The New Zealand Book Council today proudly launches Booknotes Unbound – www.booknotes-unbound.org.nz – a vibrant new online books hub for Kiwi readers.
The NZ Book Council’s website is already recognised as the leading resource for information on New Zealand writers, but today’s launch represents a dramatic expansion of its online presence.
Brimming with Aotearoa flavour, Booknotes Unbound is the only dedicated books website aimed at New Zealand booklovers, and will be regularly refreshed with feature articles and essays, author interviews, new writing and commentary.
Log on today and you’ll find new writing and discussion by and about Kiwi writers, including Man Booker Prize winner Eleanor Catton; Dame Fiona Kidman; Lloyd Jones; Carl Nixon; Selina Tusitala Marsh; Whiti Hereaka, and Catherine Robertson.
Also featured is the inaugural “Mansfield Questionnaire”, an irreverent local spin on Vanity Fair’s famous “Proust Questionnaire”, in which a Kiwi author is grilled with a series of questions linked to our earliest literary heroine, Katherine Mansfield. First up for interrogation is award-winning author Kirsty Gunn, dishing on such Mansfield-inspired topics as what brings her bliss and whether she has ever been called ‘a dangerous woman’.
For over 20 years, the Book Council has published Booknotes, the high-quality quarterly publication for lovers of New Zealand books and writing, but this was available only to paid-up members. Booknotes Unbound, by contrast, is available online, for free, to all New Zealanders, and is backed up by a monthly newsletter. It is edited by Rachel O’Neill and Emma Gallagher.
‘As a nation of readers, we never cease to be fascinated by what's going on in the world of books. We want to know how books happen, what makes writers tick and what we can expect to find next in the bookshops. Here is just the site we need to keep us informed and on our toes,’ said Dame Fiona Kidman, writer and President of Honour of the New Zealand Book Council
‘Our research tells us that Kiwis love to read, and we love to read our own stories,’ said Catriona Ferguson, Chief Executive of the New Zealand Book Council. ‘As the amount of space given in the mainstream media for New Zealand books reduces, Booknotes Unbound fills a gap, offering a home to those who share our passion for our local literature.’
‘Booknotes Unbound lets you take the pulse of the New Zealand book world,” said O’Neill from the Book Council. “You can also subscribe to the free Booknotes Unbound newsletter and receive our editor's picks, special giveaways, and New Zealand book news and views delivered to your inbox each month.’
Visit www.booknotes-unbound.org.nz to read, discuss and explore the world of New Zealand books.
For further information and all media enquiries please contact
Chief Executive of the New Zealand Book Council
Level 4, Stephenson & Turner House, 156 - 158 Victoria St, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, NEW ZEALAND
Phone: +64 4 801 5546
Mobile 021 024 82637
About Booknotes Unbound
In 2013 the Book Council began expanding its editorial programme. We decided to move our print magazine Booknotes online to be part of a new and bigger editorial effort. Our new online magazine hub Booknotes Unbound, like the print magazine, offers readers the world of books with unique New Zealand content. Booknotes Unbound aims to meet the significant demand from readers for a New Zealand perspective on books. It is free to access via the Book Council website, and is accompanied by a revamped, fuller monthly newsletter for subscribers.
About the New Zealand Book Council
The New Zealand Book Council is a non-profit organization that works to inspire the lifelong engagement of New Zealanders in reading, writing and ideas, and to promote and nurture New Zealand writers and writing. The Book Council encourages our intellectual life and promotes the power of reading. The Book Council’s diverse programmes inspire a love of reading, writing and books in school children and adults in communities nationwide.
• Booknotes Unbound www.booknotes-unbound.org.nz
• New Zealand Book Council website www.bookcouncil.org.nz
• Book Council Facebook page www.facebook.com/NewZealandBookCouncil
• Book Council on Twitter @nzbookcouncil / https://twitter.com/nzbookcouncil
Some of New Zealand’s most esteemed writers, critics, broadcasters and artists have been selected as judges to choose the most outstanding New Zealand books published during 2013.
“We’re delighted with the variety and high calibre of the judging panels for the 2014 New Zealand Post Book Awards and the 2014 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards,” Juliet Blyth, the Chair of the Book Awards Governance Group said.
“I can’t wait to see the submissions come pouring in, so that the judging can get underway.”
The judging panels will deliberate on as many as 300 books during the next 7 months – with the winners being announced in 2014.
They will be whittling the selection down to find the best children’s, young adult and adult literature published by New Zealand authors over the past year.
The New Zealand Post Book Awards judges are:
• Chief Judge and broadcaster, Miriama Kamo;
• Acclaimed New Zealand artist, Dick Frizzell;
• Award winning Radio New Zealand presenter, Kim Hill;
• Poet and novelist Elizabeth Smither; and
• Literary critic, Peter Simpson.
The New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards judges are:
• Chief Judge and award winning novelist, Barbara Else;
• Acclaimed illustrator, Ant Sang; and
• Community Learning Librarian at Christchurch City Libraries, Zac Harding.
Chief Judge, Miriama Kamo said she will be looking for a book that is completely enthralling: “A book that I can fall in love with, that I miss when I’m away, that calls from afar, has me grieving when it’s over, and reminiscing after. That’s what I’m looking for. And the wonderful thing is, I know I’ll find it in these awards.”
The New Zealand Post Book Award judges will select 16 finalists and the country’s best book – the New Zealand Post Book of the Year. “They have a tough challenge ahead, but I am confident they are all well suited to the task,” Juliet Blyth said.
The best children’s books will be selected across four categories: Young Adult Fiction, Junior Fiction, Non-fiction and Picture Books.
Children’s Book Awards Chief Judge, Barbara Else is also excited about the challenge ahead: “Fiction or fact, the best children’s books foster imagination, individuality and joy in learning. Being involved in the 2014 awards is a wonderful chance to experience a full range of what is being presented for our young readers. It’s like being invited to plunge into a treasure box.”
Once again there will be plenty happening to celebrate the country’s most outstanding books.
A series of colourful events and a book festival will lead into each of the award announcements. National Poetry Day will be held on the 22 August, 2014 and there will be a nationwide tour of Children’s Book Award finalists, authors and illustrators who will be stopping in at schools and libraries around the country from 17 – 25 May 2014.
To find out more about the New Zealand Post Book Awards please visit www.nzpostbookawards.co.nz
Victoria University congratulates graduate Eleanor Catton whose novel The Luminaries has won the prestigious Man Booker Prize 2013 announced this morning.
At 28, Ms Catton is the youngest person ever to have been awarded the prize. The Luminaries, her second novel, was up against works by well-established writers such as Colm Toibin, Jim Crace and Jhumpa Lahiri.
In 2007 Ms Catton completed the Master of Arts in Creative Writing from Victoria University’s International Institute of Modern letters at Victoria University of Wellington. The Luminaries and Ms Catton’s first novel The Rehearsal are both published by Victoria University Press.
Victoria University Vice-Chancellor Professor Pat Walsh says the University is immensely proud of Ms Catton’s achievement.
“It is an outstanding achievement for Eleanor, for Victoria University and for New Zealand literature. It is also a testament to the calibre of the creative writing and publishing capability at Victoria.”
Ms Catton’s New Zealand publisher, Fergus Barrowman of Victoria University Press, who attended the prize ceremony at Guildhall in London, says he is thrilled at Ms Catton’s triumph.
“We are delighted for Ellie and for the further international recognition the Man Booker Prize will bring The Luminaries. It’s a big ambitious book written by a fearlessly intelligent and talented writer. It’s a novel for readers who love great storytelling and it’s wonderful that the judges have chosen to recognise that with this illustrious prize.”
Victoria University Press say the book has been selling extremely well since and is now onto its fifth print run.
The Luminaries is a West Coast gold-rush murder story, set in Hokitika in the 1860s. It is wide in scope with a large cast of characters and a richly patterned structure which stretches over 848 pages.
The Luminaries was published in August 2013 and quickly achieved tremendous international critical success which has been topped off by the 2013 Man Booker Prize win.
For more information visit http://vup.victoria.ac.nz/the-luminaries-hb/ or contact Katherine Edmond, Communications Manager, on (04) 463 6017, 027 563 6017, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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