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 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 whānau; several members have served as judges for the previous New Zealand Book Trust, New Zealand Post and LIANZA Book Awards.

The Storylines Notable Book Awards are presented at Storylines’ annual event in November at which the Storylines Betty 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.)

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 fill out the expression of interest form. Applications for the 2024 judging panels close on 31 March 2024. The Storylines Awards administrator contacts all applicants to advise them if they have been successful.

Entries are open for the 2024 Storylines Notable Book Awards

Eligibility Criteria

Entries close at 5pm on 31 August 2024 for the 2024 awards.

We encourage you to submit titles as they are published. The 2024 Awards cover books published from 16 November 2023 to 15 November 2024.

Advance or reading copies are acceptable if received before 31 August 2024 and include a firm assurance that the book will be published on or before 15 November 2024.

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 $35 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.

  • 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 must contain at least 16 pages.
  • Printed books originally written in English or te reo Māori (from mainstream/independent publishers or self-published or print on demand) must be available to the public for sale through normal retail outlets and/or online. A print-on-demand book is eligible to enter the Storylines Notable Book Awards.
  • 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, kura kaupapa, kōhanga 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, kōhanga 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 Storylines 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

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