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Debut novelist wins country’s richest literary prize

By Media Releases

Ockham Book Awards logoWestport writer Becky Manawatu has won this year’s $55,000 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards’ Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction for her first novel, Auē.

Manawatu’s win was announced during a virtual ceremony which began at 6pm this evening, simultaneously live-streamed via the Awards’ YouTube channel and Facebook page. She was the only debut novelist, competing against established and critically acclaimed writers: Owen Marshall (Pearly Gates), Carl Shuker (A Mistake) and David Vann (Halibut on the Moon).

Described by the judges as a ‘mere pounamu’, Auē, published by Mākaro Press, is the hard-hitting story of orphaned Arama, who is deposited in rural Kaikōura with relatives, and his brother Taukiri, a young man fending for himself in the big smoke.

The Awards’ Fiction category judges were unanimous in their decision. “There is violence and sadness and rawness in this book, but buoyant humour too, remarkable insights into the minds of children and young men, incredible forgiveness and a massive suffusion of love.

“With its uniquely New Zealand voice, its sparing and often beautiful language, the novel patiently weaves the strands of its tale into an emotionally enveloping korowai, or cloak,” they said.

Another first-time author, Dunedin’s Straitjacket Fits frontman Shayne Carter, won the General Non-Fiction Award for his work, Dead People I Have Known (Victoria University Press).

“From the first page, Shayne Carter invites the reader to jump right in and come along for the ride. What follows is an illuminating insight into his childhood, shaped by violence and addiction, of a boy who didn’t fit in and felt saved by music …it is a fascinating look at what it means and feels like to be a creative obsessive – pushing towards perfection despite, and because of, addiction, oblivion, and isolation.

“It is rock-star writing: entertaining, revealing and incredibly heartfelt,” said the category judges.

Wellington writer, editor and publisher Helen Rickerby won the Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry for her collection How to Live (Auckland University Press).

 “How to Live names, excavates and exhumes both silenced and previously muffled women. There is a power in naming them and exploring their stories, like a poetic version of war memorials dotted throughout our cities and regions, villages. In doing so, these women get an identity, a voice, and an intergenerational existence.

“This collection of poetry demands much of us: to move, to discover, to challenge, to chastise, to entertain, to teach, to dare and to awaken…It doesn’t back down from a societal lesson that, unfortunately, still needs repeating, and often,” said the category judges.

Three Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa curators – Stephanie Gibson; Matariki WIlliams (Tūhoe, Te Atiawa, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Hauiti) and Puawai Cairns (Ngāti Pūkenga, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāiterangi) – won the Illustrated Non-Fiction Award for their work Protest Tautohetohe: Objects of Resistance, Persistence and Defiance.

 The category judges said this book stood above the others, not only achieving excellence in writing, illustration and design, but also – crucially – tackling a vast and significant topic worthy of these urgent times.

“The tactile, hand-hewn approach to design complements the huge variety of assiduously collected objects that are this book’s focus. From the obscure and ephemeral to the well-known and loved, the images allow us to be witness to – and challenge us to learn from – our shared past of resistance, dissent and activism.”

The General Non-Fiction, Poetry and Illustrated Non-Fiction category winners each took home a $10,000 prize.

Four MitoQ Best First Book Awards were also presented at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.

 The Hubert Church Prize for a best first book of Fiction: Becky Manawatu for Auē (Mākaro Press).

The E.H. McCormick Prize for a best first work of General Non-Fiction: Shayne Carter for Dead People I Have Known (Victoria University Press).

The Jessie Mackay Prize for a best first book of Poetry: Jane Arthur for Craven (Victoria University Press).

The Judith Binney Prize for a best first work of Illustrated Non-Fiction: Chris McDowall and Tim Denee for We Are Here: An Atlas of Aotearoa (Massey University Press).

Each MitoQ Best First Book Award winner received $2,500 and a 12-month membership subscription to the New Zealand Society of Authors.

Paula Morris, a trustee of the New Zealand Book Awards Trust, which governs the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, says: “This was another extremely competitive year, with a diverse range of outstanding books, reflecting the creativity and vibrancy of our local publishing. It’s also a year of surprises, with two debut writers taking home big prizes.

“The winning books explore the political and the personal – to quote Helen Rickerby, ‘all kinds of lives’. Through them we travel from Dunedin to Ancient Greece, from beaches to stages to pubs to street protests.”

 The 2020 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards judges were:

Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction: author, journalist and reviewer Mark Broatch, short story and non-fiction writer Nic Low (Ngāi Tahu) and Tauranga bookseller Chris Baskett.

This year’s Fiction category international judge was award-winning Australian (Wiradjuri) writer, Tara June Winch.

General Non-Fiction Award: Hocken Librarian and experienced documentary and cultural heritage collections advisor Sharon Dell, respected Nelson bookseller, reviewer and practising artist Stella Chrysostomou, and well-known journalist, presenter and voracious reader Guyon Espiner.

Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry: publisher and acclaimed poet Kiri Piahana-Wong, poet Tim Upperton, whose collection The Night We Ate the Baby was an Ockham New Zealand Book Awards finalist in 2016, and Dunedin bookseller Phillippa Duffy, whose two decades in the book industry include publishing and board positions.

Illustrated Non-Fiction Award: award-winning publisher and Whitireia publishing programme tutor Odessa Owens, Lana Lopesi, an independent critic, editor and author, and Hamish Coney, an award-winning writer, arts advisor and founder and former director of the auction house Art+Object.

The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards are supported by Ockham Residential, Creative New Zealand, Jann Medlicott and the Acorn Foundation, Mary and Peter Biggs, MitoQ and the Auckland Writers Festival.

To find out more about the winners’ books go to http://www.nzbookawards.nz/new-zealand-book-awards/2020-awards/winners/

 

Book publishers struggling to keep Kiwi stories alive through Covid-19

By Media Releases, News

Kiwi book publishers are struggling to regroup after seeing sales obliterated in April.

The Publishers Association of New Zealand/Te Rau o Tākupu (PANZ) says members are reporting zero or minimal sales for the month of the Level 4 lockdown.

The risk to the book industry is at its greatest since the Global Financial Crisis.

“Publishers, along with our authors, illustrators and booksellers, are caught up in a negative spiral,” says Julia Marshall, PANZ President.

Unlike in most countries, in New Zealand books were not classed as essential items during Level 4.

“Online sales of books made a massive difference to sustaining publishers in many markets, including Australia,” Marshall says.

“While New Zealand publishers have remained at work remotely, preparing books for 2020 and 2021, they couldn’t sell print books until Level 3 permitted online and click & collect sales.”

Despite some short-term rescheduling due to the lockdown, Marshall says that PANZ members are on track to produce many fine books this year.

Publishers have also stepped up to make content available digitally to schools and families, recognising the vital role of books in home-based learning and personal wellbeing.

Educational publishers entrusted design files for many textbooks to the Ministry of Education so it could print and despatch books to schools, ensuring students could go on studying.

Others have given free licence to libraries, booksellers and schools across the country to provide readings and content from New Zealand books during the lockdown period.

Now that it’s ok to shop for books, Marshall encouraged New Zealanders to support the Kiwi booksellers and authors who like all of us are facing major challenges with the Covid-19 epidemic .

“This is the year to buy New Zealand books, if you want to be sure our books are still around in the future.”

ENDS

 

About the Publishers Association of New Zealand

PANZ represents educational, scholarly and trade publishers in New Zealand, from large international publishers to local independent presses. The book publishing industry produces over 2,000 New Zealand titles a year, contributing almost $400 million to GDP.

For any queries please contact:

Craig Gamble, Councillor

Email: craig.gamble@vuw.ac.nz   Tel: 021 402 977

http://www.publishers.org.nz

Special Round of Copyright Licensing New Zealand Contestable Fund Grants

By Media Releases

If you’re working on a writing or publishing project that has arisen or been developed to respond to the changed environment in the New Zealand writing and publishing sector due to COVID-19, you should apply to this Special Round of Contestable Fund Grants.

Each year Copyright Licensing New Zealand provides revenue from its Cultural Fund for a variety of awards and grants, including a Contestable Fund. In order to support the industry during the pandemic, we have just released Special Funding of $120,000 for short-term projects that can be started now and completed by the end of September this year. The annual Contestable Fund process supports a very wide range of projects, and this Special Round will do the same.

The amount you apply for is up to you – the independent Selection Panel will be looking for creative projects that can make a difference at this challenging time.

Applications are invited for projects that have clearly defined and measurable project outcomes, including projects that:

  • Respond to the opportunities and challenges presented by the pandemic
  • Develop the professional skills of writers, including those who write for an education audience
  • Seek to grow export markets for New Zealand published content
  • Demonstrate innovation in the creation and distribution of New Zealand published content
  • Use online platforms to enhance the profile of New Zealand publishing and/or published content, including to international/export markets

APPLY NOW

Applications must be received before 4pm Wednesday 29 April 2020. Successful recipients will be announced in mid-May.

  • All applicants must read, understand and accept the Application Guide and Criteriaof the CLNZ Special Round of Contestable Fund Grants before proceeding with an application and to be eligible for a grant. Applicants are encouraged to print or download this document and to refer back to it throughout the application process.
  • The application process can take some time to work through. Applicants will have an opportunity to save their work and come back to it. Before starting your application, please read Section 2. of the Application Guide and Criteriato learn what information will be required, and ensure all supporting documentation required to be uploaded is in pdf format. Please also take note of the file size and word limits when submitting and uploading information.
  • Before submitting your application, applicants will have an opportunity to review and edit their application. Once submitted, the application cannot be edited further. A copy of the application will be provided to the applicant.

Unsuccessful applicants will be advised via email in May. Successful recipients will be contacted directly and we will also publish the announcement on our website and social media pages.

Quick Links
Application guidelines and criteria (pdf)
Application form

Ockham Book Awards logo

Ockham New Zealand Book Awards Go Virtual For 2020 Winners’ Announcements

By Media Releases

Ockham Book Awards logo

The winners of the country’s premier literary honours – the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards – will be delivered to the nation online, on the original date set down for the awards ceremony in Auckland: Tuesday 12 May.

“Covid-19 has interfered with our annual celebration of the finalist authors and publishers in an event that’s greatly anticipated and enjoyed by hundreds as one of the first events of the Auckland Writers Festival,” says New Zealand Book Awards Trust chair Nicola Legat. “But as the old adage goes, ‘the show must go on’, and we hope that by making our announcements ‘virtual’ we will reach an audience of thousands on the evening of 12 May.”

Working with the talented team at the Auckland Writers Festival and production company Lotech, a slick, tight virtual ceremony is being planned, fronted by popular ceremony MC for the past two years, broadcaster and te re Māori advocate Stacey Morrison. The schedule will kick off at 6pm with the announcement of the MitoQ Best First Book awards and then continue after a short break, at 7pm, with formalities and the reveal of winners of the four main subject categories: the General Non-Fiction Award, the Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry, the Illustrated Non-Fiction Award and, finally, the $55,000 Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction.

A special Ockham New Zealand Book Awards YouTube channel has been set up for the announcements, which will also be shared live across social media channels. The channel is hosting a series of finalist author readings in the four weeks leading up to the winners’ announcements under the banner of ‘Ockhams Out Loud’.

“Life during Covid-19 has become about staying home and staying safe. In these circumstances, books are our best companions, and these 16 great New Zealand books delight, excite, challenge and stretch us. Whoever wins at our virtual awards on May 12, the country is the richer for all of them,” says Nicola Legat.

The 2020 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards shortlisted titles are:

Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction:

Auē by Becky Manawatu (Mākaro Press)

Pearly Gates by Owen Marshall (Vintage, Penguin Random House)

A Mistake by Carl Shuker (Victoria University Press)

Halibut on the Moon by David Vann (Text Publishing)

Mary and Peter Biggs Awards for Poetry:

Moth Hour by Anne Kennedy (Auckland University Press)

How to Live by Helen Rickerby (Auckland University Press)

Lay Studies by Steven Toussaint (Victoria University Press)

How I Get Ready by Ashleigh Young (Victoria University Press)

Illustrated Non-Fiction Award:

Crafting Aotearoa: A Cultural History of Making in New Zealand and the Wider Moana Oceania edited by Karl Chitham, Kolokesa U Māhina-Tuai, Damian Skinner (Te Papa Press)

Protest Tautohetohe: Objects of Resistance, Persistence and Defiance edited by Stephanie Gibson, Matariki Williams, Puawai Cairns (Te Papa Press)

We Are Here: An Atlas of Aotearoa by Chris McDowall and Tim Denee (Massey University Press)

McCahon Country by Justin Paton (Penguin Random House)

General Non-Fiction Award:

Dead People I Have Known by Shayne Carter (Victoria University Press)

Shirley Smith: An Examined Life by Sarah Gaitanos (Victoria University Press)

Wild Honey: Reading New Zealand Women’s Poetry by Paula Green (Massey University Press)

Towards the Mountain: A Story of Grief and Hope Forty Years on from Erebus by Sarah Myles (Allen & Unwin)

The winner of the Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction will receive $55,000 in 2020. The General Non-Fiction, Poetry and Illustrated Non-Fiction category winners will each receive a $10,000 prize. The winners of the four MitoQ Best First Book awards will each receive $2,500.

The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards are supported by Ockham Residential, Creative New Zealand, Jann Medlicott and the Acorn Foundation, Mary and Peter Biggs, MitoQ and the Auckland Writers Festival.

To find out more about the shortlisted titles go to http://www.nzbookawards.nz/new-zealand-book-awards/2020-awards/shortlist/

To watch the Ockhams finalist author readings and the winners announcements on 12 May go to: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNJNZ1462noS7mZNrFgGkxg

ENDS

For further information please contact: Penny Hartill – director hPR, 021 721 424, penny@hartillpr.co.nz

#theockhams  facebook.com/NewZealandBookAwards              twitter.com/theockhams

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNJNZ1462noS7mZNrFgGkxg

Virtual Storytimes Aotearoa: A new programme announcement from The Coalition for Books

By Media Releases

New Zealand schools, libraries and early childhood education centres are keen to ensure that children are still able to enjoy all that a good book has to offer during these unsettling times. Providing storytimes for children through online platforms is something that New Zealand authors and publishers and the cross-sector organisation, The Coalition for Books, are committed to supporting. We aim to make the process as easy as possible for publishers, authors, teachers, early childhood educators and librarians.

Virtual Storytimes Aotearoa will permit, on a temporary basis, the recording of readings of books from participating publishers and posting of the video recording online. Educators and librarians will be able to confidently bring New Zealand stories and literature to students during this challenging time.

“We are pleased to partner with the Publishers Association of New Zealand and The Coalition for Books to facilitate online storytimes while schools and libraries are temporarily closed,” says Paula Browning, CEO of Copyright Licensing New Zealand. “Virtual Storytimes Aotearoa empowers educators and librarians to share stories from New Zealand publishers with their students during a time when they are needed more than ever.”

Librarians and educators are encouraged to take advantage of the programme to spread the word on social media using the hashtag #VirtualStorytimesAotearoa and tag @CLLNZ and @Publishers_NZ and @coalition4books along with individual creators and publishers.

New Zealand publishers who have signed up to Virtual Storytimes Aotearoa so far include David Bateman Ltd, Gecko Press, Milly Molly Children’s Publishing, Scholastic New Zealand, Te Papa Press, Te Reo Singalong Books and Walker Books Australia and New Zealand.

For more information about the terms and conditions, guidelines for use, and an updated list of participating publishers, please visit http://www.coalitionforbooks.nz/storytime

 

PANZ actively represents New Zealand publishers’ interests to industry and government. The PANZ advocacy team works to inform the relevant government departments and industry bodies of key issues facing book publishers and how we can work effectively together. Strong support from the publishing industry is vital to this work. Association members are a diverse mix of general, literary and educational publishers, ranging from small independent niche publishers to large multinationals.

CLNZ provides licences to help make copying, scanning and sharing printed works easy and legal. A not-for-profit organisation, the net revenue generated from CLNZ licences is distributed to the creators of the work being copied. This helps licence-holders maximise resources, educates future creatives and provides an income to the clever people who created the work that is being copied. CLNZ contributes to the growth of our creative economy by enabling access to a world of content.

Contacts: Publishers Association of New Zealand: Catriona Ferguson, Association Director, catriona@publishers.org.nz

Copyright Licensing New Zealand: Paula Browning, Chief Executive, paula@copyright.co.nz

The Coalition for Books, Jill Rawnsley, Manager, jill.coalitionforbooks@gmail.com

 

Ockham Book Awards logo

Excellence Drives Fierce Competition in Ockham New Zealand Book Awards’ Shortlist

By Media Releases

Ockham Book Awards logoDebut writers and literary luminaries vie for the country’s premier book honours in today’s finalist announcement of 16 compelling works that explore and re-imagine the natural, cultural and creative landscapes of Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards’ 2020 finalists were selected by four panels of three specialist judges (for fiction, poetry, illustrated non-fiction and general non-fiction) and were drawn from 40 longlisted titles that had been narrowed down from more than 170 entries – a 12 percent increase in submissions on the last three years.

The 2020 finalists for the $55,000 Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction are: Auē by Becky Manawatu; Pearly Gates by Owen Marshall; A Mistake by Carl Shuker and Halibut on the Moon by David Vann.

Mark Broatch, spokesperson for the fiction judges, applauds the “cheeringly excellent year for New Zealand fiction,” with novels and short story collections of great range, depth and surprise.

“Forced to winnow a great longlist to four, the judges found that these books stood above the others – for their storytelling brio, their exploration of salient ideas, and their dedication to language as a salve and seasoning for the mind, the marrow, the spirit,” he says.

Award-winning Australian (Wiradjuri) writer Tara June Winch will assist the three New Zealand judges to select this year’s Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction winner.

The finalists in the 2020 Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry are: Moth Hour by Anne Kennedy; How to Live by Helen Rickerby; Lay Studies by Steven Toussaint and How I Get Ready by Ashleigh Young.

“The four shortlisted poets write in different styles, however all pay superb attention to craft, form and tone, and all have produced books with lasting impact,” says Poetry category convenor Kiri Piahana-Wong.

The 2020 Illustrated Non-Fiction category finalists are: Crafting Aotearoa: A Cultural History of Making in New Zealand and the Wider Moana Oceania edited by Karl Chitham, Kolokesa U Māhina-Tuai, Damian Skinner; Protest Tautohetohe: Objects of Resistance, Persistence and Defiance edited by Stephanie Gibson, Matariki Williams, Puawai Cairns; We Are Here: An Atlas of Aotearoa by Chris McDowall and Tim Denee; and McCahon Country by Justin Paton.

Odessa Owens, convenor of the Illustrated Non-Fiction judging panel, says the four finalist books are landmark publications that address significant cultural milestones. “These brilliantly crafted publications also demonstrate the growing confidence of writers, designers and publishers to innovate with design and world-class production values,” she says.

The 2020 General Non-Fiction category finalists are:  Dead People I Have Known by Shayne Carter; Shirley Smith: An Examined Life by Sarah Gaitanos; Wild Honey: Reading New Zealand Women’s Poetry by Paula Green and Towards the Mountain: A Story of Grief and Hope Forty Years on from Erebus by Sarah Myles.

General Non-Fiction convenor of judges Sharon Dell says beautiful writing and compelling content have worked together to create four finalist books whose impact will be felt beyond this year. “The deployment of archival resources, solid research and the mining of memory bring insight into the lives of creative people, and an understanding of how individual lives and experiences reflect the identity and character of Aotearoa.”

New Zealand Book Awards Trust spokesperson Paula Morris says that “each year brings surprises, and this highly competitive year is no exception. The quality of books on the shortlists is exceptional. We anticipate that the decisions of the judges in each category will spark passionate debate.”

The winners of the 2020 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, including the four MitoQ Best First Book award winners, will be announced at a ceremony on Tuesday 12 May as a marquee event during the 2020 Auckland Writers Festival.

The 2020 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards shortlisted titles are:

Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction:

Auē by Becky Manawatu (Mākaro Press)

Pearly Gates by Owen Marshall (Vintage, Penguin Random House)

A Mistake by Carl Shuker (Victoria University Press)

Halibut on the Moon by David Vann (Text Publishing)

 

Mary and Peter Biggs Awards for Poetry:

Moth Hour by Anne Kennedy (Auckland University Press)

How to Live by Helen Rickerby (Auckland University Press)

Lay Studies by Steven Toussaint (Victoria University Press)

How I Get Ready by Ashleigh Young (Victoria University Press)

 

Illustrated Non-Fiction Award:

Crafting Aotearoa: A Cultural History of Making in New Zealand and the Wider Moana Oceania edited by Karl Chitham, Kolokesa U Māhina-Tuai, Damian Skinner (Te Papa Press)

Protest Tautohetohe: Objects of Resistance, Persistence and Defiance edited by Stephanie Gibson, Matariki Williams, Puawai Cairns (Te Papa Press)

We Are Here: An Atlas of Aotearoa by Chris McDowall and Tim Denee (Massey University Press)

McCahon Country by Justin Paton (Penguin Random House)

 

General Non-Fiction Award:

Dead People I Have Known by Shayne Carter (Victoria University Press)

Shirley Smith: An Examined Life by Sarah Gaitanos (Victoria University Press)

Wild Honey: Reading New Zealand Women’s Poetry by Paula Green (Massey University Press)

Towards the Mountain: A Story of Grief and Hope Forty Years on from Erebus by Sarah Myles (Allen & Unwin)

The General Non-Fiction, Poetry and Illustrated Non-Fiction category winners will each receive a $10,000 prize. The winners of the four MitoQ Best First Book awards will each receive $2,500.

The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards are supported by Ockham Residential, Creative New Zealand, Jann Medlicott and the Acorn Foundation, Mary and Peter Biggs, MitoQ and the Auckland Writers Festival.

To find out more about the shortlisted titles go to http://www.nzbookawards.nz/new-zealand-book-awards/2020-awards/shortlist/

 

Kiwi kids are proactive readers who love to read home-grown authors

By Media Releases

The votes are in and Whitcoulls are delighted to announce their 2019 Kids’ Top 50 Books List today, September 23, 2019.  The big news is that Kiwi kids often discover what they want to read through their own research, are huge fans of books in a series and love to read local authors.

Whitcoulls Book Manager Joan Mackenzie said, ‘Almost 25% of the List is New Zealand books – a much higher proportion than we see in our Top 100 List for adult readers – which is a real reflection of the need for Kiwi kids to be able to recognise themselves and their own environment in the books they read.’

This year, 12 of the books in the List are by New Zealand authors, including perennial favourite Lynley Dodd’s Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy, which claims second place.  Stories about dragons are popular again, with Kiwi author James Russell’s trilogies The Dragon Brothers Trilogy (#9) and The Dragon Defenders Series (#20) ranking high.

Other Kiwi stars and newcomers to the List are: Kimberly Andrews award-winning Puffin the Architect (#38); actor and comedian Rhys Darby’s The Top Secret Undercover Notes of Buttons McGinty (#42), the first book in a terrific new series full of plays on language, wit and Morse code; and Donovan Bixley’s Tales of Aotearoa Series (#48), a classic re-telling of our myths and legends.

J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Series holds doggedly on to the number one spot again this year, but David Walliams’s grip on the List is unassailable, with five individual books and two series’ appearing.  Walliams has singlehandedly brightened up literally thousands of young readers’ lives over the last year and is the undisputed star of kids’ books these days.

For Whitcoulls, the List highlights the importance of listening to their younger readers and responding to their requests.  For some time, kids have been asking about #1 New York Times bestselling series Wings of Fire by Venezuelan-American author, Tui T. Sutherland and American cartoonist Raina Telgemeier’s coming of age books, including Smile.  Both, they discovered through their own research and voted into this year’s List, at numbers 34 and 46, respectively.

The List is always packed with book series and this year serial novels or chapter books comprise nearly half.  Significantly, Kiwi kids voted seven of them into the top ten, which suggests that once children discover a book series they like, they keep coming back for more.  Among the favourites are: Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series (# 4); Dav Pilkey’s Dog Man Series (# 5); and Andy Griffiths & Terry Denton’s The Treehouse Series (# 6).

‘The great thing about the List is that kids know these books have been voted for by their peers, which gives them confidence to try something new – and with all that fan base behind them, they are likely to be really engaging and enjoyable,’ says Mackenzie.

As ever, the List is a balanced mix of picture books for the young reader, a range of titles for the newly confident reader, as well as more challenging narratives for older children.

Whitcoulls see the publication of their annual Kids’ Top 50 Books List as a way to foster a love of reading – one of the cornerstones of a literate, rewarding life.

See the complete top 50 list here.

New Association Manager for Booksellers NZ named

By Media Releases

 

From Booksellers NZ

The Board of Booksellers NZ is delighted to announce the appointment of Dan Slevin to role of Association Manager, Booksellers NZ.

Dan has over 25 years experience working in all areas of the New Zealand media, having worked in live entertainment, arts, events and the motion picture industries.

Dan is the former Marketing & Communications Manager at Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School, and prior to that, he was Managing Editor of Fishhead Magazine.

Over the years Dan has been the grateful recipient of Booksellers NZ book tokens as a regular reviewer on RNZ National’s Nine to Noon programme and is excited to soon be helping shape the next chapter of the Association.

Chair of Booksellers NZ Juliet Blyth says, ‘Dan struck us immediately as the perfect fit for this role; his wealth of experience in adjacent sectors, his obvious book love and most of all his fundamental belief in the instrumental role Booksellers NZ plays in supporting a vibrant bookselling sector made him the clear contender for this role.’

Dan will begin at Booksellers NZ in October following the retirement of CEO Lincoln Gould.

ENDS

For further information please contact Juliet Blyth, Chair, Booksellers NZ (027) 444 5062

The Coalition for Books: a dynamic new organisation for New Zealand literature announced

By Media Releases

A dynamic collaborative organisation has formed to make a tangible difference to the literary landscape of Aotearoa, supported by seed funding from Creative New Zealand (CNZ).

During its initial year, the Coalition will be a collaborative venture beneath the umbrella of the Auckland Writers Festival. Other significant founding organisations include the Booksellers Association, the Society of Authors, the Publishers Association, Tautai Pacific Arts Trust, the New Zealand Book Awards Trust, the Michael King Writers Centre and the Academy of New Zealand Literature.

The Coalition for Books has a clear mandate: to complement the work of existing organisations, identify gaps in activities and develop initiatives that serve authors, publishers, booksellers and festivals. Through strategic activity and by mobilising the literary sector, it will enhance the visibility, sales and overall opportunities for New Zealand books and their writers.

Interim Chair Melanie Laville-Moore says, “A year in the making, the Coalition for Books feels like a watershed moment. It’s the very first time that so many representatives from across the literary sector have come to the same table to initiate important change. The potential to enable greater success for all of our organisations is huge. We’re immensely grateful to Creative New Zealand for believing in our vision and allowing us the opportunity to put plans into action.”

Auckland Writers Festival Director Anne O’Brien says the Coalition is a critical step in enhancing the health of the sector in challenging times. “The Festival shares the Coalition’s kaupapa of supporting and strengthening engagement for and with New Zealand writers and readers, and looks forward to working with sector colleagues to make a real difference to this country’s literary well-being.”

The inaugural meeting of the Coalition for Books will be held later this month during the Booksellers Association Conference to be held in Auckland. A new incorporated society will be established immediately afterwards.

Ends

For further information, please contact Melanie Laville-Moore, Interim Chair and Director of Allen & Unwin NZ on melaniel@allenandunwin.com  T: 021 593 555

This year’s Book of the Year for young readers is “The Bomb”

By Media Releases

A sparkling story of courage and transformation has been judged the best book for young readers at this year’s national children’s book awards. The Bomb by Sacha Cotter, illustrated by Josh Morgan, was awarded the highest prize in children’s publishing – The Margaret Mahy Book of the Year – during a ceremony at Te Papa in Wellington to celebrate the 2019 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.

The judges were captivated by the spell this book cast. They described it as a summery, waterlogged, quintessentially Kiwi story about a child growing in self-confidence while striving to achieve the perfect “bomb”, supported every step of the way by the reassuring presence of his Nan.

“Joy and humour permeate the story and illustrations of The Bomb, and the reader is rewarded with each encounter – they see a new layer, another detail is revealed, fresh energy bubbles up,” says convenor of judges Crissi Blair. The judges also commended the language, which naturally incorporates te reo Māori, and the illustrations which celebrate our multicultural community.

Josh Morgan and Sacha Cotter at the 2019 NZCYA Awards. Image ©VanessaRushtonPhotography

The win rounded out an action-packed few months for the author and illustrator team of Cotter and Morgan, who have a winning partnership off the page as well, having recently become engaged and welcomed their first child into the world.

Seven other significant awards were also presented at the ceremony, held in Te Papa’s atmospheric Te Marae and attended by the country’s top children’s authors, illustrators, translators and publishers.

The Bomb also won the Picture Book Award. The judges said the books in this category “defied gravity” – being both simple and sophisticated in their message and illustration with serious child appeal but the ability to also delight adults.

The Dog Runner by Bren MacDibble, an enthralling eco-drama about a future without grasses, was awarded the Wright Family Foundation Esther Glen Award for Junior Fiction, marking the second year in a row this category has been won by MacDibble. The judges found the unique voice and characterisation ensured the reader was emotionally invested while debating alternatives to the sometimes-violent measures taken to ensure survival.

Teenagers are very hard to please, said the judges in announcing the Young Adult Fiction Award, but the panel was confident the winner of this category, Legacy by Whiti Hereaka, was a book teens would love. They were unanimous in their appreciation for this novel, with its assured writing, cleverly constructed story and pitch-perfect historical rendering, which teaches much about life as a WWI Māori soldier.

An instantly engaging, slyly educational book peppered with a sense of humour won the Elsie Locke Award for Non-Fiction. Art-tastic by Sarah Pepperle is a rare book that makes art – in this case the iconic works in the Christchurch Art Gallery – accessible and fun for young readers and shows how it can touch all aspects of our lives.

With such high praise from the judges, it’s no surprise Art-tastic also took out the Best First Book Award, a fiercely contested prize in a field of books which all cut straight to the heart of what being a young person is about in very different ways.  But the judges couldn’t go past Pepperle’s “out-of-this-world talent” for presenting information – both factual and abstract – in a digestible, hilarious, approachable way, and praised her rare instinct for understanding how children work.

When it’s done well, children’s book illustration is a high form of art combining technique, taste and vision with the ability to tell a story. The judges found the art exceptional in Russell Clark Award for Illustration winner Puffin the Architect by Kimberly Andrews. They cited Andrews as an early-career treasure trove of talent, saying New Zealand children are lucky to have the rest of her career to look forward to.

The Wright Family Foundation Te Kura Pounamu Award for te reo Māori was awarded to Te Haka a Tānerore by Reina Kahukiwa, illustrated by Robyn Kahukiwa, translated by Kiwa Hammond. The panel of judges convened by Te Rōpū Whakahau said the book enhanced readers’ understanding of Māori performing arts by telling the origin story of haka. They praised the way its close connection to identity and heritage was illustrated with exceptional artwork.

The New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults are a unique celebration of the contribution that New Zealand’s children’s authors and illustrators make to building national identity and cultural heritage. The awards are made possible through the generosity, commitment and vision of funders and sponsors: Creative New Zealand, HELL Pizza, the Wright Family Foundation, LIANZA, Wellington City Council, Nielsen Book and Te Papa. They are administered by the New Zealand Book Awards Trust.

The full list of winners for the 2019 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults:

Margaret Mahy Book of the Year Award $7500

The Bomb, Sacha Cotter, illustrated by Josh Morgan (Huia Publishers)

 

Picture Book Award $7500

The Bomb, Sacha Cotter, illustrated by Josh Morgan (Huia Publishers)

 

Wright Family Foundation Esther Glen Award for Junior Fiction $7500

The Dog Runner, Bren MacDibble (Allen & Unwin)

Young Adult Fiction Award $7500

Legacy, Whiti Hereaka (Huia Publishers)

Elsie Locke Award for Non-Fiction $7500

Art-tastic, Sarah Pepperle (Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū)

Russell Clark Award for Illustration $7500

Puffin the Architect, written and illustrated by Kimberly Andrews (Penguin Random House)

Wright Family Foundation Te Kura Pounamu Award for te reo Māori $7500

Te Haka a Tānerore, Reina Kahukiwa, illustrated by Robyn Kahukiwa, translated by Kiwa Hammond (Mauri Tū)

Best First Book Award $2000

Art-tastic, Sarah Pepperle (Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū)

ENDS

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For interview opportunities, images and further information please contact:

Gemma Finlay, Notable PR

P: 027 628 9695                E: gemma@notablepr.co.nz

Notes for Editors:

The judges of the 2019 awards were:  Crissi Blair (convenor), a long-time promoter and champion of children’s books; Jane Arthur, an editor, commentator and poet; Raymond Huber, a children’s author and editor, Tania Roxborogh, an educator and author; and Simie Simpson, a librarian.

They were joined by a panel appointed by Te Rōpū Whakahau to judge the te reo Māori entries, which was led by Moana Munro (convenor), kaitiaki pukapuka Māori for the Hastings District Libraries, Anahera Morehu, president-elect of LIANZA, and Jacqueline Joyce Snee, senior librarian Māori Research at Auckland Central Library.

The New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults are governed by the New Zealand Book Awards Trust (a registered charity). Members of the Trust are Nicola Legat, Karen Ferns, Paula Morris, Catherine Robertson, Jenna Todd, David Bowles, Anne Morgan and Melanee Winder. The Trust also governs the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards and Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day.  www.nzbookawards.nz

Creative New Zealand is the national arts development agency of Aotearoa and has been a key partner of New Zealand’s book awards for decades. Creative New Zealand encourages, promotes and supports the arts in New Zealand and internationally for the benefit of all New Zealanders through funding, capability building, and advocacy initiatives. It offers financial support for emerging and established artists, art practitioners, groups and organisations, and provides training and online resources to help artists and practitioners develop professionally, grow audiences and markets, and manage their organisations. In addition, it supports internships and national touring activities to enhance the development of New Zealand arts. Creative New Zealand provides a wide range of support to New Zealand literature, including funding for writers and publishers, residencies, literary festivals and awards, and support of organisations which work to increase the readership and sales of New Zealand literature at home and internationally. www.creativenz.govt.nz

HELL Pizza was established in 1996 and now has 75 outlets throughout New Zealand. HELL has reinforced its commitment to getting more kids hooked on books by sponsoring the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. The HELL Reading Challenge, initiated in 2014, continues to grow. HELL says it has ‘always challenged the norm, and with kids now becoming so engrossed with modern technology, we are bucking that trend and making reading cool again. We want pizza to be the gateway to reading addiction!’ The programme rewards students with a free ‘333 HELLthy pizza’ once they have read seven books and had their achievement approved by a local librarian with a stamp in each segment of their HELL pizza wheel. In 2018, 684 schools and 195 public libraries around New Zealand took part, and 300,000 pizza wheels were distributed, which means that some 2 million books were read by Kiwi kids as a result.www.hellpizza.com/nz/

The Wright Family Foundation is dedicated to making a positive difference by advancing education and spreading knowledge, supporting individuals to achieve their full potential. Its goal is to “grow the good” in New Zealand. Supporting literacy and a passion for words and reading is a key focus of the foundation. Its CEO, Chloe Wright, is Patron of both the Kids’ Lit Quiz and the New Zealand Spelling Bee. By supporting the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, the foundation hopes to champion New Zealand writers who will inspire the imagination of children.  www.wrightfamilyfoundation.org.nz

LIANZA, the association for library and information professionals in New Zealand, introduced the first award for children’s fiction in New Zealand, establishing the Esther Glen Junior Fiction Award in 1945. LIANZA added other awards over the years including the Russell Clark Award for Illustration in 1975 and the Elsie Locke Non-fiction Award in 1986. The Te Kura Pounamu Award for literature written in te reo Māori was established in 1996, in partnership with Te Rōpū Whakahau. In 2016 the LIANZA Children and Young Adult Book Awards were merged with the Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, strengthening the 60-year legacy of the LIANZA Awards. www.lianza.org.nz/

Nielsen Book provide a range of services to the book industry internationally, aiding the discovery and purchase, distribution and sales measurement of books. www.nielsenbook.co.nz

Wellington City Council‘s arts and culture strategy positions the city as a place where both Wellingtonians and visitors are able to actively explore its culture and experiment with their own creativity. It values heritage arts, culture and traditions and focuses on contemporary ways of expressing what is happening now and experiences that result from collaboration, both within the professional arts sector and with communities. The Council believes in the importance of literacy and imagination in the development of New Zealand children, and it supports a wide range of arts for and by children. wellington.govt.nz

As the national museum of New Zealand, Te Papa houses many of the nation’s taonga (treasures) reflecting New Zealand’s society and culture through the ages.  Renowned for the unique way in which it tells these stories, Te Papa has welcomed more than 30 million visitors since it opened 21 years ago.  The museum also connects with people outside the museum through its touring exhibitions, collections online, learning programmes, and award-winning books produced by Te Papa Press.  www.tepapa.govt.nz