Sunday, November 29, 2009

Don't forget the Christmas Quiz Night on Thursday 3rd December!

Details here- click on the pic to bring it up in a new window to print off

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Jack Lasenby Award Winner 2009

'The Big Hairy monster’ by Raphael Kidman

From Armageddon to Zombies, 149 entries took fanciful flights of the imagination in this year’s Jack Lasenby Award for Wellington’s year 7&8 students. The Judges, authors Eirlys Hunter, Maureen Crisp and Fifi Colston are pleased to announce the winner; Raphael Kidman age 12 from Hataitai with his story ‘The Big Hairy Monster.’
‘Funny, with great alliteration and clever use of geography, Raphael’s story was complete and he obviously enjoyed playing with language.' 
Raphael wins $200 for himself and a set of Jack Lasenby books for his school, Scots College.

The judges also had praise for the following entries, feeling that they deserved special mention.
‘Te Rauparaha’ by Clara Sinclair of Mt Cook; sophisticated use of language telling an interesting piece of New Zealand history.
‘Hamburger ‘by Anna Atkinson of Eastbourne; a short but great little story with a novel point of view.
‘Ruaumoko’ by Jore Toa Temarama of Karori; a dramatic story about Miramar’s past.
‘Wellington’s Underground Trams’ by Yianni Bares of Ngaio; a wonderful idea for adventure under the capital city.
‘The Phone Call’ by Tom Withnall of Karori; a convincing situation with an honest emotional response and great use of dialogue.

Well done, you will all receive a certificate in the mail soon!

The judges had the following advice for aspiring writers based on the entries received:
·   - Write a ‘complete’ story; we saw many great beginnings which were followed by a brief summary of action and a hurrried ending. “And then I woke up” is not a good way to finish a story!
·   - Don’t be afraid to self edit. Read the story aloud to yourself and see if it makes sense and follows through.
·   - Use your spell check or ask an adult to read it through for mistakes.
·   - Write an appropriate sized ‘bite’ of a story; for instance if you want to write about a disaster or rescue in 500 words, concentrate on just one part of the saga.

Raphael’s story will be published on this blog in a few days time. Look out for it, and happy reading and writing everyone!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Quiz Night- book it in now!

Yes, it's that time again- our highly popular and hugely fun quiz night,
testing your trivia for Children's Literature. This is an evening for grown-ups with a cash bar, free tasty nibbles and some great spot prizes! 
Come along and join in- if you don't have a team organised, you can make one up with others venturing out for a night of sociable laughs and head scratching.  

Monday, October 19, 2009

Storylines Online Auction!

Lots for Literature
Bid now and support Storylines. Storylines Trust’s fundraising auction is online from 15-29 October. Held entirely online through, it features donated artworks, books and a range of once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and experiences including an original watercolour sketch of Hairy Maclary, a cartoon by Ant Sang, one of Bro’ Town’s creators, a manuscript assessment by Fleur Beale and the typewriter used by Maurice Gee from the 1950s to 1970s. Other items include a complete signed set of all Margaret Mahy’s books in print in New Zealand in 2009, a walk-on part in TV2’s Go Girls, and a visit to Weta Workshop. The auction opens on 15 October at 9am and closes at 9pm on 29 October. Bidding takes place through a secure online system developed by author and Storylines’ supporter Brian Falkner. Offline bids can be made in special circumstances by contacting Storylines. For see details of the full list of auction items visit the Storylines Auction website.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Jack Lasenby Award 2009

Calling all Years 7 and 8 students:

and win $200 and a set of books for your school!

Yrs 7 & 8 students from the Wellington region are invited to submit a story for the Jack Lasenby Award. This is a biennial award offered by the Wellington Children’s Book Association.

For an entry form please email

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wellington City Libraries – “Stories Aloud CD”

Wellington City Libraries is calling for a selection of well-known local Wellington children’s authors’ to either: write a short story to be read aloud on a CD for children or read an existing short story for a Community Project. There is also an opportunity for illustrators to submit proposals for the CD cover.

The Idea and Concept.

Wellington is a city with a strong contemporary culture of arts and literature and is home to a number of children’s authors.

The objective is to connect young readers/listeners with this body of exceptional talent. Wellington City Libraries intends to create a truly authentic storytelling experience for children, their parents, grandparents, and the wider community by inviting authors to tell their own stories on CD.

Recording a CD will involve either the author writing a short story especially for the CD or reading a short story that they have already written and agree to record. The CD may also include a short interview and questions about the author, the story they read, about their growing up, or why they love writing. Authors and their stories will become more alive, real and authentic and ignite a love of reading and writing in children.

Project Objectives

The ‘Stories Aloud’ CD will:

· connect young people and their families with the rich local tradition of story telling

· target the 5-12 year old market

· develop auditory skills and imagination in children

· promote literacy to children by connecting the written and spoken word

· give children a sense of identity and connection with local authors

· connect authors to children, their primary audience

· demonstrate how libraries value local authors, stories and story telling

· continue the oral tradition of stories being passed down to the next generation.

The selected authors will work with Wellington City Libraries to either write or use an existing children’s story, then record the story in their own voice at a studio. The sessions will be videoed and the footage may or may not be used at a later date. We aim to start recording by the end of September 2009.

Story requirements:

  • 5-6 minutes reading time in total
  • a New Zealand story with an element of, or reference to Wellington
  • appeal to the target market

Local children’s authors are asked to submit a sample of their work for the proposal above. In return, a small remuneration will be offered to the successful applicants. The copyright of the story and the audio rights will remain the author’s. Wellington City Libraries will use the story with the author’s permission on CD. The CD will be sold within Wellington City Libraries and potentially bookshops. No royalties can be offered for this CD. Wellington City Libraries may also at a later date place podcasts of the CD on their website.

Local children’s illustrators are asked to submit a sample of their work for the proposal above and quote for their work. In return, a small remuneration will be offered to the successful applicant. The copyright of the illustration will remain the illustrator’s. Wellington City Libraries will use the illustration with the illustrator’s permission on the CD, website, and any promotional material that Wellington City Libraries may choose too. The CD will be sold within Wellington City Libraries and potentially bookshops. No royalties can be offered for this CD.

Author criteria

Interested authors will:

  • Be a children’s and/or young adult writer
  • Be living within the greater Wellington region
  • Use a New Zealand and/or Wellington theme

Artist’s criteria

Interested artists will:

  • Be a children’s illustrator or professional artist
  • Be living within the Greater Wellington Region
  • Use a New Zealand and/or Wellington theme

Submissions of interest

All expressions of interest may be submitted to Wellington City Libraries, P. O. Box 1992, Wellington, or email your application to by 5pm, Friday 11 September. Please include:

  • A one-page written summary about your story’s theme, or a small sample of existing work.
  • A current CV or author’s biography
  • Up to four images of your work

Selection Process

Wellington City Libraries will select 8-10 local authors. Successful authors will be notified by email or phone.

For more information please contact

Ella Martin (04) 803 8222 or email: or

Rose Barker (04) 803 8285 or email:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Storylines Family Day this weekend!

Come to Te Whaea in Newtown on Sunday for the Storylines Free Family Day. There are writers, illustrators, storytelling, crafts, Weta Workshop, book launches, coffee, gelato, facepainting and more. The best value for (no) money you'll get this recession!
For a full programme of events for all the centres click here

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fantastic Voyages

Thornspell author and Spinning Gold panelist Helen Lowe is coming to Wellington in advance of the conference to join forces with local author Tim Jones for what promises to be a fascinating discussion on speculative fiction.

Here are the full details:

Fantastic Voyages: Writing Speculative Fiction—

An Evening with Tim Jones & Helen Lowe, chaired by Lynn Freeman

7.30-9pm, Thursday 17 September

Upper Chamber, Wellington Arts Centre/Toi Poneke

61 Abel Smith Street

Free admission

Supported by Unity Books

Tim Jones (Transported; Anarya's Secret) and Helen Lowe (Thornspell) are both successful speculative fiction authors with national profiles. At this event, Tim and Helen will share their love of writing science fiction and fantasy, the challenges and rewards of being a New Zealand speculative fiction writer, how they've gone about getting published, and how they see the future of these genres. Lynn Freeman, host of Radio New Zealand's "Arts on Sunday" programme, will keep the discussion flowing and the questions coming. Both Helen and Tim will be available to sign books after the event.

For more information, contact 027 359 0293 or timjones at

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Fleur Beale wins the Esther Glen!

Well from the fabulous pool of Wellington fiction writers nominated for the Esther Glen Award (Jack Lasenby, Kate De Goldi, Denis Wright and Fleur Beale), our congratulations go most especially to Fleur for winning the category. Brian Falkner was also shortlisted and though we can't claim him, he will be at our conference running a workshop on marketing yourself and your book. Fleur will be running two full intensive workshops on 'Mining the Gold', Kate will be giving a keynote speech and Jack, our beloved patron will have a few words to say too. We feel very privileged to have such talent in Wellington.
Congratulations to all on being shortlisted and/or winning in the 2009 Lianza Children's Book Awards.

From the Lianza website:
The Esther Glen Award was established in 1944 and is presented to the author whose work is considered a distinguished contribution to fiction for children. The prize was presented to Wellington writer Fleur Beale for her young adult novel Juno of Taris (Random House). The judges said Beale "excels in descriptions of life as a feisty teenage girl. Juno is a remarkable character, the reader delights in her triumphs and commiserates in her disappointments."

Thursday, July 30, 2009

WCBA AGM & Evening Event

Click on the image for a larger view

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Two Events coming up

Lynley Dodd is reading and signing the new Hairy Maclary book, Hairy Maclary, Shoo on Tuesday next 21 July at 10 am at Story Time Books, 211 Jackson St Petone.


and for anyone in
Auckland on the 28th July...

Script to Screen presents the July Writer’s Room

Children’s Television with Martin Baynton: opportunities to write for an international market

Stephen Campbell (creator of Amazing Exraordinary Friends) talks to children’s television producer, development executive and writer Martin Baynton (Jane and the Dragon, The WotWots) about the opportunities for writers in the international children’s television market, issues of adaptation versus original creation, and crafting long form children’s stories for the screen.

In 2003 Martin Bayton joined with Richard Taylor at Weta Workshop to make a television series out of his children’s books Jane and the Dragon. The show has become an international television hit, winning awards around the globe and continuing to screen in Canada, America, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Martin and Richard Taylor have now formed their own entertainment company, Pukeko Pictures, and have four projects in development. Their first pre-school show, The WotWots, launched this year becoming an instant hit in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

Auckland: Tuesday July 28, 7pm drinks, 7.30 start, The Classic, 321 Queen St, $5 koha at the door

To find out information about all our events and initiatives and events visit or please don’t hesitate to contact us directly at or on 09 360 5400.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Storylines Family Day coming soon!

Sunday 23rd August is the Wellington Storylines Family Day. Amongst the talent lined up are Joy Cowley, Weta Workshop's Martin Baynton and Richard Taylor, Ruth Paul, Melanie Drewery and Apirana Taylor. Watch this space for more news!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

And the winners are from....

Our patron, Jack Lasenby and Old Drumble at the podium!

Wellington Children's Book Association can be justly proud of their members who scooped up awards at the 2009 New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards tonight.

Best Picture Book
Roadworks by Sally Sutton and Brian Lovelock.

The Honour Award going to Piggity Wiggity Jiggity Jig by Diana Neild and Illustrated by our own talented Mr Phillip Webb.

Best Junior Fiction
Old Drumble, written by our much loved patron and all around Good Bloke ...Jack Lasenby.

Best Non Fiction Award
Back and Beyond- New Zealand Painting for the Young and Curious by Gregory O'Brien

Best Young Adult
The 10 pm Question by former convenor of the WCBA....The lovely Kate de Goldi

Children's Choice Award
The Were-Nana by Melinda Szymanik and Sarah Nelisiwe Anderson

Best First Book
Violence 101 by Denis Wright....(we can claim him, he lives in Wellington)

and the Book of the Year....
The 10pm Question by Kate De Goldi (Well Done Kate)

Congratulations to all the Winners... and the finalists from Wellington, Fleur and Pippa,(who have had a big week as they are on the Spinning Gold Conference Team.

Guest posted by Maureen from the update texts of Fifi during the ceremony....

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Well, it was like selling tickets to the Rolling Stones- they went within minutes. Well to be precise, 4 hours, which means that the conference is now fully subscribed with a waiting list. The team sat in my studio last night, with celebratory bubbly and watched the spreadsheet fill up. Even we were surprised by the response- and we had a fair idea of how many people were keen. Thankyou to all who registered- it meant finding an internet connection at 7.30pm and telling the people around you to go away until you had finished (not always easy).

Due to all the hard work and planning and our stellar line up of speakers and workshops, we think this will be a conference to remember and the start of many (did I say that? will the committee throw things at me now?).

Fifi Colston- (proud) Convenor WCBA 2009.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Many thanks to all of you have who expressed your interest for the Spinning Gold Conference. You should now have recieved an email with details on how to access the full programme and how to register.

Due to high demand for this conference, those who have emailed us over the past six months will have the first opportunity to register on Monday 18th May. No further expressions of interest will be added to our data base from today.

Kind regards
The Spinning Gold Team

Monday, May 11, 2009

Fundraising book fair for Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation

A book fair will be held in the Ngaio Town Hall at 10.30am on Saturday 27 June as a fundraiser for the Blue Dragon Children's Foundation in Hanoi, Vietnam. Ngaio writer Iona McNaughton, who visited Blue Dragon in January, is organising the fair. Some of you may know former Wellington teacher Alison Kember (wife of the New Zealand Ambassador in Hanoi), who teaches English as a volunteer at Blue Dragon.

Iona hopes to raise at least $2000 to help Blue Dragon in its work to support kids in crisis in Vietnam and provide education and training.

Here's how you can help:

1/ Please donate any unwanted books, DVDs or CDs to this really worthwhile cause. Just save the books, DVDs or CDs in the meantime until a week before the book fair - when hopefully, you can deliver them to Iona's house. Even better, you could deliver them to the Ngaio Town Hall before 9am on the day of the fair. Email or call Iona if you have some books to donate. If necessary, she can pick up the books.

2/ Please spread the information in this blurb to your email networks.

3/ Offers of help in setting up the book fair and/or helping to sell the books (8am to about 1.30pm on Saturday 27 June) gratefully received. It's lots of fun on the day and if you help, you get first pick to buy the books.

4/ Come to the book fair and buy some books. There will be some great bargains.

Iona's contact details:

51 Crofton Rd


T: 04 970 5591 M: 021 799 059

Friday, May 8, 2009

Children’s Writing Workshop : Creative Writing at Victoria University

“The child reader I was….wants a world she can see, taste, smell, feel, and hear. And above all she wants characters who will make her laugh and cry.” Katherine Paterson

This creative writing workshop, convened by Eirl
ys Hunter, encourages you to reach that reader. You’ll explore different forms of writing for the pre-adolescent child: picture books, plays, short stories and the novel, and begin to develop your own clear voice.
Applications for the Second Trimester close 3 June.

For information, application forms and course dates, con

International Institute of Modern Letters

Victoria University of Wellington, P.O. Box 600, Wellington, New Zealand.
Phone 04-463 6854


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Spinning Gold - Lineup Announced

International children’s writing sensation Martin Baynton launches the Spinning Gold Conference of New Zealand Children’s Writers and Illustrators in Wellington in September.

The writer/illustrator of Jane and the Dragon, is one of four star speakers at the conference, which includes creative guru L
aurence Green, writers’ agent Fiona Inglis from Curtis Brown Australia, and New Zealand children’s/young adults writer and commentator Kate De Goldi.

Spinning Gold, organised by the Wellington Children’s Book Association, is the first such national children’s writing conference in 16 years. The programme includes more than ten worksho
ps and a Pitch Slam – giving writers and illustrators the opportunity to pitch their work, for an intensive five minutes, to publishers and agents. There are also panel discussions, an Illustrators’ gallery, networking opportunities and mystery trips. Spinning Gold is a not to be missed event for the New Zealand Children’s Literature community, happening over three days on 18-20 September at Capital House, Melrose, Wellington.

Programme Highlights

Martin Baynton is opening keynote speaker on Friday night. Martin has been writing and illustrating for more than 25 years, and collaborated with Weta workshop to bring Jane and the Dragon to the screen in a hit TV Series. He is currently working with Weta on new pre-school progamme WotWots.

Saturday morning speaker Lawrence Green is a widely regarded business mentor and coach. He specialises in working with people in the creative industries helping them to market and develop their business successfully.

Fiona Inglis from the Curtis Brown agency in Australia will be talking about publishing now! Fiona has been with Curtis Brown for over 15 years becoming Managing Director in 2002. Curtis Brown represents both writers and illustrators. Hear first hand about the opportunities available for New Zealand children’s writers and illustrators.

Speed date the publishers: Saturday afternoon is turned over to the publishers and is filled with panel discussions and - in a first for New Zealand’s children’s writers - a Pitch Slam. You have a five minute speed date to sell your new idea or synopsis to an agent or editor.

Kate de Goldi on Sunday will collect us all together and launch us into the future with more workshops and panel discussions. Kate brings her in-depth knowledge of children’s publishing to the conference. She
is well known for her award winning books and her national appearances as a children’s book reviewer on radio and television.

The Workshops reflect the four main strands of the conference: ne
w technology, business, professional development and marketing. A wide range of expertise from the New Zealand children’s literature community is leading the workshops, which offer great hands-on learning opportunities for every attendee. Dialogue, print making, web sites, and illustration trends are just a small taste of what is on offer in these intensive sessions.
All major publishers will be represented, along with booksellers and marketing specialists.

Nuts & Bolts

The conference opens at 2pm on Friday 18th September. The
cost of $300 covers all lunches, breaks and dinners for the two and a half days. Optional master classes - one for writers, one for illustrators - are aimed at experienced published practitioners, and limited to 15 participants per class at $50 a head.

For those requiring onsite accommodation, Capital House has a bed and breakfast option: single $90 +gst, or share twin $55 + gst per night. You will be able to book accommodation on the registration form.