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Storylines Notable Books Awards

Storylines 2020 Notable Book lists announced
The 2020 Storylines Notable Book Award lists (for books published in 2019) has been announced. A full list of the award-winning titles is available in Word format here for printing, or a pdf for poster display here, or read the full list, with cover illustrations, here.
Storylines Notable Book Award-640-529
Storylines 2019 Notable Books
Christine Young, chair of the Storylines Trust, presented the 2019 Notable Book Award winning writers, illustrators and publishers with their certificates at the Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal and National Awards Day in late March 2019.
2019 Storylines Junior Fiction Notable Book winners  IMG 3881-210 2019 Storylines Non-fiction Notable Award winners Gavin Bishop Stuart Phillipa and Adrian kinnardIMG 3865-881-571
2019 Storylines YA Notable Book Award winners IMG 3889-562-748 Storylines Notable Book Award writers, illustrators and publishers receive their certificates
2019 Storylines Notable Book Award winners Lael Chisholm Heather Haylock Sally Sutton, Stacy Gregg, Robyn Belton   Josh  IMG 3858-343-902 2019 Storylines Te Reo Notable Book Award winner  Keri Opai with publisher Lynette Evans IMG 3892-383

Since 1999 Storylines has produced 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.

This annual list of Storylines Notable Books ensures that children, parents/grandparents, teachers, librarians and the public are all made aware of the large range of high quality New Zealand books being published.

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. 

Storylines Notable Books are selected by five expert panels drawn from the Storylines community. The panels include children’s and YA librarians, authors, illustrators, teachers and academics; several members have served as judges for the previous AIM, New Zealand Post and LIANZA Book Awards.

Storylines invites submissions to the Storylines Notable Book Awards 2021.

Please read the conditions of entry (below) and then complete an entry form for each submission.
The closing date for entries is 30 November 2020.

Conditions of entry:

  • Entries are open to books written in English or te reo Māori on first publication in print or as e-books in New Zealand. The 2019 Awards are open to books published between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2020.
  • Principal authors (and principal illustrators of books with significant illustrative content: picture books and photographic non-fiction) must be normally resident in New Zealand and be New Zealand Citizens by birth, naturalisation or immigration, or hold Permanent Residency status for TWO years at the closing date for submissions. New Zealand Citizens or Permanent Residents as defined here, but who are living overseas temporarily, are eligible if their absence has been for no more than TWO consecutive years at the closing date for submissions.
  • Entries of junior and young adult fiction must contain 48 pages or more, non-fiction must contain 36 pages or more, and picture books must contain at least 24 pages.
  • Books in English published primarily for an educational market (e.g. textbooks, resource kits, literacy texts, reading schemes etc.) are not eligible.
  • Printed books originally written in English or te reo Māori (from mainstream/independent publishers or self-published) must have a print run of no fewer than 500 copies and be available to the public for sale through normal retail outlets and/or online. E-books should be widely available online at the time of submission.
  • For the Te Reo Māori awards, both trade books and books published primarily as school readers (with evident literary quality) are eligible.
  • School readers submitted for the Te Reo Māori Awards should be readily available to schools and early childhood centres.
  • Books by individual or multiple authors, including anthologies, are eligible if they meet the judging criteria. Anthologies must contain sufficient new work to meet the criteria for a book in its own right.
  • Books published with the assistance of grants or subsidies are eligible.
  • Books will be accepted as e-book-only publication [i.e. no print edition exists]. Where both e-book and print book are available the print book should be submitted.
  • E-books will not be in a separate category but will be judged alongside print editions of the same category.
  • An e-book submitted must have originated as an e-book. An e-book created out of an earlier print book is not eligible.
  • A book entered for the Awards must be a single, stand-alone entry.
  • Series or boxed sets are not considered as single, stand-alone book entries, and are therefore not eligible, unless submitted as individual titles.
  • Reprints and re-issues of previously published works are not eligible.
  • Books by deceased authors or illustrators are not eligible for entry unless the death occurred after the book has been submitted. 
  • The entry fee is $30 per title (including GST).
  • For print books two copies of the submitted title are required.
  • For e-books, please provide details on Entry Form to enable access.
Once the judging process has been completed Storylines will be using your submitted copies to promote the work they do in schools and libraries, and to thank Storylines' members for their support.

The Storylines Notable Books judging panels reserve the right to invite submissions. No correspondence regarding the Awards will be entered into.

While entries close 30 November 2020, we encourage you to submit titles already published since 1 January 2020, and other titles as they are published. If submitting in November, please do so as early as possible to avoid late arrival due to postal or courier delays.

If in doubt regarding the eligibility of an author or illustrator, please seek clarification by emailing childlitnz@storylines.org.nz

Links and documents:

  • 2018 Notable Books
  • Winners of  2018 Storylines Notable Book Awards were presented with their certificates at the Storylines Margaret Mahy Awards Day on 8 April. Notable Book awards were presented in four genres: Junior Fiction, Young Adult, Non-fiction and Picture Book. The list is compiled from more than 100 entries by four panels of judges with specialist knowledge of children’s books – teachers, librarians, authors, illustrators, booksellers and academics.
  • Read the full list of 2018 Notable Books here.
  • IMG 6243-150
  • IMG 6247-481-92
  • 2018 Notable picture book winners
  • 2018 Notable non-fiction winners
  • IMG 6262-972-606
  • IMG 6259 Eileen Merriman-421-407-566
  • 2018 Notable junior fiction books
  • 2018 Notable YA fiction book winner Eileen Merriman
Notables 2018 Brochure-240

  • 2017 Notable Book Awards
  • The 2017 Storylines Notable Books list, for books published in 2016, was announced on 15 March 2017. You can read the news release here,  and the full list of 2017 Storylines Notable Books here. Certificates were presented for the 2017 Notable Books at the annual Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal Presentation and Awards Day on 2 April.
  • 2017 NBA Jnt Fiction-416-342

  • Several winners of 2017 Storylines Notable Books for Junior Fiction collected their certificates on 2 April 2017: Des Hunt, Gavin Bishop, Leonie Agnew, and Tom Moffatt with Diana Murray of Penguin Random House (third from right) and Penny Scown of Scholastic (far right). [Photo: Crissi Blair].
  • 2017 NBA Picture Books-978

  • Winners of 2017 Storylines Notable Picture Book awards, pictured with publishers Penny Scown (Scholastic') and Diana Murray (Penguin Random House), included: Alexandra Tylee, Kieran Rynhart, Ripeka Takotawai Goddard, Kimberly Andrews, Zak Waipara, Melinda Szymanik, Richard Fairgray, Joy H Davidson, Nikki Slade Robinson, and Pat Chapman. [Photo: Crissi Blair].

  • 2017 NBA Non-Fiction-417
  • Winners of 2017 Storylines Notable Books for Non-fiction pictured with Penny Scown from Scholastic (far left) and Diana Murray from Penguin Random House (second from right): Maria Gill, Murray Dewhurst, Dreydon Sobanja, Philippa Werry, Christine Thomson, and Pat Chapman.[Photo: Crissi Blair].
  • YA NBA 2017 Saradha Koirala and Diana Murray -503

  • 2017 Storylines Young Adult Notable Book award winner Saradha Koirala with publisher Diana Murray from Penguin Random House.[Photo: Crissi Blair].

  • Full Notable Book lists for previous years are listed below.

  • Support for Storylines Notable Books: 

  • "I'm delighted to have such an acknowledgement. It's been very interesting to see, over the years, how being on the Notable Books list has become such a coveted honour. Thank you, not just for my own presence on the list this year, but for the hard work Storylines does on behalf of writing for children." - Barbara Else
  •  "I want to say Many Thanks to you for those honours – and for all the other terrific services you provide to New Zealand kids’ books. Storylines is a gem in the New Zealand crest. Feel proud of all you do! I feel privileged to belong to you." - David Hill
  • Storylines Notable Books Lists:
  • Storylines Notable Books List 2017, for book published in 2016
  • Storylines Notable Books List 2016, for books published in 2015
  • Storylines Notable Books List 2015, for books published in 2014
  • Storylines Notable Books List 2014, for books published in 2013
  • Storylines Notable Books List 2013, for books published in 2012
  • Storylines Notable Books List 2012, for books published in 2011
  • Storylines Notable Books List 2011, for books published in 2010
  • Storylines Notable Books List 2010, for books published in 2009
  • Storylines Notable Books List 2009, for books published in 2008
  • Storylines Notable Books List 2008, for books published in 2007
  • Storylines Notable Books List 2007, for books published in 2006
  • Storylines Notable Books List 2006, for books published in 2005
  • Storylines Notable Books List 2005, for books published in 2004
  • Storylines Notable Books List 2004, for books published in 2003
  • Storylines Notable Books List 2003, for books published in 2002
  • Storylines Notable Books List 2002, for books published in 2001
  • Storylines Notable Books List 2001, for books published in 2000
  • Storylines Notable Books List 2000, for books published in 1999.


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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