Storylines Children’s Literature Charitable Trust of New Zealand | Te Whare Waituhi Tamariki o Aotearoa

The 2023 Margaret Mahy Medal Lecture: James Norcliffe

Decorated author James Norcliffe opened the floor at the 2023 Storylines Margaret Mahy Day on 2 April as the winner of the Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal and Lecture Award, New Zealand’s most prestigious award in the field of writing, illustrating and publishing for young people. Also a recent recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement, James Norcliffe was able to speak in both his capacity as a children’s author and a renowned poet.

His speech, “Irksome Confections: A Defence of Fantasy,” offered a humorous catalogue of accusations levelled against writers of fantasy, and provided a powerful reminder of why we need imagination, magic, and stories. “Of course there is mystery and wonder in the real world, enough for a million mind-bending novels,” he said, “but for all that, there remains room for fantasy […] a wide ranging exploration unhampered by natural laws.”

Read the full lecture here.

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We are a 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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