The New Zealand Book Council is our country’s national organisation dedicated to reading and readers.
We are a not for profit organisation dedicated to building a strong reading culture in New Zealand, because reading changes lives. Our vision is a thriving New Zealand that benefits from the social, economic and health outcomes offered by reading for pleasure. We value inclusivity, accessibility, and openness.
We build a strong reading culture within New Zealand every day through the following activities:
ANNUAL SCHOOLS' COMMUNITY PROJECT
2015 was our inaugural annual schools community project, the Ōtāhuhu Writers in Schools Residency Programme.
- Five low decile South Auckland schools
- Five Kiwi writers
- Seven student-published anthologies
- One huge community celebration at the Ōtāhuhu Pātaka Kōrero Ōtāhuhu Library with friends and whanau.
Plans are already underway for our 2016 project!
WRITERS IN SCHOOLS PROGRAMME
In 2015 we connected 200+ NZ writers with 40,000 students at 400 events throughout the country. Read more about the programme here.
True Stories Told Live
Our contemporary twist on the ancient art of storytelling – we had four events in 2015 involving 20 NZ storytellers and 600 happy listeners.
Speed Date an Author
We ran six events throughout the country in 2015 involving 28 NZ writers, 53 schools, and 400 students. Watch here.
Words on Wheels
Our popular touring event. In 2015 we took five fabulous NZ writers through Wanaka and the surrounding area over five days, delivering to more than 1,000 people throughout the region, including students from 12 local schools.
NZBC annual lecture and publication
Last year Witi Ihimaera addressed 300 people at the Dunedin Writers Festival with his lecture Where is New Zealand Literature Heading? We published 750 copies of the lecture for our members, patrons and donors.
Partnership events and campaigns with the literature sector
2015 partnerships included:
- The Great Kiwi Classic with Auckland Writers Festival
- Matariki Mash with Wellington City Libraries
- Good to the power of e with LIANZA, CORE Education, National Library
- Michael Robotham Wellington event with Hachette NZ and Wellington City Libraries
- Murder in the Library events with the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel
- KidsFest with WORD Christchurch
- SchoolFest with the NZ Festival
ADVOCACY PROGRAMMES AND CAMPAIGNS
Because Reading Changes Lives advocacy programme with social justice entrepreneur Miranda McKearney.
Books Shape the World poster campaign.
We received almost 250,000 page visits in 2015. Our website includes:
- NZ Writers Files: the most comprehensive collection of information about New Zealand writers on the web! 700+ files, which are regularly updated.
- The most comprehensive and current info about the NZ book scene: New Zealand awards, residencies, grants, and their past recipients; advice on how to get published; New Zealand writing courses; New Zealand literary festivals; a list of online journals, literary publications and other book links.
- The School Library: 5,500 visits to our children’s books review blog in 2015 – over 100 reviews by our school librarian members.
- Reading group noticeboard: connecting readers with other booklovers in their region. We have several new posts a week!
Our vibrant online publishing hub, which includes feature articles, podcasts, book recommendations, as well as a news blog that is updated daily with NZ literary news, events and opportunities. We received almost 85,000 pages views in 2015.
A thriving social community of 10,000 subscribers:
Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, and sign up for our Booknotes fortnightly enewsletter.
Book Council News
Inspiring Kiwi Children to Read, Draw and Start Creative Writing is the Focus for the 2016 Finalist Authors’ Tour – New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults
Kiwi schoolchildren will be inspired to read, draw and develop their creative writing skills by 25 passionate and entertaining authors and illustrators in this year’s Finalist Authors’ Tour for the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.
The Finalist Authors’ Tour runs nationwide from Monday, 1 August to Monday, 8 August. During the Tour thousands of children from all over the country will meet and mix with Awards’ finalist authors and illustrators who will be visiting their schools and libraries. Promoting the fun of books and reading, this year’s Tour will inspire children to read and enjoy new books, as well as encouraging a new generation of writers and illustrators.
“This year’s Tour is a wonderful opportunity for our best children’s authors and illustrators to share their passion about books, reading and drawing,” says Stella Chrysostomou, board member of the New Zealand Book Awards Trust that oversees the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. “This year we are also partnering with WORD, Christchurch’s dynamic literary festival. This is an exciting development for the Awards and New Zealand children’s writing. It’s one that will enliven audiences and enrich experiences for Kiwi children.”
Auckland Public Libraries will have four events that will be open to the public; hosting three finalist authors and an illustrator on Saturday, 6 August. Bernard Beckett (Lullaby), Brian Falkner (Battlesaurus: Rampage at Waterloo) and Maria Gill (ANZAC Heroes) will discuss their books and what inspires them at, respectively, the Mahurangi East Library (11am), Mangere Town Centre Library (11am) and at 1pm at the Albany Village Library. Illustrator Fraser Williamson (Whose Beak is This?) will talk about what drives his illustrations and how he interprets the writing into his illustrations at two libraries – the Te Atatu Library at 11am, followed by the Mt Roskill Library for a 2pm start.
Christchurch schoolchildren will be enthralled at WORD Christchurch’s first event – Read Aloud Primary Schools Day to be held at St Margaret’s College on Wednesday, 3 August. This event, open to all schools, will welcome Kate De Goldi (From the Cutting Room of Barney Kettle); Sarah Johnson (The Bold Ship Phenomenal); Bob Kerr (Changing Times); Stacy Gregg (The Girl who Rode the Wind); Steve Gurney (The Beginner’s Guide to Adventure Sport in New Zealand); and Maria Gill (ANZAC Heroes).
More invitation-events with finalist authors and illustrators are being held in Hamilton, Morrinsville, and Te Puke; Waipawa in Central Hawkes Bay; Frankley School in New Plymouth; Lower Hutt and Wanuiomata; and Dunedin and Central Otago.
The Finalist Authors’ Tour concludes with two events for schools to be held on Monday, 8 August at Wellington City Library. The morning session showcases three illustrators; Donovan Bixley (Much Ado About Shakespeare), Helen Kerridge (Allis the little tractor) and Kate Wilkinson (Finding Monkey Moon) who will talk about their inspiration and talents, and how they developed their careers as illustrators.
The early afternoon session features authors Fleur Beale (Being Magdalene), Brian Falkner (Battlesaurus: Rampage at Waterloo) and Patricia Grace (Haka and Whiti te rā!) who will discuss the process and creativeness behind their plots, and how they’ve developed their careers as authors.
“The Tour is all about making connections between children who love to read and the creators of books. We hope that the experience of meeting authors and illustrators opens the pathway for children to be life-long readers. We want children to be inspired to take up the pen or the brush to become our writers and artists of the future, adding to New Zealand’s cultural wealth,” adds Stella.
The winner of the Margaret Mahy Book of the Year will be announced at a ceremony in Wellington on Monday, 8 August together with the six category winners of the Te Kura Pounamu Award for the best book in te reo Māori, Picture Book, Esther Glen Award for Junior Fiction, Elsie Locke Award for Non-Fiction, Young Adult Fiction and the Russell Clark Award for Illustration.
As well, the winners of the HELL Children’s Choice Awards, voted for by school children throughout New Zealand, will be announced.
The New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults could not exist without the generosity, commitment and vision of its sponsors. The New Zealand Book Award Trust is grateful to all these organisations for their support: Creative New Zealand, HELL Pizza, Book Tokens (NZ) ltd, Wellington City Council, Nielsen Book Services, Copyright Licensing Limited and the Fernyhough Education Foundation.
The New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults are administered by the New Zealand Book Council on behalf of the New Zealand Book Awards Trust. For more information on the Awards, go here.
There is more information about the Finalist Authors’ Tour here. Select the date for 1-8 August, and click.
The Book Council are excited to partner with the Marlborough Book Festival to bring our Words on Wheels (WoW) writers’ tour to Marlborough this week.
WoW takes some of our finest writers and illustrators on a week-long road trip, providing rural communities with the opportunity to engage with New Zealand authors and illustrators. We ensure events are free or low-cost to encourage greater access for locals.
Five leading New Zealand writers and illustrators: Barbara DeLeo, Charlotte Grimshaw, Greg McGee, Gavin Bishop and Donovan Bixley are taking part in WoW 2016.
Donovan and Gavin are throwing themselves into a hectic schedule of daily workshops, readings and talks in schools and libraries in Blenheim, Tuamarina, Rapaura, and Rai Valley.
Donovan also gave a lively session yesterday at the Marlborough District Library on the Life of Shakespeare, and both he and Gavin will be at the Millennium Public Art Gallery at 5pm today to give a preview of the “Painted Stories” exhibition for teachers and librarians.
On Thursday, Donovan and Gavin will be joined by Charlotte and Greg to take part in a “Speed Date an Author” event at Marlborough Girls College. The authors and illustrators will be delivering fast-paced sessions, 25 minutes long, to four rotating groups of students, followed by a prize-giving. The sessions are intended to develop the skills of the young writers, and to encourage them to find their unique voice.
The school sessions are not open to the public, but a special pre-festival live story telling event is. Barbara DeLeo will join Donovan, Gavin, Charlotte and Greg for True Stories Told Live, which will be held at the Boathouse Theatre at 7pm on Wednesday 27 July.
Nearly 1000 people will take part in WoW 2016, including students from eight local schools.
The HELL Reading Challenge has incentivised young New Zealanders to read more than 2.5 million books!
This reading revolution has very likely already been sparked in your local community, with HELL intent on firing up young Kiwis’ passion for literature.
Now in its third year, the HELL Reading Challenge has seen 400,000 Pizza Wheels distributed around the country to date.
“The Pizza Wheels provide young bookworms with a personal record of their reading achievement,” explains HELL general manger Ben Cumming. “Each book read equals one stamp on the wheel – and once all seven ‘slices’ have been stamped by a local librarian, kids are rewarded with a free ‘333 kids’ pizza’ by redeeming their completed wheel at their local HELL store.”
The programme is completely free for primary schools and local libraries to enter; 565 institutions across the country are registered so far for this year’s challenge (344 school libraries and 221 public libraries).
“The response continues to be overwhelmingly positive and we are printing a further 50,000 Pizza Wheels this year to meet demand,” says Ben. “We are working hard to support Kiwi youth in our communities through a range of initiatives 4, and this is one that we are particularly proud of.
“Prising kids’ eyeballs away from screens and refocusing them on books is getting more and more difficult – but this initiative really appears to be connecting young minds to the benefits books can bring, both in terms of literacy and creativity.”
The HELL Reading Challenge is administered by the New Zealand Book Council on behalf of the New Zealand Book Awards Trust. HELL is a major sponsor of the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, established to recognise the contribution New Zealand’s children’s authors and illustrators make towards building national identity and cultural heritage.
The HELL Reading Challenge runs until Sunday, 4 December 2016
Responses from schools and libraries so far include:
“The more children we get reading, the better outcomes for our community as a whole!” (Mackenzie Community Library)
“Our kids loved this last year and our teachers are very keen to be involved again.” (Pegasus Bay School, Canterbury)
“The children are enjoying the challenge. Thank you!” (Mokoia School, Taranaki)
What the kids are saying:
India Rose, Year 5: “The HELL Reading Challenge has really helped me because I read more books and I get better at reading.” – Riccarton Primary School, Christchurch
Pene, Year 5: “I tried to read more books and I really liked it. I think reading books makes me smarter.” – St Therese School, Auckland
Eunice, Year 6: “I didn’t like to read much but the Pizza Challenge made me read more books and I found that I loved to read.” – St Therese School, Auckland
Britney, Year 8: “I hated reading but now I’m in love with it!” – Glenfield Intermediate, Auckland
What their parents are saying:
“My children have never been more interested and motivated to read than since they were involved in the HELL challenge.” – (Children at St Therese School, Three Kings, Auckland)
“I think that without a reward, my daughter wouldn’t be willing to read as many books. But with that incentive it gives her enthusiasm to read more.” – (Child in Year 4 at Ranui Primary School, Waitakere, Auckland)
“Alyssa has become a much more confident reader. She is more willing to attempt new words and try new books. She is not discouraged by mistakes or unfamiliar words.” (Child in Year 2 at Chaucer School, Blockhouse Bay, Auckland)
400,000 (Pizza Wheels distributed to date) x 7 (books recorded on each wheel) = 2,800,000 books (that Kiwi kids have been incentivised to read by the HELL Reading Challenge)
2014: 100,000 wheels distributed in launch year.
2015: 150,000 wheels distributed. 319 school libraries and more than 100 public libraries 5 across New Zealand took part.
2016: 150,000 wheels distributed to date – including 50,000 extra wheels printed to meet demand. 344 school libraries and 221 public libraries registered to date.
Spread of registered schools (by decile) in 2016:
Decile rating Percentage:
can books change the world?
Celebrate the opening night of WORD Christchurch with a session that embraces the ‘planet and its people’ theme by looking at the impact literature can have on a world in turmoil.
What responsibilities, if any, do writers have to engage with the issues that trouble us? Can fiction and poetry make a difference in people’s lives?
Gotta pun ‘em all: NZ books with Pokémon
New Zealand millennials have gone poké-mad with the release of Pokémon GO. It’s a free smartphone app that uses your GPS to show you the Pokémon that are always around you in the real world.
The clever team at Bookriot poké-punned some classic books, so we’ve added our favourite New Zealand poké-books to the mix.
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