Experienced judging team appointed as entries open for 2018 NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults

As entries open for the 2018 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, the New Zealand Book Awards Trust has announced a very experienced panel of judges.

National Library schools facilitator Jeannie Skinner will convene the English language panel, which also includes author Maureen Crisp, reviewer and librarian Crissi Blair, author and academic Darryn Joseph and high school librarian Bridget Schaumann.

They will deliberate over an expected 150 entries in five categories: Picture Book, Junior Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, Non-fiction and Illustration. They will select five finalists in each category, as well as up to five finalists for a Best First Book Award, a winner in each category and then the overall winner, the Margaret Mahy Award for Book of the Year.

In addition, Moana Munro (convenor), Hemi Rukuwai Jury, Anahera Morehu and Jacqueline Joyce Snee have been appointed by Te Rōpū Whakahau to judge the Te Kura Pounamu Award, which recognises and celebrates books written or translated into te reo Māori. This category winner is also eligible for consideration for Book of the Year.

Following its call for expressions of interest in judging the 2018 awards, the New Zealand Book Awards Trust was overwhelmed by the depth of knowledge and experience of those who applied. “Our 2018 judges represent all that is good about the children’s literature community,” says Trust chair Nicola Legat. “We are thrilled to have such a diverse, expert and passionate team selecting the very best of New Zealand’s children’s and young adult books.

“They have a busy and enjoyable summer of reading ahead of them!”

The judges will receive input on 2018 finalists across each category from a group of children’s school advisory panels. The New Zealand Book Awards Trust will call for expressions of interest from participating schools in early 2018.

Submissions for the awards are now open, to books published between 1 April 2017 and 30 March 2018. The first deadline, for books published up to 30 November 2017, is 14 December 2017. More details about how to enter can be found here.

Category finalists will be announced on 6 June 2018, and the winners will be presented with their awards at a ceremony in Wellington in August. In the fortnight leading up to the awards announcement, finalists will take part in a series of large-scale events in at least three centres around New Zealand.

The New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults are made possible through the generosity, commitment and vision of funders and sponsors Creative New Zealand, HELL Pizza, Book Tokens (NZ) Ltd, Copyright Licensing Limited, LIANZA, Wellington City Council and Nielsen Book.

For more information about the 2018 judges go here.