Dunedin publisher Barbara Larson is the 2010 winner of New Zealand’s top award in children’s literature, the Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal. The award recognises Barbara’s specific and outstanding contribution to the important genre of young adult fiction.
Established in 1994, Barbara’s Longacre Press quickly became recognised as a leading independent publisher, producing at least six works for young readers a year as well as award-winning high-quality non-fiction. Longacre Press attracted some of the best established authors in the country – among them William Taylor, Jack Lasenby, Joanna Orwin and Kate De Goldi and put huge efforts into nurturing a generation of new writers. In late 2009 the company was purchased by Random House New Zealand and Barbara now acts as a roving commissioner of new fiction for Random.
‘Barbara’s continuing personal commitment to publishing high-quality novels for teenagers for more than a decade has been remarkable,’ notes Storylines Trust chair, Dr Libby Limbrick.
Barbara Larson is the second publisher to win the Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal since its inception in 1992, joining Ann Mallinson, Wellington-based publisher of Lynley Dodd’s Hairy Maclary books.