Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Jack Lasenby Award 2012 Winner

It was with great pleasure that we announced the winner of the Jack Lasenby Writing Award at our annual Christmas Quiz night.
Unfortunately our winner wasn’t there so we had to wait until this week to catch up with her and hand over the plaque and the winners cheque.

Congratulations Linda Bremford!

This year Judge David Hill had a runner up, Liesbeth Visser.

Well done to all who entered.
David Hill was impressed with the standard of entries and that augers well for the continuation of the competition.

Click on over to the Jack Lasenby page to read David Hill’s Judges Report.

Next year it will be Junior Year for the Intermediate age group.

The annual WCBA Christmas Quiz is turning into quite an event for the Wellington Children’s Literature community. It is our annual office Christmas party...with close to 50 people battling it out for team honours.
This year John McIntyre was the quiz master...and there was hot competition among all the teams. The craft challenge interlude at half time was dress a figure from the Hobbit...courtesy of our design dynamo Fifi Colston who worked on The Hobbit film.

In a first for the Quiz...we had to have a tiebreaker to decide the winner!

If you get some Christmas money this year and you are thinking of a writerly kind of gift...look around for a writing course or a writing retreat to go on.
or start saving towards going to the next New Zealand Children’s Writers and Illustrators conference, which will be held in Christchurch 2013 Queens Birthday Weekend.
Registrations will be open early next year according to Gavin Bishop who is the leader of the conference team. (We'll let you know when.)

The Wellington Children’s Literature Association wishes you a safe and Happy Christmas.
Best wishes for a writerly New Year in 2013.

Maureen Crisp

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Katherine Mansfield Birthday Tour

Date: Sunday 14th October 2012

Time: Starting at 10.30am

Starting point: Katherine Mansfield’s Birthplace at 25 Tinakori Road, Thorndon.

Cost: The cost of the tour is $20.00, including entry to Katherine Mansfield’s Birthplace

Katherine Mansfield’s 124th Birthday will be celebrated with a tour conducted by Kevin and Margaret Boon.
The tour will begin at 10.30 a.m. outside Katherine Mansfield’s Birthplace, at 25 Tinakori Road, Thorndon. It will conclude at Katherine Mansfield Park, Fitzherbert Terrace, Thorndon, at approximately 12 noon.
The tour will not involve a great deal of walking but the emphasis will be on readings from some of Katherine Mansfield’s stories, including: The Wind Blows, A Birthday, Prelude and The Garden Party at locations that were associated with or inspired them.
After the walk you may wish to enjoy an A la Carte lunch at the Thistle Inn, Mulgrave Street, Thorndon, where Katherine Mansfield was also known to have enjoyed lunch. This is an optional extra and at your own expense.

To book, contact Kevin Boon:

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The NPS Residency goes to....

The Wellington Children’s Book Association is pleased to announce Helen Vivienne Fletcher has been awarded the New Pacific Studio residency for 2012.

Helen belongs to the WCBA and has been very active in promoting children’s literature. She was a member of our Spinning Gold committee and has been a member of the Wellington Storylines committee for a few years now.

Helen will receive a $300 stipend and the seven days residency at New Pacific Studio. At the time this residency is being offered -two Danish artists -a writer and a children’s book illustrator will also be in residence.

New Pacific Studio, a beautifully restored 1912 villa, is located on a 5-acre property on State Highway 2. It is 1 km north of the Mt Bruce National Wildlife Centre, 5 minutes south of Eketahuna and 20 minutes north of Masterton. This is the perfect location to forget everything else you HAVE to do and get on with the work in progress with no interruptions. 

New Pacific Studio is available as a retreat for writers and artists: contact the Studio to apply for a residency.

Maureen Crisp
Wellington Children’s Book Association

Friday, August 3, 2012

New Residency Announcement for Children's Writers and Illustrators

Wellington Children’s Book Association (WCBA) Inc
New Pacific Studio Working Residency

Illustrators and Writers for Children:

You are invited to apply for a free, seven-day residency at New Pacific Studio, Mt Bruce, Wairarapa, funded by the Wellington Children’s Book Association (WCBA) Inc. The WCBA will also offer a stipend of $300 to cover travel and food costs.

New Pacific Studio, a beautifully restored 1912 villa, is located on a 5-acre property on State Highway 2, just 1 km north of the Mt Bruce National Wildlife Centre, 5 minutes south of Eketahuna and 20 minutes north of Masterton. This is the perfect location to forget everything else you HAVE to do and just get on with the work in progress with no interruptions. 

The residency is self-catering in a communal farmhouse kitchen, with a resident director and at the time this residency is being offered, two Danish artists will also be in residency: a children's book illustrator and a writer. The working spaces in the villa are quiet and private with broadband. There is free pick up from Masterton railway station.

Applicants must:
  • Reside in the Greater Wellington region
  • Be over 18
  • Be a current member of The Wellington Children’s Book Association
  • Have a minimum of one published work (in a recognised trade or educational publication for children eg: School Journal) or a Writing Award.
  • Be available to take the week offered (either 22nd- 28th October or 29th October-4th November 2012)

Applicants are invited to send their Writing/Illustration CV along with either -
  • (Writers) Up to 10 pages of a work in progress or previously published work.
  • (Illustrators) Colour copies of two illustrations from a work in progress or previously published work.

Please include your name, address, phone, and email contact details in your covering letter and state what you hope to get out of the residency.

Entry deadline:
Please submit your covering letter, CV and sample pages by 24th August 2012 to
NPS Residency
Wellington Children’s Book Association
P O Box 1242

The Judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
The successful applicant will be personally notified and may be asked to participate in media publicity.

(Note: Wellington Children’s Book Association committee members and their immediate families are ineligible to enter.)

For more details about the WCBA see:

For more details about New Pacific Studio see:

Margaret Mahy Nationwide Read - 11 August

Children's literature enthusiasts around the country are participating in this wonderful tribute on 11 August. See:


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Coming up …

The Wellington Children’s Book Association Inc. 

Annual General Meeting

When: 7pm,  Tuesday 24 July 2012
Where: Turnbull House, 
Bowen Street, Wellington

Followed by panel discussion:  Publishing – I’ll do it myself!

Johanna Knox (The Flytrap Snaps), Gay Hay (Fantail’s Quilt), and Kevin Boon (Kezia) talk about their successful self-publishing journeys: how they did it, what worked for them, and what they learned along the way.
Chaired by author and WCBA convenor Maureen Crisp.

Entry: Free

Wine and nibbles provided.

All welcome - members, non-members, and prospective members!

Congratulations ...

This is a belated congratulations to the shortlisted writers and illustrators in the LIANZA Children's Book Awards announced last month! 

The WCBA is very well represented by members including: Jack Lasenby (also our patron), David Hair, Fleur Beale, Barbara Else, Johanna Knox & Sabrina Malcolm, Gay Hay & Margaret Tolland, Moira Wairama, and Juliette MacIver.

The full list of finalists - and more info -  is here at the LIANZA site.  The winners will be announced on Monday August 6 at Caffe L'affare.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Frankfurt Book Fair Demystified

New Zealand is gearing up to be guest of honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair - the biggest book fair in the world. But what does it mean for each of us - and exactly how is it all working?

Come along and find out from Sarah Ropata, Manager Books and Literature Programme NZ @ Frankfurt 2012.

Sarah will talk to us in the cosy, informal, environment of Meow Cafe in central Wellington, and will be happy to answer your questions. We are thrilled to have her along to kick off the first of the WCBA's winter club nights.

With an opportunity to break for supper, this promises to be a very informative and enjoyable evening.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Christopher Paolini - Wellington - June 28th

Teenage writer Christopher Paolini, whose dragon series - Eragon, Eldest, Brisingr and Inheritance - took the fantasy world by storm, will be speaking at an evening event in Wellington on Thursday, June 28th. Christopher will be happy to sign copies of his books after his talk and they will also be for sale at the event.

Venue: Scots College Hall, Monorgan Rd, Strathmore, Wellington
Date: Thursday, June 28th, 2012
Time: 6pm (until approximately 7.30pm).
Tickets are  $5 each and are now on sale only through:

The Children's Bookshop
Shop 26 Kilbirnie Plaza
t 04 3873905
f 04 3873288

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Nature of Ash launch

You are warmly invited to the launch of Mandy Hager's new novel, The Nature of Ash,

When: Thursday 14 June @ 6pm

Where: The Children's Bookshop, Kilbirnie Plaza, Kilbirnie

Ash McCarthy thought he finally had it made: away from home and all its claustrophobic responsibilities, he's revelling in the freedom of student hostel life. But life is about to take a devastating turn, when two police officers knock on his door. Their life-changing news forces him to return home to his Down Syndrome brother Mikey, and impels him into a shady world of political intrigue, corruption, terrorism and lies ...so many lies. As if this isn't bad enough, the whole country is imploding, as the world's two greatest super-powers start a fight that leaves New Zealand 'piggy-in-the-middle' of their deadly games. While trying to protect Mikey, along with strangers Travis and Jiao, his fight to uncover the truth turns into a nightmare race to save their lives and stop the destruction of all the principles he holds dear. 'The Nature of Ash' is a fast-paced thriller that also explores love and loss, assumptions and prejudices, truth and fiction, and the many faces of 'family'.

You're invited to the launch of Red Rocks

Rachael King, Random House, and The Children's Bookshop invite you to the launch of Red Rocks.

When: Thursday 7 June @ 5.45pm
Where: The Children's Bookshop, Kilbirnie Plaza, Kilbirnie

While holidaying at his father’s house, Jake explores Wellington’s wild south coast, with its high cliffs, biting winds, and its fierce seals. When he stumbles upon a perfectly preserved sealskin, hidden in a crevice at Red Rocks, he’s compelled to take it home and hide it under his bed, setting off a chain of events that threatens to destroy his family. Red Rocks takes the Celtic myth of the selkies, or seal people, and transplants it into the New Zealand landscape, throwing an ordinary boy into an adventure tinged with magic. With its beautiful writing and eerie atmosphere, junior readers will be thrilled and moved by this captivating story.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Little Witch launch for children

Congratulations to WCBA member Juliette MacIver on the publication of 'Little Witch' (Walker Books). This delightful chapter book for younger readers is launching today (Saturday 26 May)!

You and your children are welcome to come along at 2pm to the Titahi Community Chapel, 25 Mana Ave, Titahi Bay, where there will be delicious food and Juliette will give a children's reading.

Books are $14 and no eftpos is available, so if you would like a signed copy, coinage is required. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Congratulations Jack Lasenby, Barbara Else, and all!

Those of us who went along had a great time at the NZ Post Children's Book Awards last night. NZ Post and Booksellers NZ know how to throw a party!

We're thrilled that WCBA Patron Jack Lasenby won the Young Adult Fiction award for his book Calling The Gods (HarperCollins).

We are also delighted for WCBA member Barbara Else, who took home an honour award for The Travelling Restaurant (Gecko Press).

Other Wellingtonians who did the region proud last night include Chris Szekely who won the top award in the picture book category for Rahui (published by Huia, with illustrations by Malcolm Ross who passed away some years ago), and Ant Sang who won an honour award for Shaolin Burning (HarperCollins).

It's also wonderful to see the Wellington publishers doing well in the awards - Huia and Gecko.

Congratulations to all winners and finalists, here in Wellington and around the country!

See the Booksellers press release here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Farewell to Maurice Sendak

Tributes have flowed for Maurice Sendak, the brilliant author and illustrator of so many loved classics. Above is the beautiful window that the Kilbirnie Children's Bookshop's resident Sendak fan, Imogen Wilson, made to honour him.

Other NZ tributes are from children's author Raymond Huber,  Helen Lowe, The University of Auckland, and Auckland Libraries. Maureen Crisp also dedicated her most recent blog post to Sendak.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Panel Discussion: Children, Grief and Literature

The Museum of City and Sea is hosting a fascinating and important free panel discussion, as part of the 'Death and Diversity' programme of events.

The discussion, chaired by John McIntyre of the Children's Bookshop, aims to explore how to guide children through dealing with grief, funerals, and bereavement, with a strong emphasis on the value of literature.

Panelists: Tricia Irving-Hendry (Skylight);  Alex Collins (Editor, Learning Media); Chris Szekely (author of Rahui); Mandy Hager (author of Tom’s Story).

Sunday April 22 @ 2pm

The Museum of City and Sea,
3 Jervois Quay,
Queen's Wharf, Wellington

Free entry.

More information:

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Congratulations ...

... to WCBA committee member Sabrina Malcolm, who has been shortlisted for the Joy Cowley Award. Wonderful news!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Pop Up Paper Engineering Evening

Thanks to all who came to our 'From Titanic to Spot'  Book Month Event  last night- it was a great evening with Trevor Morley's wonderful collection of Paper Engineering and Pop Up Books and Fifi Colston making some! Fifi has put some useful links and instructions up her blog today, you can find them here.

Cheers, The WCBA team.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

You're invited to The Red Poppy launch

Come and meet author David Hill, illustrator Fifi Colston, and charming dog model Molly (who will be available for pats and photo opportunities).

Wednesday 14 March, 6pm, at The Children's Bookshop in Kilbirnie.
All ages welcome!

RSVP The Children's Bookshop: 04 387 3905 or childbkwgtn@xtra.co.nz 

(Click on the invitation to enlarge.)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Blood of the Lamb trilogy to be published in the US

Congratulations to WCBA member Mandy Hager on selling the rights to her Blood of the Lamb trilogy to Pyr - an exciting fantasy and science fiction imprint of Prometheus Books.

You can read more at Mandy's blog.

We wish Mandy all the best as her books sally forth to win over US audiences!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Book Fair Bargains!

Ngaio Townhall,
1 Ottawa Rd.
Saturday 24 March
9am to 1pm

All proceeds will go to Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation (www.bluedragonz.org.nz), a charitable trust working with Vietnam’s poorest children to break the poverty cycle

Here are two ways you can contribute to this fantastic cause:
* Donate any unwanted books, DVDs or CDS.
* Come to the book fair and buy some books, DVDs or CDs.

For more information, please contact one of the Blue Dragon NZ trustees:   
Iona (Ngaio) - ionam@clear.net.nz
Sue (Wadestown) - simonsue@xtra.co.nz
Dinah (Kelburn) - dobbies@xtra.co.nz
Alison (Thorndon) - alison.kember@gmail.com

Friday, February 10, 2012

Whitireia online writing for children course

Whitireia is now accepting enrolments for their online Writing for Children Course. You can do it on its own OR as part of a creative writing diploma. Details below:
Writing for Children
Teaching material from internationally renowned children's author Joy Cowley forms the core of this module, which guides writers through the requirements of writing for a variety of age groups. You produce original pieces in a variety of genres – short fiction, plays, non-fiction and chapter books. This course draws on the expertise of a number of writers for children. 
Tutor: Julia Wall
Credits: 20
Length: 16 weeks
Start date 2012: Monday 20 February (semester one) and Monday 16 July (semester 2)

Congratulations Fleur!

Wellington writer (And WCBA star!) Fleur Beale has won the 2012 Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal for her outstanding contribution to New Zealand writing for children and young adults.
The award, given annually by the Storylines Children's Literature Trust, is New Zealand's top award for achievement in children's literature.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Aunt Kelly's Dog

Congratulations to WCBA member Helen Vivienne Fletcher on the publication of her book 'Aunt Kelly's Dog' as an App.

It's getting good reviews in places like this and this.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

'The House that Jack Built' Launch

Festival of the Elements & Gecko Press
are pleased to invite you to the
 Waitangi Day launch for Gavin Bishop's
'The House that Jack Built' in English and Te Reo Maori

Gecko Press is pleased to launch a new edition of The House that Jack Built by Gavin Bishop, and the first Te Reo Maori edition - Koinei te Whare na Haki i Hanga - as part of Porirua's popular, multi-cultural Waitangi Day event, The Festival of the Elements.

WHEN: 11am till after 7pm, Monday 6 February 2012

For adults
WHEN: 2.35pm (duration: 45 minutes)
WHERE: Helen Smith Community Meeting Room at Pataka Museum
WHAT: Author/illustrator Gavin Bishop and translator Piripi Walker will discuss The Story of the House that Jack Built: Art and Translation.

For children
WHEN: All day
WHERE: NZ Community Trust Stadium
WHAT: Help build a giant 'House that Jack Built' sculpture using natural materials, with artist Michelle Whale.

For the whole family
WHEN: Every hour from 11.30am to 4.30pm
WHERE: The storytelling gazebo at NZ Community Trust Stadium (Te Rauparaha Arena)
WHAT: Listen to the book being read in English (by Gavin Bishop) and Te Reo Maori (by Moira Wairama)
The Festival of the Elements is a fantastic event for children and families, with 30,000 people expected and lots of food, fun and entertainment all day.