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 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
Investigation into New Zealanders’ reading habits has revealed that borrowing of fiction in Christchurch spiked after the 2011 and 2012 earthquakes because of an increased need for escapism in the quake-stricken city.
This is just one of the insights into Kiwi reading habits in the New Zealand Book Council’s new Report on Reader Attitudes and Behaviours. Other issues probed by the report’s researchers included:
- why sales of local fiction trail far behind local non-fiction
- which genres Kiwis read most
- where we get our book recommendations
- whether the ebook is actually a threat to the printed book
“Younger readers bought a surprisingly large number of books; the owning of a physical object was attractive to them. They shopped at second-hand shops and online, via Book Depository, Fishpond and Trade Me, looking for bargains.”
“The Christchurch librarian said there had been a marked increase in fiction borrowing after the quakes – ‘people wanted escapism more than ever’”
“None of the younger readers liked e-readers – all preferred physical books. The main reason was, ‘we have so much screen time with other things, it’s nice to have a break’.
“[If] people do not, deep down, believe New Zealand fiction is enjoyable, then we may have a key part of our explanation as to why consumption of New Zealand fiction is comparatively low.”
BACKGROUND TO THE REPORT
The report, based on interviews with focus groups around the country, is authored by Dr Paula Morris and Catherine Robertson.
It is available to download here. It is the first phase of an ongoing research project the Book Council is undertaking in order to support the sales and readership of New Zealand books.
The Book Council will use the insights from this research to enhance its existing strategies for increasing the number of lifelong readers for pleasure, and for encouraging greater consumption of New Zealand fiction. It will also share the findings with the wider industry, including publishers, booksellers and media.
THE NEW ZEALAND BOOK COUNCIL / TE KAUNIHERA PUKAPUKA O AOTEAROA
The Book Council is 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.
Read the full report here.
Today sees the launch of Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day’s most impressive event programme to date. Enjoying its 19th year National Poetry Day will be celebrated on Friday 26th August and continue its legacy of taking poetry to the people all over New Zealand.
This year’s programme – tagged ‘Unleash the Power of Poetry’ – features 100 events around the country engaging thousands of Kiwis of all ages. From small towns to big cities, primary school classrooms to rest-homes, pubs to cyberspace this year’s events are some of the most creative and accessible yet.
In Auckland experience the fusion of poetry and Buto performance art with FLOCK; read Haiku poems inscribed on boulders in Katikati; enjoy Poems for Pets and help raise some funds for New Lives Animal Rescue in Hamilton; go on a poetry crawl from morning till night in the Wellington region; checkout the Poetry Fridge Door in Nelson’s Elmer Library; enter the Hagley Writers’ Institute Poetry Competition to win the chance to have your poem turned into a Phantom Billstickers poster; help create a poem for Dunedin by Dunedin; or participate in one of the many other amazing events. Can’t get to an event? Then download Poems in Your Pocket http://www.nzbookawards.nz/national-poetry-day/poems-in-your-pocket/ to read and share with friends or call or text The Poetry Phone to get your poetry fix (https://ofa.carbonmade.com/projects/2346591 ).
For more details, (including times, tickets etc) on all Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day events, go to http://www.nzbookawards.nz/national-poetry-day/calendar-of-events/
Established in 1997, National Poetry Day is about discovery, diversity, community and pushing boundaries. It is a one-day national poetry-event extravaganza held on the last Friday of August each year. This is the first year of National Poetry Day operating under the sponsorship of Phantom Billstickers.
Children’s international literature conference attracts top speakers
The 35th IBBY International Congress will be held at the Aotea Centre, Auckland, from 18-21 August this year.
IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) is an international non-profit organisation which represents a network of people from all over the world who are committed to bringing books and children together. Storylines is the New Zealand national section of IBBY and is helping to bring this prestigious biennial Congress to New Zealand.
The theme of this year’s Congress is Literature in a Multi-Literate World and will feature an exciting blend of local and international speakers, including Cao Wenxuan, the winner of the 2016 Hans Christian Andersen Award for writing and Leigh Hobbs, the current Australian Children’s Laureate.
This is the first time that the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award (which was awarded to our own Margaret Mahy in 2006) will be presented to a children’s writer from China. A large contingent of Chinese publishers is expected to be at the opening of the Congress.
In addition, Markus Zusak, the author of international bestseller The Book Thief, Raina Telgemeier, the #1 New York Times bestselling, multiple Eisner Award–winning creator of graphic novels Smile and Sisters and Martin Baynton and Sir Richard Taylor, creators of Thunderbirds Are Go! and The WotWots are speaking in special presentations open to the public.
Tickets for these public events are on sale via: www.storylines.org.nz.
There will also be academic papers and poster presentations from 150 of the 500 IBBY delegates around the world.
A full list of speakers and registration details are available on: http://ibbycongress2016.org and full information about the international organisation of IBBY can be found on: www.ibby.org.
‘While IBBY’s focus is on children’s literature, its main purpose is to support children’s sense of identity and their sense of understanding, of their own culture, and other people’s cultures through reading,’ says Dr Libby Limbrick, co-director of the IBBY Congress.
IBBY is also responsible for a number of support initiatives around the world.
‘For example in Syria and in Mexico IBBY supports a number of refugee children by providing them with access to books,’ says Dr Limbrick.
‘In the United States there are tens of thousands of refugee children who have no access to books and IBBY has a project that supports them to access libraries.’
IBBY Congress co-director Rosemary Tisdall says ‘With the congress being held in New Zealand this year, we hope people will go away inspired, reinforced in their belief that literature can support our young people’s development hugely.’
‘While librarians and teachers have made up the main demographic of previous Congresses’ says Mrs Tisdall ‘with public events featuring Markus Zusak, Raina Telgemeier, Martin Baynton and Sir Richard Taylor this year, we expect this Congress will attract many members of the general public too.’
The Hans Christian Andersen Author Award will be presented at a gala dinner on Saturday night, with the 2016 winner, Cao Wenxuan from China in attendance. And not to be missed for attendees is the World Finals of the Kids’ Lit Quiz, a rare opportunity to see teams of children from around the world compete to become the best readers in the world and win the World Cup.
On Sunday, the final day of the Congress, the programme combines with the 23rd annual Storylines Festival of New Zealand’s Writers and Illustrators Family Day – the largest Children’s Literature festival in the Southern Hemisphere.
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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