!

Big virtual chocolate fish for our winners!

Three New Zealand books chosen for IBBY’s 2012 Honour List.


Three books by leading New Zealand writers and illustrators have been chosen for inclusion in the 2012 Honour List published by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY).


The_Travelling_Restaurant.jpgThey are, for writing, The Travelling Restaurant by Wellington author Barbara Else, and for illustration, The Moon & Farmer McPhee illustrated by Dunedin artist David Elliot, with text by Margaret Mahy.


For translation, the selected book is Hu-Hu Koroheke, the translation into Maori by the late Dame Katerina Te Heikoko Mataira of the award-winning picture book Old Hu-Hu by Kyle Mewburn, illustrated by Rachel Driscoll.


The IBBY Honour List comprises a biennial publication and travelling exhibition showcasing the outstanding books of more than 70 member countries.


The Travelling Restaurant (Gecko Press), is an exuberant seafaring fantasy, the first children’s novel by established author Barbara Else for more than ten years. Well-known as an adult novelist, literary agent and judge, she is also the editor of a highly successful series of children’s anthologies.


The Moon & Farmer McPhee (Random House) won both the Supreme and Picture Book awards at the 2011 New Zealand Post Children’s Book awards. The story of a farmer whose animals keep him awake at night was illustrated by David Elliot, an award-winning illustrator whose work has featured in a wide range of children’s books for both New Zealand and America. The text was written by Christchurch author Margaret Mahy, winner of the 2006 Hans Christian Andersen Medal and numerous other international and New Zealand awards during her 40-year writing career.


Hu-Hu_Koroheke.jpgHu-Hu Koroheke (Scholastic), a moving story on age and loss, was the Supreme and Picture Book award-winner at the 2010 New Zealand Post Children’s Book awards.  Its translation was one of the last books of the late Dame Katerina Te Heikoko Mataira, internationally acclaimed for her lifelong work promoting te reo, as a translator, writer and educator.


The Honour Books, chosen by the Storylines Trust in its role as the New Zealand Section of IBBY, will feature at the IBBY World Congress being held in London in September 2012.


Find out more about Storylines' involvement with IBBY here.



Wellington couple wins children’s book award


Childrens_Bookshop_Staff_1.jpgThe Wellington children’s booksellers, commentators and judges Ruth and John McIntyre have won the Storylines Betty Gilderdale Award, given for outstanding long-term service to the genre of books for children and young adults.


The Storylines Children’s Literature Trust, honouring Auckland literary historian and writer Betty Gilderdale, makes the national award annually to teachers, writers, agents, translators and others who have actively promoted children’s literature for young people in New Zealand.


Ruth and John McIntyre have run The Children’s Bookshop, Wellington, a highly regarded specialist bookseller in Wellington, since 1992. Both have served in recent years as judges for the New Zealand Post Children’s book awards. John is also well-known as a children’s book reviewer on National Radio, and serves on the board of Booksellers New Zealand. 


‘Ruth and John McIntyre’s contribution to children’s literature, especially in their support of children’s writers and illustrators, has been outstanding over a long period of time,’ says Dr Libby Limbrick, chair of the Storylines Trust. 


‘They have done much to nurture the growth of children’s literature in New Zealand and also to ensure that children have access to the best of literature from elsewhere.’


Previous winners of the award have included Dorothy Butler, Elsie Locke, Graham Beattie, Ray Richards, Dame Katerina Te Heikoko Mataira and Dr Glyn Strange.


The Betty Gilderdale Award will be presented at a function in Wellington on 21 November.

September 2011 enews.

This month it's all about the Storylines Festival.

Please note, this is not a formal report, just a gathering of thoughts from some who took part over the week. There's a collection of photos at the end. Check out the little girl with Feana Tu'akoi (Feana's the one in the pink mask) - it has been reported that she knitted her Magic Faraway Tree costume herself.


Inspiration at Auckland.

Paula Green forwarded us an email from a mother:

Travis came to your talk at Borders as part of the Storylines Festival last year and was keen to bring his brother, Evan, this year. They both really enjoyed the experience and have taken you up on your offer o send you a poem.

When travelling in the lift with you afterwards you mentioned you had never written a poem about a lift, so they both wanted to write you a poem about a lift....

I'd just like to thank you for taking part in the festival, the boys really came away buzzing with enthusiasm after your talk.


Evan (age 8) - he said it was based on your Elephant poem

Uppity and Downity

Lifts are cool

Like an Uppy-rooka-nooka

Lifts are cool

Like a Whirring-diddly-dee

Lifts are awesome

Like a Downy-chooka-chooka

Lifts are great for you and me

But I prefer stairs as you can run up and down them

All day and all night long


Travis (age 10)

Uplifting Ideas

I enjoyed the Storylines Day

But the highlight I have to say

Was being in an elevator

With a poem and writing creator

It may have only been short

But in that ride a lot was taught

Like how to get my flow

When I write about getting to go

In an amazing, rising machine

With the marvellous, wonderful Paula Green.


Northland Family Day

We had a fantastic day in Kerikeri with over 1000 attending. All the activities were spread throughout the Turner Centre and the place buzzed. The highlight for me was the fancy dress parade which wove through the building lead by Apirana Taylor blowing his conch shell and the musicians from A Trifle Bazaar spend among the children in costume. Watching Des Hunt wow the kids with his chemical experiments to explain the writing process was amazing. Apirana Taylor, Fleur Beale, Feana Tu’akoi  and Mark Sommerset all  delighted their audiences and the book activities, especially the mini quizzes, worked well. The mural that Terry Fitzgibbon set up for the kids to work on was a huge success and added to the wonderful atmosphere of the day. 


~ Di Menefy.  


A lovely sunny fun-filled day at The Turner Centre with happy and excited children. Meeting their favourite authors, listening to stories and being entertained with music and science tricks

The competition questions bubbled along all day and the crafts buzzed. There were two young and cuddly birds, a buzzy bee and Mrs Wishy-Washy and many other colourful characters roaming around all day. A wonderful book character procession followed Api Taylor who cleared the way through the crowds with the sound of his conch shell accompanied by the rhythmic sound of drummers through the speakers.

Di and her band of very busy helper had organised and happy and entertaining day.


~ Jill Stephenson.


Auckland workshops

A number of lucky children were whisked away on a magical adventure this Storylines Festival when they signed up for one of four workshops that were hosted at the Auckland War Memorial Museum on Saturday 27 August.

Anna Mackenzie taught her group how to write stand-out short stories to make your toes tingle, while Jennifer Beck shared with her group of children how to write stories, helping them to find what style of writing suited them.  Many budding cartoonists attended Ross Kinnaird’s amusing workshop, learning the tricks of drawing great cartoons. In the other room with Stu Duval, promising artists crafted stunning portraits using chalk and pastel.

At the end of the workshops, attendants had the chance to get their books signed and everyone left with a smile on their face. Once again, our New Zealand authors and illustrators have delivered a fantastic range of workshops for our children. Keep an eye out next Storylines Festival for your chance to sign up for a workshop.


~ Melanie McVeigh.


Pure Capital Thinking Factopia at Auckland Family Day.

Seeing though the eyes of an insect mask with Dee Pignéguy, learning about the K?kako with Maria Gill, an animal matching activity with Feana Tu’akoi, and discovering Maungkiekie with Malcolm Paterson were just some of the exciting activities that Pure Capital Thinking Factopia offered this year.


The Youthtown Art Team again provided its own team and resources for a colourful poster activity, and Lopdell House Galley was back again with the popular Kite making activity inspired by the works of Pat Hanly.


This year Factopia was in the Museum, so visitors were also able to visit the Weird and Wonderful nature discovery gallery next door, and could hear talks by the authors in the Museum’s education rooms.


At the Aotea Centre.

There was a steady flow of people all day. There was a slight bustle when a Tim Bray show was over or when Jellybean was about to begin. People who had come to hear Jellybean were thrilled to find there were more activities for their children to enjoy. The activity passports seemed to be a hit. 


Found around the interwebs:
From Melinda Szymanik’s blog: her perspective on being at Family Days.

Storylines Festival at Dunedin Public Libraries - very busy today. Public, authors / illustrators all having great fun. I'm rather exhausted. Paul Hayton, Dunedin.

Fab day yesterday - thanks to everyone involved! Adele Jackson, Wellington.

That was a blast...I saw nothing but happy children clutching their treasures created at the Wellington Storylines Family Day. That was incredible... Melinda Szymanik.

[W]hat a great day the Storylines Family Day was at the Aotea Centre today, thank you to all involved in the organisation, you are Superstars! Deborah Burnside.

I was talking to our Museum liaison at the end of the day and he seemed really happy with the way things had gone. He estimated they had had an extra 2,500 visitors through the door compared to a normal Sunday. Anne Dickson.

The Christchurch Festival was wonderful fun too! A great crowd of authors and illustrators strutting their stuff! It sounds like Kyle and Donovan's book launch was a hilariously funny comedy routine - a big hit with the kids. Maria Gill.

Auckland's Family Day was def MY family day... with my mum, sister, sister-in-law, and three nieces volunteering. My sorta brother & his Monkey visiting; and two nephews, their partners and children there, too! Gotta love it! Annie Coppell.

I had a great day on the Information Desk my first Storylines Festival in Wellington. Would love to see some of you at the Altrusa Wellington fund raiser for Storylines & Literacy Aotearoa in a couple of weeks time! Katrina Edgar.

Speaking of which – it’s tomorrow, Thursday night! Head along, if you can. Find out more on the Altrusa site.



uly 2011 enews.
Storylines Festival full-steam ahead!

Just over a month to go before the Storylines Festival kicks off and it’s all go. Vicki, Storylines Events Manager, has been working tirelessly making sure information is loaded onto the website as soon as possible… PDF versions of programmes, links to author profiles and more info are now available. Keep checking the site for updated information.

We need volunteers! If you want to spend a day – or part of a day – surrounded by happy children, book-lovers and joy – then come and be part of our merry bands on Family Day. Find out how you can get involved here.


Haere râ Dame Kâterina.

Dame Kâterina Te Heikoko Mataira, 2007 Storylines Betty Gilderdale Award recipient, was a leading light in the renaissance of te reo Mâori, helping to set up the first Kura Kaupapa Mâori at Hoana Waititi Marae in Auckland. Her translations into te reo garnered many awards, with her picture book, Cry Baby Moon earning a place on the 1994 White Ravens List.

Her leadership, passion and compassion will be much missed.

Kua hinga he totara i te wao nui a Tane. Haere râ Dame Kâterina.


Bookrapt annual children’s literature seminar.

Bookrapt invites you to their annual children's literature seminar at Tauranga Intermediate on Saturday 6 August.

Publishing with Passion. Three exciting guest speakers will give their unique perspective of children's books.

Author: Susan Brocker. Susan's book Dreams of Warriors (HarperCollins) is a finalist for the 2011 LIANZA Esther Glen Award. Plus her latest book The Wolf in the Wardrobe (HarperCollins) was released in June.

Editor: Kate Stone. Kate is the commissioning editor for HarperCollins New Zealand.

Author and literary agent: Barbara Else. Barbara's new children's book The Travelling Restaurant was released by Gecko Press in April this year.

$40 non-members $30 members (morning tea and lunch supplied)

Bookrapt have been busy so far this year. Check out their website for news and events.


Kids Lit Quiz report.

The Kids Lit Quiz international final results were:

  1. Manor Gardens from Durban.
  2. Summit Heights from Toronto.
  3. Cockermouth School from Cumbria the UK champions.

There will be more information in the next newsletter.


New Zealand at the 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair

New Zealand will be Guest of Honour at the 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair, the biggest book and media trade fair in the world. The Guest of Honour country showcases its culture in a year-long programme throughout Germany, culminating in the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Find out more from the Ministry of Culture and Heritage website.


JK Rowling, FaBostory and the kids of Maungawhau.

Kids at Maungawhau school are so enthused about a New Zealand online writing project that they’ve invited JK Rowling to join. In 2010 a group of New Zealand children's writers had a conversation on Facebook about writing an online junior fiction book, one chapter following another and inviting New Zealand children to join in. FaBoStory was born and a wild and wacky ride it was. Each week a new chapter from one of the team went up online as well as a winning chapter submitted from New Zealand students.  

This year the FaBo Story Team have changed the format and are being inundated by entries and enthusiasm! From Queenstown to Auckland, kids across New Zealand have been reading and entering the FaBostory project and think their kiwi writers are so good JK Rowling would be lucky to be involved.

This year’s format sets a new genre, setting and inhabitant of Planet Fabo each week. One of the eight professional New Zealand writers submits a story and judges entries from kids, picking a winner each week.

A teacher from one of FaBostory’s participating schools enthuses: “Oh my goodness Maungawhau School is FaBo obsessed! All the senior classes and most of the middle school are doing it for writing now and hopefully they will all enter.  My breaktime FaBo group has stopped because they are all doing it in class.  ...  I have never seen the staff so excited about writing! ...One of our teachers told me that her son could never write more than a page for writing and it is a real struggle.  And last night he told her he had started a mystery about Sher Lock [a FABOstory character] and he was going to finish it by the end of the week. His teacher said he has already written 3 pages which is unheard of.”

To enter check weekly details on fabostory.  This year’s authors include Kyle Mewburn, Brian Falkner, Elena de Roo, Melinda Szymanik, Maureen Crisp, Tania Hutley, Kathy White and Michele Powles.

Stories should be up to 1000 words long and submitted by Friday 5pm in the body of an email with name, age and school.

Work can be submitted as part of a school project or as an individual.

The best student's story is published on the FaBo Story Blog each week alongside a story from one of the FaBo Team writing to the same challenge. 

There are prizes and geographical features on Planet FaBo2 named after the winning writers.

~ from press release.


Walker Books Australia acquires Black Dog Books.

From 1 July, the book imprint Black Dog Books is owned and distributed by Walker Books Australia. Find our more from the Walker Books Australia website.


Bath Kids Lit Fest Launch!

The Bath Festival of Children’s Literature runs from 23 September to 2 October, with acclaimed children’s authors, illustrators and storytellers. Find out more from their website.

June 2011 enews.


Hope you're coping with the changing seasons, and staying warm and snuggly. Perfect weather for curling up with a good book!

~ Annie.

Storylines Festival update.

Planning is well underway for this year’s Storylines Festival. Check our Storylines Festival webpages for updates.

Find out how to be a volunteer for the Festival. The more the merrier!


Congratulations to the New Zealand Children’s Book Awards winners.

Storylines patron, Margaret Mahy, won The New Zealand Post Children’s Book of the Year Award, with illustrator David Elliot, for their picture book The Moon and Farmer McPhee, which also won the Picture Book category.

Anna Gowan won Best First Book for Hollie Chips, the published book which came from her Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon Award winning manuscript.

From the Judges’ Report:

A feisty hero, a wicked villain, a fast-paced plot, an assortment of eccentric characters and an abundance of humour. What more could you want from a story?

Our choice for Best First Book is fresh and original. You warm instantly to the characters, you cheer for the underdog taking on the bully and are charmed by the light, assured tone of the writing.

An absolute gem from start to finish, and sporting a most appealing cover, the Best First Book Award goes to Hollie Chips by Anna Gowan, published by Scholastic New Zealand.

Congratulations to all the winners! The complete list is available on the Booksellers NZ website.

Remember, a full list of award winners will be available in the Inside Story, the Storylines year book.


Kids Lit Quiz International Final and celebratory dinner.

The Waikato Children’s Literature Association invites you to the 20th Anniversary Kids Lit Quiz™ International Final being held on Tuesday 19 July, 2.00pm at Southwell School Auditorium, 200 Peachgrove Road, Hamilton. (Tickets are not required for entry but a koha would be appreciated.)

The Gala Dinner will follow at 6.30pm in the Southwell Flat Floor Theatre and will feature authors Brian Falkner, David Hill, Tessa Duder and Jenny Hessell. Other New Zealand children’s authors will also be seen on the big screen and many books will be given away during the evening.

Tickets for the dinner are $70 for adults and $35 for children 14 and under. Places are limited so be in quick. For more information and to order Gala Dinner tickets email Gerri Judkins.

Six teams will compete in the international final. They are from England, the UK champions, NZ, Southwell School (as hosts), Canada and South Africa. (The UK champion team from Cockermouth won the UK Final. The second placed team was invited also to compete and hence Bristol Grammar will represent England).

If ever you wanted to see kids who live to read and enjoy a literary challenge then please feel invited to attend International Final.


April 2011 enews.


Well, it's been a busy month!

It was wonderful seeing so many of the far-flung Storylines family at the annual Storylines Margaret Mahy Day this Saturday. Read a brief report here>

Congratulations to our award winners, who were celebrated on the day:  

Speaking of awards. Illustrators - get ready! Details for the Storylines Gavin Bishop Award are now available. Note, the closing date for this award is 30 November 2011.

What else? Well, Storylines is pleased to work with Penguin again this year, with the Puffin short story competition for children. Find out more details here>

International news? Congratulations to Shaun Tan, past Storylines Festival winner, who is the 2011 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award winner.

And, just a little thing - Storylines, as the IBBY New Zealand Section, has had our bid to host the 2016 IBBY Congress accepted. Our eyes and ears at the Bologna Book Fair let us know - and let all around her know how pleased she was. Thank you Frances!

Sadly, many children's literature creators have passed away over the last few months. For many of us, it is like our childhood really has gone. As a librarian, I have seen a few customers in their late-20s / early-30s come in to revisit the joys these authors have left behind. These include:  
Storylines sponsored spot
Tim Bray Productions, which is featured at the Auckland Family Day as part of the Storylines Festival later this year, presents The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch at The PumpHouse Theatre in Takapuna from 11-30 April – a week before the school holidays and right through the holidays for school or early childhood groups to attend or for parents, grandparents or caregivers to take 3-10 year olds as school holiday treat. Bookings at The PumpHouse or phone The PumpHouse ticket office: 09 489 8360.

If you would like to feature in an upcoming sponsored spot, please contact Christine Young, the Storylines Executive Officer for details.

Storylines thanks Zeald for their ongoing support of our website, membership database and email newsletters.

March 2011 enews.
Storylines awards’ shortlists announced

Come along to the Storylines Margaret Mahy Day to find out the winners.

Shortlist for 2011 Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon Award

  • Sian Burling-Claridge, Wellington
  • Vanessa Hatley-Owen, Auckland
  • Juliet Jacka, Wellington
  • Ragne Maxwel,l Paekakariki
  • Kathy Taylor, Wellington
  • Jean White, Auckland

Shortlist for 2011 Joy Cowley Award

  • Renee Boyer-Willisson, Raglan
  • Katherine Clark, Tauranga
  • Marion Day, Picton
  • Katie Furze, Auckland
  • Jennifer Hill, Christchurch
  • Sarah Johnson, Raglan
  • Melanie Koster, Christchurch
  • Juliette MacIver, Wellington
  • Sabrina Malcolm, Wellington

Shortliist for 2011 Tessa Duder Award

  • Hugh Brown, Paekakariki
  • Matthew Cowens, Paraparaumu
  • Shirley Eng, Christchurch
  • Andrea Jutson, Auckland
  • Desmond O’Leary, Auckland


Storylines Festival update: Auckland and Northland Story Tour

Online applications are now open for schools to submit their application for inclusion in the 2011 Story Tour.

The Auckland Story Tour is scheduled to take place from Monday 22 till Friday 26 August 2011 and the Northland Story Tour will take place on Thursday 25 and Friday 26 August.

Applications close on 1 June 2011, and schools will be notified shortly after.

To find out more about the Story Tours and to apply, click here.


Other news

New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards 2011 finalists announced

Find out who is in the running on the Booksellers NZ site.


Shaun Tan wins an Oscar!

Shaun Tan, previous Storylines Festival visitor, won the Animated Short Film category at this week’s Academy Awards for his work on The Lost Thing, a 15-minute film based on his picture book of the same name, published in 2000. Tan worked as director, writer, designer and artist on the film, along with Andrew Ruhemann.

A message to our Christchurch members, Te Tai Tamariki members and all booklovers

We send our thoughts and love at this time to the people of Christchurch and Canterbury. If there is anything we can to support the children’s literature community as you recover from the devastation of the past week, please contact us. If you have any suggestions as to how we can help, please contact us. Collection buckets will be available at the Storylines Margaret Mahy Day.

A message from Mary Sangster from The Children’s Bookshop, Christchurch

The Children's Bookshop was severely damaged in the quake and that, plus the cordon, means that we will not be operating from Victoria St in the near future. All the staff got out okay, the only injury being myself - the filing cabinet that I chose to dance with kicked me in the shins. Nothing broken, but I'm on crutches and sporting beautiful bruises.  We are all a bit shaken and jumpy of course, but everyone is in good spirits.

We are still operating online and can process orders out of the Auckland shop at no extra freight charges, so if you want birthday presents, just give us a little more notice than usual and we will do our best.  We do have most of The New Zealand Post Children's finalists available and on to the frontpage of the website, but for those that you can’t find, just ‘buy’ a CBS gift voucher and put a note in the comments with the titles that you actually want and I will get that sorted. Same applies to any other titles that do not appear on the website. Any queries at all, please email us. We are trying to keep business going as much as possible. Anyone needing insurance quotes, drop us a line and we will get on to it for you.

Schools can email orders and we will process them from the Auckland shop at your normal discount and freight terms. Existing orders will be delayed I'm afraid - any that are urgent, please remind us of the order and we will chase it for you. We have absolutely no records available at the moment, so you will have to provide the details of the order again. Once again, any schools needing insurance quotes, we can help.

We really appreciate everyone's support and as you may guess, at the moment we really need your custom. 

Mary Sangster
Office Manager
The Children's Bookshop Ltd

Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award for a Much-Loved Book

The Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award for a Much-loved Book has been awarded for 2011 to Tangaroa’s Gift: Te Koha a Tangaroa, a picture book written by Mere Whaanga and first published by Ashton Scholastic in 1990.

The award is given annually for a children’s or young adult book which did not win a New Zealand award at the time of publication but has been in print for more than five years and proved itself a favourite with New Zealand children.

‘At first publication, Tangaroa’s Gift: Te Koha a Tangaroa was a finalist for the AIM Children’s Book Awards, the Esther Glen Award for writing and, unusually, also for the Russell Clark Award for illustration,’ says Storylines Trust chair Dr Libby Limbrick.

‘It is wonderful that this fine and enduring book by an accomplished writer and illustrator, which has sold nearly 35,000 copies, should now be honoured with this award.’

Mere Whaanga, of Ngati Rongomaiwahine and Ngati Kahungunu descent, currently lives at Mahia Beach, Hawkes Bay. She has written several bilingual books for children, including The Legend of the Seven Whales of Ngai Tahu Matawhaiti: Nga Tahora Tokowhitu a Ngai Tahu Matawhaiti (1990); Te Kooti's Diamond: Te Taimana a Te Kooti (Ashton Scholastic 1991), and a children’s book on the Treaty of Waitangi, The Treaty: Te Tiriti (Scholastic 2003).

Her literary awards include the Choysa Bursary for Children’s Writers (1988), the Te Ha Award for Maori Writers (1991), and the Te Waka Toi New Work Grant (2002).


Storylines Margaret Mahy Day

Have you registered yet? It’s not too late to come and join us at the 2011 Storylines Margaret Mahy Day on 2 April at Kings School in Remuera.  

December enews

Thank you for your support over 2010. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! We'll be in touch in February.

Happy Birthday Tessa!

Tessa Duder, a stalwart Storylines supporter for many years, recently turned 70.   Storylines celebrated their patron / friend / colleague / consultant / award-winner (etc, etc) with suitable accompaniments.  First up – Tessa’s cake. What could be better than a beautifully rendered, edible, version of the cover of Night Race to Kawau, Tessa’s Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award-winning novel.Next – a stunning Bruce Potter original – artwork from Out of the Deep: Stories from the Pacific, the Storylines anthology Tessa co-edited with Lorraine Orman.

Fun, frivolity and food. That’s the best way to celebrate someone we love.

Thank you Tessa, for all that you do on our behalf.

Tessas_cake_1.JPG   Out_of_the_Deep_painting_1.JPG

Annie Coppell (on behalf of the Storylines family).  

Storylines Betty Gilderdale Award presentation

The 2010 Storylines Betty Gilderdale Award was presented to Glyn Strange of the Christchurch School for Young Writers at a function at Kohia School hall on 10 November. Betty was there to present the award and Glyn gave an interesting speech about his work with teenage writers which you will be able to read in the 2011 Storylines year book, The Inside Story


Storylines Festival update

As the year slowly comes to an end and Santa’s arrival is just around the corner, many of you will be thinking of family and friends. As part of the Storylines family, I would like to say thank you all for your contribution to the annual Storylines Festival of New Zealand Writers and Illustrators. 2011 will mark the 18th year of the Festival which started all those many, many years ago at the Auckland Museum. Without your contribution, whether big or small, the Festival would not be the success that it is today without you.

Plans are well and truly underway for the 2011 Storylines Festival of New Zealand Writers and Illustrators with an additional Family Day planned for Dunedin next year. This will be held at the Dunedin Public Library on Saturday 20 August and is a great addition to the Family Days already being held in other centers already. Many thanks to the Dunedin community for your overwhelming support of this event and of course for your emails with ideas and suggestions.

Other important dates for your diary in 2011 are:

  • Dunedin Family Day, Saturday 20 August.
  • Christchurch Family Day, Sunday 21 August.
  • Wellington Family Day, Sunday 21 August.
  • Auckland Story Tour, Monday 22 – Friday 26 August.
  • Northland Story Tour, Thursday 25 and Friday 26 August.
  • Auckland Workshops, Saturday 27 August (tbc).
  • Northland Family Day, Kerikeri, Saturday 27 August.
  • Auckland Family Day, Sunday 28 August.

We are currently forming committees in each of these regions to support the regional Coordinator, so if you have some great ideas and want to become more involved in the Storylines Family Day in your centre, simply email me your details and I pass these on to the coordinator. Many of the committees will be meeting early next year on a monthly basis, where tasks will be set, an action plan put into place and ideas discussed. Committee members are an integral ‘cog’ in the Festival wheel and we value your input.


Is your time flexible? Are you able to meet deadlines? Do you have computer and people skills and a strong interest in NZ children’s literature? Do you prefer each day to be different from the last?

Then we could have the role you are looking for.

We currently have a vacancy for a regional coordinator in Christchurch. The role is varied and time flexibility is key. As the regional coordinator you will be responsible for the Christchurch Family Day, with the support of a local committee, the Festival Committee and the Events Manager. Interested? Sounds like you? Email me for more details and a copy of the job description.

Don’t forget to watch the Festival page – this will be updated regularly as details are confirmed and finalised.

A Merry Christmas to you all.

Vicki Cunningham

Storylines Events Manager 


Storylines news in brief

Thanks to everyone for their support and involvement in 2010 and we invite anyone else to join the team in 2011. We have many roles you could help with. If you are interested, please email Vicki.

Storylines has submitted an expression of interest to host the IBBY World Congress In New Zealand in 2016 – an exciting opportunity for New Zealand children’s literature and everyone in the children’s literature community here. We’ll keep you advised, but we’re not expecting a decision till the second quarter of next year.

Storylines is applying to NZ Book month for funding to support a series of author chats – we have so far had a number of venues and people enquiring.

We believe it is important the New Zealand children’s literature is featured as part of the celebration s of books and reading.

We are starting to seek funding and sponsorship support for the 2011 Storylines Festival. We have been granted funds by creative New Zealand – so we express our grateful thanks to Creative New Zealand. But we still need over $100,000 to hold events in Auckland, Kerikeri, Christchurch, Wellington and Dunedin – the latter for the first time. We’d welcome any suggestions of potential sponsors or funders – and if anyone can help directly even better! If you do have contacts, please email me with details.

Christine Young

Storylines Executive Officer  

Members only

Are you interested in reviewing for the booklist? Find out how in this members’ only page.

Getting access to the members’ only content is easy:  Log on to our website using your existing membership number, and your password.

~ Annie. 


Need to contact us?

We welcome your feedback – on the newsletter, events, the website, Storylines in general… so – feel free to fill out our contact form and let us know what’s on your mind.


October enews


Reminder: entries for the Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon, Joy Cowley and Tessa Duder awards must be with us by the end of the month!


Writing from the Heart

This month sees the launch of an amazing book – one people have been wanting for years!

  Writing_from_the_Heart_1.jpgHere, in warmly written prose, Joy Cowley distils her four decades at the top of the children’s writing pyramid for the benefit of anyone engaging in writing for young people. Topics covered in the short chapters – each illustrated by Fraser Williamson – are developing a plot, dialogue, writers’ discipline, humour, early reading, novels, picture books, plays, poetry, presentation, and editing.

From Joy: This is not a book of instruction but rather a sharing of long experience as a writer, editor and a facilitator of writing workshops.

As you all know, Joy Cowley is an internationally recognised author of fiction for children (as well as adults). She has published more than 600 early readers along with numerous novels and short stories. In 2005 she was made a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to children’s literature. Joy is one of Storylines patrons, and is also a Storylines Trustee.

All proceeds from the work will go to assist Storylines in its work to promote children's books and literature, reading and books and children. 

Orders can be placed with Publishers Distribution Limited (for bulk purchases and/or trade discount), through Storylines (for individual purchases) and marketing is through Oratia Media. The title is also listed with Nielsen Book Data. The book should also be available in bookshops.

Penguin have organised events to celebrate the launch of Navigation, Joy's memoir. Joy will also be talking about Writing from the Heart at these events.

  • Thursday 7 October, 6pm for 6.30pm. Book launch at The Women’s Bookshop
  • Friday 8 October, 12noon. Takapuna Library  Bookseller Booklover Takapuna. 
  • Wednesday 13 October, 6-7pm. Café L’affare27 College Street, Wellington. Bookseller: Vic Books. This event is to celebrate the launch of Navigation, Joy’s memoir.


The Big Kids Lit Quiz is back!

  • What? The Big Kids Lit Quiz (It’s for adults. 16+)
  • Where? Takapuna Library 
  • When? Wednesday 13 October, 7.15 pm
  • Who? Wayne Mills, Quizmaster of the Kids Lit Quiz will give you a chance to see if you know as much as the kids.
  • How? Form your own team of 4-6 or join a team on the night

$5.00 for Storylines members, $10 non-members.

Register by email or phone 486 8649 (Helen Beckingsale, East Coast Bays Library) or register on the night.


The Nature of New Zealand: The Waikato Children’s Literature Association Inc. 2010 Seminar

  • Saturday 30 October


9.30 Registration & Refreshments

10.00 Des Hunt

11.15 Vivienne Lingard

12.15 Lunch

1.15 Maria Gill

2.15 Maria and Vivienne talk about collaboration

Please register by 25 October enclosing a cheque made out to The Waikato Children’s Literature Association or send your registration by mail or email and pay online into account number 03 1561 0026176 00 including your name and the word seminar.

Send registrations to:   CLA Seminar, Helen Le Heron, 884 Horrell Rd, RD4 Morrinsville.

BLAST news

 BLAST! Pat Hanly, the Painter and his Protests by Trish Gribben, one of Storylines’ Notable Books for 2009, is to be sent to every primary and intermediate school library throughout the country. A grant from The Peace and Disarmament Education Trust (PADET), set up after the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior with compensation money from France, is making it possible for the publishers, Lopdell House Gallery, to distribute the 1100 books. BLAST! is written for children aged from eight to 12 years and focuses on Pat Hanly’s anti-nuclear paintings. It also includes photographs by Gil Hanly. Trish Gribben said she wrote it as a way of telling a new generation something of New Zealand’s anti-nuclear struggle while keeping Pat Hanly’s work alive. 

New prices for Storylines

Due to the increase in GST, some of Storylines’ ticket and competition entry fees will be increased from 1 November (ie no changes this year!).

But, note!, there is no increase in membership fees. Yay!

Entry fees for the Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon, Joy Cowley, Gavin Bishop and Tessa Duder awards will be $18 (Storylines members) or $36 (non-members) from 1 November 2010. Yes, we know this is a month after GST changes, but this means there will be no inequities in the fees for this year’s entrants – some of whom have already submitted their manuscripts.

The 2011 Margaret Mahy Day ticket prices will also be slightly higher than previously. Members will pay $20, and non-members $35.

Because we really want to foster our future authors and illustrators, tickets to the children’s workshops (as part of the Storylines Festival in Auckland) will be unaffected, too.


Looking ahead to the November What’s the Story?

  • We’ve been waiting all year for it – the super-duper, Books for Christmas Giving list. As always, the booklists are members’ only access.
  • Getting access to the members’ only content is easy:  Log on to our website using your existing membership number, and your password.
  • If you wish to become a member, join here. If you have trouble logging on, contact our Membership Secretary to check your membership is up-to-date.
  • Storylines Betty Gilderdale Award announcement and event details.
  • IBBY reports – biennial reports from IBBY national sections have been pouring in. These will all be available on the site from the beginning of November – with more info in the newsletter.


Members only

Are you interested in reviewing for the booklist? Find out how in this members’ only page.

Getting access to the members’ only content is easy:  Log on to our website using your existing membership number, and your password.

Storylines members – how do you keep up-to-date with the world of children’s literature? Apart from being a member of Storylines, of course!

The invitation is out there! Send us your favourite websites, blogs, journals… anything you use to navigate the information world. And, I will be checking you are on our membership database.

I’ll make a start with some of my favourites:

I also subscribe to a number of e-newsletters, including those of Auckland City Libraries, Christchurch City Libraries and Manukau Libraries.   

~ Annie. 


August enews: Storylines Festival 15 - 22 August 2010

The chance to meet your favourite authors and illustrators, the opportunity to hear books read aloud, writing and illustration competitions, along with book talks, artists at work and book signing sessions, is now less than a week away!!

The Storylines Festival begins in Wellington this Sunday 15 August at The Wellington Town Hall & Capital E, and similtaneously in Christchurch on the same day, at the Christchurch Town Hall. We hope that you have these days in your diary and we look forward to seeing you there.

If you are heading to Whangarei or Auckland for the weekend, or are in town already, don't forget the Whangarei Family Day on Saturday 21 August, closely followed by the Auckland Family Day on Sunday 22 August. It's going to be a long week for many of our volunteers and committee members, but a very enjoyable one. To all the volunteers, coordinators and everyone who has contributed to the Festival so far - a very big thank you.

Want to help but don't know who to contact? There is still time to register as a volunteer, so email our volunteers' co-ordinator and come along for a fun-filled day. If you are a keen photographer and can assist us with capturing the day, please email us and we can give you more details about what’s involved. The Family Days wouldn’t be possible without our volunteers, so if you are a first-timer or are keen to offer us some assistance whether for the entire day, or for a couple of hours, email us and register today.

Workshops Saturday 21 August, Auckland

Places are quickly filling so don’t forget to book your ticket for your local workshop. This is an opportunity for some expert advice and guidance from some of New Zealand’s well known authors and illustrators. Tickets are only $15 and include all materials. More details about the workshops and ticket bookings are available here.

Story Tour, Starts Monday 16 August

The Story Tour will be commencing its visit of over 50 schools and early childhood centres in the Auckland region, starting with a visit in Auckland Central on Monday 16 August, North Shore on Tuesday 17 August, Manukau on Wednesday 18 August, Waitakere on Thursday 19 August, Rodney and Franklin / Papakura on Friday 20 August. Look out for the Storylines van at a school near you. On board will be Melanie Drewery, Tracy Duncan, Craig Smith, James Norcliffe, Trish Gribben, Sarona Aiono-Iosefa, and Tessa Duder. On Friday, a second van will have Dylan Horrocks, Gavin Bishop, Tania Roxborogh, Sally Sutton, John Parker and Bruce Potter navigating their way through the Auckland traffic.

The Northland Story Tour this year will be visiting schools in Dargaville on Thursday 19 August and Whangarei on Friday 20 August. Guests speakers include Janine McVeagh, Tim Tipene, Diana Menefy and Donovan Bixley.

If you miss them on the Story Tour, many will be appearing at the Family Days.

Programmes and more information now available online

Forgot to get your copy of the programme? These are now available online.

Details are being updated daily, so don’t forget to bookmark the Festival page and be one of the first to receive updated details about the Family Day's.

Puffin Short Story Awards

Puffin is celebrating its 70th year, and all of the entries are in. This year over 500 entries were received and thanks to all who entered. The quality of the entries has been superb, which has made the judging a very difficult process. To see if you are a finalist and for more details, go to the Puffin website for a listing of the finalist’s in each category.

The Prizegiving will be held at 1.00pm at the Auckland Family Day, Level Two, Owens Foyer alongside the Puffin’s 70th anniversary exhibition of book covers. We hope to see you there.

The House That Jack Built Exhibition

If you are on the North Shore, Takapuna Library plays host to The House That Jack Built exhibition of original works from the book by children’s writer/illustrator Gavin Bishop.

The exhibition of is now on display at the Takapuna Library, The Strand, Takapuna. Gavin will be making a guest appearance on Saturday 21 August from 10am.

We'll see you all at the Family Day and don't forget to encourage the kids to come dressed as their favourite book character - one of our Storylines spies may just give them a prize.



July 2010 enews: Quick updates

Storylines Festival update.

It's full-steam ahead for the Storylines Festival, which is shaping up to offer an exciting range of activities.

Know any children/teens who are into writing and/or illustrating? Book them into a workshop in the greater Auckland region. Tickets are selling fast.

Family Day volunteers are still needed in Whangarei, Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Our family days rely heavily on volunteer support and we’d love your support. Find out how you could help here.


Award deadlines

Nominations for the Storylines Margaret Mahy and Betty Gilderdale awards close at the end of August. Nominate someone in your community who deserves recognition for their work in the area of children’s literature. And if you've previously nominated someone, please consider re-submitting.

Entries close for the Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon, Joy Cowley and new Tessa Duder awards at the end of October.


In the next What's the story?

Our booklist will be Books in Translation. Make sure you can log-on to the members' only section of the website for access to these great resources.


Web feature:

Need some resources for book week at school? Or entertaining the kids' during the holidays? Have a look through the kids & teachers section of the site. We'd love to hear what you think!



June 2010: Big news this month! A new award and a Storylines Festival update.

Storylines Trust and HarperCollins Publishers New Zealand are proud to announce an exciting new annual award on the children’s literary scene — the Storylines Tessa Duder Award for unpublished writers of fiction for young adults, named in honour of one of New Zealand’s best writers for young adults.

Unpublished writers looking for an opportunity to emulate the outstanding writing careers of Kiwi authors such as William Taylor, Kate De Goldi, Bernard Beckett or Tessa Duder herself will be excited by this new initiative.

The award has been set up in recognition of Tessa’s outstanding contribution to children’s literature, both in terms of publishing output and her tireless work in the area of children’s literacy, particularly as one of the founding members of the Storylines Children’s Literature Charitable Trust. For more information visit the Storylines Tessa Duder Award page.


Storylines Festival

Plans are well and truly underway for this year’s Festival 15-22 August, with new details being confirmed every day. Bookmark the Festival page and stay up to date with what’s planned for this year’s Festival. Want to know who is appearing at your local Family Day?


Children’s Writing and Illustration Workshops

Auckland, Saturday 21 August

Do you know of any children who are interested in writing and/ or illustration? As part of the Festival we are be running writing and illustrations workshops for children aged 8-14 years in different regions of Auckland. Have a look at the workshops being held near you. Places are limited so book now to avoid disappointment. Click here for more details>



Want to be close to the action? Become a Storylines Festival volunteer. It’s a lot of hard work and can be tiring, but it is also a lot of fun. We are looking for people to help nationwide and there are all sorts of areas that we need help with. Click here for more details>


Story Tour

The Story Tour this year will visit schools and early childhood centres in Auckland between 16 and 20 August, and 19 and 20 August in Northland. This year, schools which have not been visited in the recent past, are invited to apply to be a host school for the Story Tour. Read more here>


Attention authors and illustrators

We are currently updating our website. You may have noticed that your profile is not currently on the new site. We apologise for this and we are working to update all profiles.

Please check our profiles section for your information. Please send us any updates. You can email them to the publications team.



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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Storylines welcomes support for all its activities and events. Whether as sponsors or as volunteers for Festival events or task groups, your contribution (large or small) towards helping children grow up to love books and stories will be hugely valued ...