The award is open to previously unpublished illustrators. It not open to any illustrator who has had a picture book, either fiction or non-fiction for either children, young adults or adults published in print or digital format (i.e. one sold through physical or online bookstores) or in the process of publication. Previous publication by the illustrator in school readers and similar educational material; magazine articles; anthologies; or any self-publishing where the print run is under 300 copies, is allowable. (If in doubt, illustrators should seek a ruling from Storylines.) Eligibility criteria are stated on the Entry Form.
Penguin Random House New Zealand is the sponsor and Storylines administers the award. The winner receives a $1,500 monetary prize and mentoring and support from celebrated children’s author and illustrator, Gavin Bishop, and may also receive an offer of publication by Penguin Random House New Zealand.
The award is biennial, with the presentation of the award made at the Storylines Margaret Mahy Day in March. Applications will next be called for an award to be made in 2019. Each entrant is required to submit a storyboard, a page of rough drawings and two pieces of finished art to fit with text provided by Penguin Random House.
You can view the guidelines, entry form, manuscript and storyboard for 2016. Entries for the next award close 30 November 2018.
“Lael Chisholm's entry, from more than 25 submissions, delighted all three judges not only for the interesting and thoughtful interpretation of the story but for the assured use of materials and technique,” says leading New Zealand illustrator Gavin Bishop. “There is a career as a picture book artist ahead of this young woman if she wants to go in that direction.”
“Penguin Random House New Zealand is delighted to have worked with Storylines to reinstate the Storylines Gavin Bishop Award this year,” said Publishing Director Debra Millar. “The award is a wonderful way to showcase emerging talent and has once again led to the discovery of an exciting new illustrator. That this year’s winner, Lael Chisholm, has not long finished school has blown us away!”
‘We are very much looking forward to publishing Lael’s illustrations to accompany the story Granny McFlitter, the Champion Knitter by Heather Haylock in 2018.”
Lael was an outstanding student leader at Feilding High School, including dux for 2015. The sixth child in a family of 10, she began drawing from an early age. She developed an interest in illustration in her final years of schooling, attracted by the challenge of creating artwork that combined design, illustration and storytelling. Her long-term ambition is to write and illustrate her own picture books.
At Feilding High School’s Evento Wearable Art awards in 2014, contested by 11 local schools, Lael won the BNZ design scholarship for her entry in the Dr Seuss category.