The PANZ office is hard at work right now as we enter the awards season – judging of the PANZ Book Design Awards starts this week, the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards takes place next Wednesday, and finalists for the New Zealand Post Book Awards are announced on 1 June. We wish all members best of luck in these awards.
The PANZ council recently met for a useful strategy meeting to review the previous year, reflect on key strategic goals, and identify immediate priorities for the next 12 months. We were pleased to have PANZ end the current financial year in sound fiscal health and noted some key achievements for the organisation – significant new support for industry training, a regular e-newsletter, closer relationships with government, working with Booksellers on a revamped NZ Book Month and with CLL on digital initiatives.
The PANZ AGM will be held at the Booksellers Conference down in Wellington on Sunday 17 July and the Council look forward to talking with publishers then about future priorities.
I have just returned from a South Island trip where I met with authors at the one Canterbury University café that has both coffee and a roof, and then went on to launch a rural history book in the hall at Peel Forest (pop. 50) where almost 200 Cantabrians packed in and worked local bookseller Jeff Grigor to the bone. It’s a tough time down South and it’s great to see the resilience of authors and readers and the continuing enthusiasm for the great books that we produce in this country.