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

Sarah Forster – 2021 Storylines Betty Gilderdale Award recipient

Sarah Forster – 2021 Storylines Betty Gilderdale Award Winner

Wellington’s Sarah Forster is the recipient of the 2021 Storylines Betty Gilderdale Award for outstanding service to children’s and young adult literature and reading.Christine Young, chair of Storylines Trust says the award congratulates Sarah for the work she has done to promote and advance books and reading for and by young New Zealanders. “Sarah has committed herself to New Zealand children’s and young adult literature, developing relationships across the sector and using her experience and skills to develop new initiatives that have reached young people, whanau and professionals in the sector. The Sapling website, in particular, was a labour of love for Sarah and we are pleased to honour the time and dedication she put into this, as into all her other roles.”

Sarah has held key positions as an administrator, communications advisor, advocate and volunteer in the field of children’s and young adult books in New Zealand. From 2007 to 2013 she managed Writers in Schools and other education programmes for the New Zealand Book Council, now Read New Zealand Te Pou Muramura.

In 2013 she moved to Booksellers New Zealand, where she managed and develop a wide range of media programmes. In 2016 she became the founding editor of The Sapling, a new and widely acclaimed website focusing on New Zealand children’s and young adult literature, offering reviews, commentary and news on authors, illustrators and publishing. ‘She also contributed news on children’s books to the book pages of The Spinoff, formerly edited by Steve Braunias. She will continue to write about children’s books for ReadingRoom while The Sapling is in hiatus.

Her voluntary work for children’s literature has included judging the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, acting as peer assessor (literature) for Creative New Zealand arts funding programmes, and book reviewing and commentary.

Her industry awards have included a special award for The Sapling, and a Winston Churchill Fellowship in 2011 to study innovative education programmes in San Francisco.

She is currently senior communications advisor for Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington.

The Storylines Betty Gilderdale Award  carries a $2000 prize. It will be presented to Sarah at a date and venue yet to be advised. Registrations will be essential and will be able to be made online from the Storylines website.

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We are a 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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