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Melinda Szymanik

MMelinda Szymanik writes picture books, short stories and novels for children and young adults. Her picture book, The Were-Nana, won the New Zealand Post Children’s Choice Award in 2009, was a Storylines Notable Book in the same year, and was shortlisted for the 2010 Sakura Medal. Her fourth novel, A Winter's Day in 1939, also a Storylines Notable Book (2014), won Librarian's Choice at the 2014 LIANZA Awards. Her picture book Fuzzy Doodle (Scholastic 2016) was a 2017 Storylines Notable Book, a finalist in the 2017 NZCYA Book Awards and a 2017 White Ravens book. Her most recent titles are the picture books Moon and Sun (Upstart Press, 2021), and My Elephant is Blue (Puffin, 2021).
When she is not writing, Melinda likes reading, baking (especially with chocolate), going to the movies, and travelling with her family. She has three grown-up children, a cat and a husband and lives in Mt Eden with a view of the mountain from her study.
Melinda teaches creative writing workshops for adults and children, blogs regularly on writing and is one of ten New Zealand writers who run an innovative online writing experiment for children called FABO Story.

Selected bibliography:

Picture Books

  • Clever Moo, illus. Malcolm Evans (Scholastic NZ, 2006). Out of Print
  • The Were-Nana, illus. Sarah Nelisiwe Anderson (Scholastic NZ, 2008)
  • The House That Went to Sea, illus. Gabriella Klepatski (Duck Creek Press, 2011)
  • While You Are Sleeping, illus. Greg Straight, (Duck Creek Press, 2013)
  • The Song of Kauri, illus. Dominique Ford (Scholastic NZ, 2014)
  • Fuzzy Doodle, illus. Donovan Bixley, (Scholastic NZ, 2016)
  • Sharing with Wolf, illus. Nikki Slade-Robinson, (Scholastic, 2020)
  • Moon and Sun, illus. Malene Laugesen, (Upstart Press, 2021)
  • My Elephant is Blue, illus. Vasanti Unka, (Puffin [Penguin], 2021)

Junior Novels

  • Jack the Viking (Scholastic NZ, 2008)
  • Sally Bangle: Unexpected Detective (Tale-Spin Media, 2012) (e-book only)
  • A Winters Day in 1939 (Scholastic NZ, March 2013)

Junior Short Story Collection

  • Time Machine and Other Stories (Ahoy! [Cuba Press], 2019)

Young Adult Novels

  • The Half Life of Ryan Davis (Tale-Spin Media, 2012)

Short Story anthologies that include Melinda's work

  • Dare and Double Dare ed. Barbara Else, (Random NZ, 2007)
  • Short , ed. Lili Wilkinson (Black Dog Books 2008)
  • Pick n' Mix: Assorted Kiwi Stories, Volume 1 (Scholastic NZ, 2010)
  • Pick n' Mix: Assorted Kiwi Stories, Volume 2 (Scholastic NZ, 2011)
  • Great Mates, ed. Barbara Else (Random NZ, 2011)
  • Finalist NZ Booklovers Award for Best Children’s Book, Sharing with Wolf
  • Finalist 2020 Wright Family Foundation Esther Glen Junior Fiction Award, Time Machine and Other Stories.
  • Storylines Notable Book Award 2017 for Fuzzy Doodle.
  • Finalist 2017 Best Picture Book Award and Russell Clark Illustration Award - NZCYA Book Awards, Fuzzy Doodle.
  • Queensland 2017 Premier’s Reading Challenge Selection, Fuzzy Doodle.
  • White Ravens Selection 2017, Fuzzy Doodle.
  • Storylines Notable Book Award 2015 for The Song of Kauri.
  • Longlisted LIANZA Esther Glen Junior Fiction Award, The Song of Kauri
  • Finalist LIANZA Librarian's Choice Award 2015, The Song of Kauri
  • Storylines Notable Book Award 2014 for A Winters Day in 1939
  • Winner Librarian's Choice Award 2014, LIANZA Children's Book Awards, A Winter's Day in 1939
  • Finalist 2014 NZ Post Book Awards, A Winter's Day in 1939
  • Finalist 2014 LIANZA Esther Glen Junior Fiction Award, A Winter's Day in 1939
  • Storylines Notable Book Award 2014 for While You Are Sleeping
  • Sakura Medal 2010 Finalist for The Were-Nana
  • New Zealand Post Children's Choice 2009 for The Were-Nana
  • Storylines Notable Book Awards Picture Books List 2009 for The Were-Nana
Other resources:


Storylines Trust Te Whare Waituhi Tamariki and Friends of Storylines Te Pou o Te Whare Waituhi Tamariki together form New Zealand’s only 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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