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

Storylines award-winner in NZ book awards shortlist

Storylines is delighted to note the inclusion of Holding the Horse by J.L. (Janine) Williams in the shortlist for the 2023 New Zealand Children’s Best First Book Award, sponsored by the NZ Society of Authors.

With her manuscript, Janine was the 2020 winner of the Storylines Janice Marriott Mentoring Award.

“I was delighted that Janine’s novel has been recognised as a fascinating and believable historical novel,” says Janice Marriott. “I enjoyed working with her as the novel grew and the emails went back and forth.”

Janine writes: “In 2019 I was juggling my job making chutneys from my own grown fruit and trying to write a historical YA novel that demanded a lot of research. Getting discouraged, I saw a notice in the Storylines newsletter about the deadline for the inaugural Janice Marriott Mentorship award. I entered and won and it was exactly what I needed.

“The award absolutely changed my life. I now consider myself to be a writer. Janice was kind, patient and astute, a true encourager. The entire process of sending off chapters and receiving them back was fun and exciting. The insightful suggestions were extremely helpful and her encouraging comments very affirming. My skills and confidence grew with each exchange. By the end of the six months’ process, I had learned an incredible amount about writing. I had grown so much as a writer that I completed the manuscript which had been languishing in a drawer for several years.

“Since then, I have published my book, winning a Storylines Notable Books Award in 2022. And now it is currently a finalist in the New Zealand Children’s and Young Persons Awards 2023 for Best First Book!

“I would encourage anyone needing help and encouragement to find a mentor. The Storylines Janice Marriott Mentoring Award is a great place to start.”

Janine is currently working on a sequel, Like The Wind, which she hopes to finish next year.

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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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