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2020 Storylines Margaret Mahy Lecture presentation

Our annual Storylines awards ceremony ­– the Storylines Margaret Mahy National Awards Day – was postponed during the first Covid-19 lockdown. We have now had to cancel the rescheduled celebratory event for Storylines award winners, due to be held on Sunday 6 September.

Maria Gill, winner of the 2020 Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal, presented the Storylines Margaret Mahy Lecture online on our YouTube channel at 9.30am on Sunday 6 September. If you missed it, you can still watch now.

We still hope that celebration of our 2020 Storylines Notable Books Award winners will be in November, alongside the presentation of the Storylines Betty Gilderdale Award and Spring Lecture. We'll post details closer to the date.

We will profile our other award winners in the coming weeks on our website and YouTube channel. In the meantime, read the details of each of our award winners on the web pages:

Maria Gill 2015 217-191-690 Amiria Stirling-794-570-495 Belinda O'Keefe1 headshot-709-14-615-686
Maria Gill Amiria Stirling Belinda O'Keefe
Cristina Sanders-693-255-183 Janine Williams author pic large file (1)-620-151-112-838 Tania Sickling-422-147-143-570
Cristina Sanders Janine Williams Tania Sickling

2020 Storylines Story Tours LIVE online

In October our Northland Story Tour goes live online

The Storylines Northland Story Tour is going digital and you can join us from your bubble, your classroom, your living room or anywhere else you choose!

Applications are open to all of New Zealand to join one (or more) of the digital sessions, for different age groups, that will be LIVE-streamed. The sessions run from Monday 12 October to Friday 16 October – you choose the session(s) and the guest(s).

You also have the opportunity to ask questions to the presenters in real-time.

These live-streamed sessions are exactly what they say: they are only available to watch live, at the stated time.

There is no cost to join any of the streams. Once you book, a link and password will be sent to you.

Registrations for the Northland Story Tour open soon. Watch this space or our Facebook page for updates. Presenters will be confirmed shortly. A tentative programme includes:


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Michael Petherick
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Sarah Ell
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Zak Waipara
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Chrissie Walker

Monday12 October: Michael Petherick

Debut novelist Michael Petherick lives, writes and plays music in Wellington. He wrote the popular Rhyme Ninja poems in Annual, and first introduced readers to the seething world of Newtoun in Annual 2’s prequel, Community Noticeboard. #Tumeke! is his exciting new book. Described as a multimedia novel for young readers and those who are young-at-heart, #Tumeke! has truly unique and visually appealing pages.
Michael's sessions are: 9.15 - 10.00am Yrs 7 & 8; 11.30 – 12.15pm Yrs 5 & 6; 2.00 - 2.45pm Yrs 7 & 8

Tuesday 13 October: Sarah Ell

Born and raised on Auckland’s North Shore, Sarah Ell is a journalist and writer of fiction and non-fiction, whose books often have a maritime theme. She has worked as a journalist and a sub-editor for the Auckland Star, Boating New Zealand, Trends and The New Zealand Herald, and as a commissioning editor for publishers Random House. Sarah has written three novels for young readers, and in 2003 was shortlisted for the LIANZA Esther Glen Medal. She has also written the historical survey There She Blows: Sealing and Whaling in New Zealand.

Sarah's sessions are: 9.15 - 10.00am Yrs7 & 8; 11.30 – 12.15pm Yrs 5 & 6; 2.00 - 2.45pm Yrs 7 & 8

Wednesday 14 October: Zak Waipara

A former New Zealand Herald graphic artist and HOD of Animation at Animation College, Zak Waipara (Rongowhakāta, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Ruapani, Ngāti Kahungunu) is now Digital Media Lecturer at AUT. He has worked as a designer for Māori Television’s children’s show Miharo, illustrated comics and a range of books, and created animated music videos. Zak also created the design and artwork for New Zealand's International Children's Book Day 2007 poster. Zak’s illustrated his latest book, The Stolen Stars of Matariki, with Miriama Kamo who provided the text.

Zak's sessions are : 9.15 - 10.00am Yrs 3 & 4; 11.30 – 12.15pm Yrs 5 & 6; 2.00 - 2.45pm Yrs 3-6

Thursday 15 October: Chrissie Walker

The Short but Brilliant Career of Lucas Weed by debut author Chrissie Walker won the 2017 Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon Award for an unpublished writer.

The book tells the story of Lucas Weed. He hasn’t really made any friends at his new school, so when the ‘cool kids’ suggest he carry out a prank in class, Lucas thinks it might be his path to being accepted. And when the pranks keep getting more and more outrageous – and with videos uploaded to YouTube – Lucas Weed’s popularity soars! But soon things start to go out of control ...

Chrissie's sessions are: 9.15 - 10.00am Yrs 5 & 6; 11.30 – 12.15pm Yrs7 & 8; 2.00 - 2.45pm Yrs 5 & 6.

Friday 16 October: Combined presentations

9.00am Chrissie Walker and Michael Petherick

2.00pm Sarah Ell and Zak Waipara


You are welcome to book more than one session.

Any questions? Email festival@storylines.org.nz

Please share with your networks and communities around New Zealand.

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Storylines Margaret Mahy National Awards Day

We regret that the Storylines Margaret Mahy National Awards Day, scheduled for on Sunday 5 April 2020, has been postponed. Please read details here.


Storylines Foundation 2020 AGM

The 20th Annual General Meeting of the Storylines Children’s Literature Foundation of New Zealand Inc. will be held on Sunday 5 April 2020 as an online meeting, following the postponement of the Storylines Margaret Mahy National Award event. Please read details here.


Recent News

2020 Storylines Notable Books

The Storylines Notable Book lists, assessed by our panels of expert judges, is an annual list of outstanding books for children and young people published in New Zealand by New Zealand authors and illustrators during the previous calendar year.

Books are categorised as: Picture Book, Junior Fiction, Young Adult, Non-fiction and Te Reo Māori. There are up to ten awards in each category.
The Storylines Notable Book lists provide children, parents/grandparents, teachers, librarians and the public with a guide to the best books for children and young people published each year.

Read the 2020 lists here or download a printable version here.

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Lizard's Tale by first-time author Weng Wai Chan is one of the Junior Fiction Notable Books

New name for Storylines Children's Literature Foundation

We have recently undertaken a review of the Storylines Children's Literature Foundation Constitution and the Storylines Children's
Literature Trust Deed. The Trustees have
approved the new Trust Deed and the
Foundation Constitution is to be voted
on by Storylines Foundation members at the
AGM on 5 April 2020.
As part of these changes, there is a name
change for the Foundation, to The Friends of
Storylines, and both organisations are adopting
a Māori name as an integral part of their identity.

The full name of the Storylines Trust will be
Storylines Children's Literature Charitable Trust
of New Zealand Te Whare Waituhi Tamariki o
Once the new Constitution is adopted, its full
name will be Friends of Storylines Incorporated
Nga Pou o te Whare Waituhi o Aotearoa.

These names have been developed for us by members of the Faculty of Māori and
Indigenous Development at Auckland
University of Technology. A full explanation of
the thinking behind the new names can be
found here.

Please contact childlitnz@storylines.org.nz if
you are interested in joining Friends of Storylines
Nga Pou o te Whare Waituhi o Aotearoa or want
to know more about our organisation or structure.


Info worth reading


2020 Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award winner

The winner of the 2020 Gaelyn Gordon Award for a much-loved book is The Big Block of Chocolate, written by Janet Slater and illustrated by Christine Dale




Storylines Award-winning title launched

The winners of the 2018 Storylines Joy Cowley  Award for a manuscript for a picture book, The Little Ghost who lost her Boo, was launched at a special 2019 Storylines event in August  this year ahead of teh annual Booksellers New Zealand conference.

Scholastic publisher Lynette Evans launched the book, written by Elaine Bickell of Wellington, with illustrations by Raymond McGrath. Not only was the book launched, but Lorraine revealed that the book has been picked up by a prestigious American publishing house.


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Storylines Award-winning titles launched

The winners of the 2018 Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon Award for a manuscript for a junior fiction novel, and the 2018 Storylines Tessa Duder Award for a manuscript for young adults were launched at the at the 2019 Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal and Awards Day on 31 March this year.

Ursa, written by Tina Shaw, is published by Walker Books, and was winner of the Stroylines Tessa Duder Award. Read more about Ursa, and the Tessa Duder Award.

Bullseye Bella by James Guthrie, won the Storylines Tom Firtzgibbon Award. It is published by Scholastic NZ. Read more.

Ursa cover image 9781760651244-42-748

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Book listed for UK Award

Last year Storylines patron Dame Wendy Pye  launched the book Children’s Literature in a Multiliterate Word edited by Waikato lecturer Nicola Daly and Storylines chair Dr Libby Limbrick, with advisory editor Pam Dix. The book is a diverse collection of essays by 12 scholars in children’s literature from the very successful 35th IBBY World Congress 2016 held in Auckland.
Children's Literature in a Multililterate World has now  been shortlisted for the United Kingdom Literacy Association 2019 Academic Book Award. Children's Literature in a Multililterate World is published by Trentham Books and UCL, Institute of Education Press, University College London.
You can order it  from www.ucl-ioe-press.com and in Kindle/eBook formats.

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Member-only videos and tip sheets

Storylines members can  receive access to a series of 16 videos, filmed at the 2017 Storylines Writers and Illustrators Hui. The videos provide insights into the creative and writing processes of 16 of our top writers and illustrators.Check out a sample here. Members can access the first videos here. Others will be uploaded during may and June.
The series of "Top Ten Tips" sheets offer pithy and useful advice to aspiring writers and illustrators, andfor teachers, parents and librarians. They're written by leading practitioners such as Bruce Potter and Leonie Agnew among others. Coming: more from writers and Illustrators, plus from educators on getting your child reading and an agent on how to get published.

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Our Supporters
Storylines would like to thank our major funders and supporters:

CNZ logo colour-721Creative New Zealand

Storylines is supported by the Creative New Zealand Toi Uru Kahikatea (Arts Development) Investments Programme, with funding to assist us in our mission of supporting New Zealand children's and young adult writers and illustrators, and in engaging young New Zealanders with books and reading.

FoundationNorth-Logo-Full-Colour-CMYK 0-420Foundation North

Lottery Grants Board, Community Matters

We also receive generous funding from:
Auckland Council LF CorporateLogo cmyk A-36-462Lion Foundation New Zealand Book Council
Other organisations

Other organisations who share our objective of promoting books and reading in New Zealand include:

New Zealand Book Council

NZ Book Awards logo-865-292New Zealand Book Awards Trust

nzsa-logo-276  New Zealand Society of Authors

National Library of New Zealand

Duffy Books in Homes

Michael King Writers’ Centre

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Storylines Trust Te Whare Waituhi Tamariki and Friends of Storylines Te Pou o Te Whare Waituhi Tamariki together form New Zealand’s only national organisation working year-round to promote New Zealand children’s and young adult literature through activities that include a major national Story Tour to schools, early childhood centres and communities, and awards for writers, illustrators and those who work in the area of New Zealand children’s literature



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Storylines welcomes your support for all its activities and events. Whether as a volunteer or sponsor for annual events or specific activities, your support (large or small) towards helping young New Zealanders love books is greatly appreciated.