Wellington teacher, author and literary blogger Maureen Crisp is the winner of the 2017 Storylines Betty Gilderdale award for outstanding service to children’s literature.
The award ceremony for Maureen took place on Monday 27 November in the Southern Cross bar and restaurant in Wellington, with Fifi Colston as MC.
On behalf of Storylines, Storylines Trust chairperson Libby Limbrick welcomed Maureen’s family and friends and an audience of writers, illustrators and publishers who had gathered to celebrate Maureen's many achievements.
Previous winner of the Storylines Betty Gilderdale Award, Ruth McIntyre of the Wellington Children's Bookshop (who won the award with her late husband John) introduced Maureen as “a powerhouse of knowledge about publishing, children’s books and publishing trends”, and as “a treasure” and the “glue” who helps to hold the Wellington children’s literature community together.
Maureen’s speech was a fascinating and insightful account of the role of storytellers and the act of storytelling, the way that storytelling has changed over centuries but also remained the same, the challenges that writers face in the digital world and the opportunities that are open to writers and storytellers if they act collaboratively and work to support each other. The full text of the speech is available here.
The award acknowledges Maureen as one of the unsung heroes of children’s literature in this country. She is a published author of junior fiction and was convenor of two national conferences for children’s writers and illustrators, in 2009 and 2015, and also serves as president of the Wellington Children’s Book Association. Her weekly blog on news and views on children’s publishing is followed by many published and aspiring writers. She also began and continues to contribute to the online children’s writing competition Fabo Story, an opportunity enjoyed by many hundreds of children around the country.
The 2016 Storylines Betty Gilderdale Award for outstanding service to children's literature was presented to Rosemary Tisdall at a ceremony in Auckland on 11 December. Storylines Trust chair Dr Libby Limbrick paid tribute to Rosemary's long service to children's literature and welcomed her to the podium to present the Spring Lecture. Betty Gilderdale then presented Rosemary with her Award.You can read the text of her Award address here.