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Storylines Gavin Bishop Award

2019 Storylines Gavin Bishop Award

Christchurch Libraries are displaying a digital slideshow of the 2019 finalists and winner of the Gavin Bishop awards.
This is currently being displayed at Tūranga and at Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre until January 31st. After that it will be displayed at various libraries as part of our rotating schedule of digital exhibitions. If you’re not in Christchurch, you can see the slideshow here.

Amy Harhoff was winner of the 2019 Storylines Gavin Bishop Award. Her portfolio is featured alongside finalists' in the Christchurch Libraries slideshow.

GBA 2019 Amy Haarhoff-570-163-200-334

Winner of the Storylines Gavin Bishop Award for a previously unpublished illustrator is Amy Haarhoff of Palmerston North. Catherine O’Loughlin from award sponsor Penguin Random House presented Amy and the other shortlisted candidates with their certificates before Gavin Bishop announced Amy as the winner and presented her with the award.

Amy is a 22-year-old illustration Masters student. She says she was raised on her dad’s macabre storytelling, her mum’s supply of art materials, and an endless supply of library books, and learned to love reading and drawing from an early age. After graduating from Palmerston North Girls High School, Amy enrolled in a BA at Massey University and graduated with majors in Social Anthropology and Psychology in May 2018. Uncertain about pursuing an academic career, she decided to postpone postgraduate study for a year and enrolled in an arts and design course at UCOL. While researching for a project in a bookshop last July, she came across a picture book that changed her life: Cicada, by Shaun Tan. Having walked in the bookshop unsure of the path she should pursue, she walked out with a determination to be an author-illustrator (and a copy of Shaun Tan’s book). She has since been building her collection of picture books, learning all she can from them, and drawing. She has recently begun an MA in Illustration with Falmouth University, and works as a receptionist at the Massey University gym to fund her tuition. Amy hopes to pursue a career in New Zealand book illustration and would like to write and illustrate her own stories one day.

Amy Haarhoff and Storylines Joy Coweye Award winner Janelle Wilkey were  interviewed on RNZ National after receiving their awards.

Storylines Gavin Bishop Award winner Gavin Bishop Amy Haarhoff publisher Catherine OLoughlin IMG 3776-782-778-708-858
Gavin Bishop, Amy Haarhoff and Penguin Random House publisher Catherine O'Loughlin after Amy's award presentation

2019 Shortlist

The 2019 shortlist for the Gavin Bishop Award has been announced. Congratulations to:
  • Lara Crowther, Hamilton;
  • Lily Emo, Nelson;
  • Amy Haarhoff, Palmerston North; 
  • Kathleen Richens, Rangiora;
  • Emily Walker, Auckland
The winner was announced at the Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal and National Awards Day in Auckland on 31 March.
Storylines Gavin Bishop Award shortlist  Gavin Bishop-164-411Gavin Bishop (left) and Catherine O'Loughlin from Penguin Random House (right) and the shortlisted candidates for the Storylines Gavin Bishop Award


The Storylines Gavin Bishop Award was established in 2009. The award aims to encourage the publication of new and exciting high-quality picture books from new New Zealand illustrators. It also recognises the contribution Gavin Bishop has made to the writing and illustrating of children’s picture books and gives an emerging talent the opportunity to benefit from his expertise. 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 digital or print format (i.e. one sold through online or physical 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.

Gavin Bishop


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.

Storylines Gavin Bishop Award Entry form and Guidelines 2019

Entry Form

Entries for the next award close 30 November 2020.
You can make an electronic payment for your entry here.
NB: Members must be logged into the website to access the Members discounted entry fee.


2017 Storylines Gavin Bishop Award winner – book launched 2018

Granny McFlitter Champion Knitter cover image-418
Lael Chisholm, an 18-year-old freelance artist and designer from Feilding, won the prestigious Storylines Gavin Bishop Award for Illustration for 2017. 

At the 2018 Storylines Margaret Mahy Awards Day, Penguin Random House publisher Harriet Allen launched Heather Haylock's Granny McFlitter the Champion Knitter, the book Lael illustrated as part of her award.

Speaking at the launch Gavin Bishop reiterated the sentiments he had expressed in announcing Lael's award win: “There is a career as a picture book artist ahead of this young woman if she wants to go in that direction.”
Recipients of the Storylines Gavin Bishop Award::




The Storylines Trust and Foundation together comprise New Zealand's only national organisation working year-round specifically to promote children's and young adult literature through an annual Festival in six regions, author awards, publications, advocacy and other activities ... 



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