Storylines Children’s Literature Charitable Trust of New Zealand | Te Whare Waituhi Tamariki o Aotearoa

Storylines Notable Book Awards

About the Awards

Since 1999 Storylines has produced an annual list of outstanding books for children and young people published by New Zealand authors and illustrators during the previous calendar year.

This annual lists of Storylines Notable Books ensures that children, whānau, 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 expert panels in each category. These panels include children’s and YA librarians, authors, illustrators, teachers, academics and whanau; several members have served as judges for the previous New Zealand Book Trust, New Zealand Post and LIANZA Book Awards.

From 2020, the Storylines Notable Book Awards are presented at Storylines’ annual event in November at which the Storylines Better Gilderdale Award for services to children’s literature is also presented. (Until 2020 they were presented at the annual Storylines Margaret Mahy National Awards Day each April.) Details for the 2021 event will be announced as soon as possible – watch the website and Storylines’ monthly newsletters.

Call for Judges

If you are interested in submitting an expression of interest in being a judge for the annual Storylines Notable Books Awards, please contact our awards administrator for details ( The Storylines Awards administrator will be in touch with all applicants to advise them if they have been successful.

Storylines invites submissions to the Storylines Notable Book Awards 2021.

Entries close at 5pm on 31 August 2021. We encourage you to submit titles as they are published. With the change of timing for Storylines Notable Book Awards, the 2021 Awards cover an 18-month period for this year only, for books published between 1 January 2020 and 31 July 2021.

Please read the eligibility criteria (below) and then complete an entry form for each submission. If in doubt regarding the eligibility of a book, please seek clarification by emailing the Awards Administrator at

The entry fee is $30 per title (incl. GST).
For print books, THREE copies of the submitted title are required
For e-books, please provide details on the entry form to enable access.

Please read the eligibility criteria below and complete an entry form for each submission.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Entries are open to books written in English or te reo Māori on first publication in New Zealand in print or as an e-book.
  • 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.
  • 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 Storylines Te Reo Māori Notable Book awards only, both trade books and books published primarily as school readers (with evident literary quality) are eligible. School readers submitted for the Storylines Te Reo Māori Notable Book Awards should be readily available to schools, kūra kaupapa, kohanga reo or 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 new 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.
  • An e-book submitted must have originated as an e-book. An e-book created out of an earlier print book is not eligible.
  • An e-book will not be in a separate category but will be judged alongside print editions of the same category.
  • A book entered for the Awards must be a single, stand-alone entry.

Books that are not eligible

  • An e-book created out of an earlier print book
  • Series or boxed sets are not considered as single, stand-alone book entries, and are therefore not eligible, unless submitted as individual titles
  • Books in English published primarily for an educational market, e.g. textbooks, resource kits, literacy texts, reading schemes etc. (except for the te reo Māori category where educational material is eligible)
  • Reprints and re-issues of previously published works
  • Books by deceased authors or illustrators, unless the death occurred after the book has been submitted.

Please note:

Once the judging process has been completed Storylines will use your submitted copies to distribute to deserving schools, kura kaupapa, early childhood centres, kohanga reo and libraries, and to thank Storylines’ volunteers for their support.

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

Links and documents: 

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 Stoyrlines 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 done 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