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 celebrated children’s author and illustrator 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The award is open only to previously unpublished illustrators.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 either by self publishing or a publishing house in digital or print format (i.e. one sold through online or physical bookstores), or is in the process of publication.
Previous publication by the illustrator in school readers and similar educational material; magazine articles; and anthologies is allowable. (If in doubt, illustrators should seek a ruling from Storylines.) Eligibility criteria are stated on the Entry Form.
Storylines administers the award, and Penguin Random House New Zealand is the sponsor. Selection is made by a panel which includes Gavin Bishop, a representative from Penguin Random House and judges selected by Storylines. The winner receives a $1,500 monetary prize, mentoring and support from Gavin Bishop, and an offer of publication by Penguin Random House New Zealand.
The award is made biennially, when merited, with the presentation of the award at the Storylines Margaret Mahy National Awards Day in April. 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. See Guidelines for details. The text for the 2023 award will be made available in early 2022.