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NZ's Favourite Poet Leads Children's Books Judging

P R E S S R E L E A S E
Monday 8 December 2003

New Zealand’s favourite poet to lead judging panel for children’s book awards 2004

Northland doctor, poet and children’s author Glenn Colquhoun has been named convenor for the 2004 New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. Glenn Colquhoun, whose collection of poetry, Playing God, won the Reader’s Choice Award in this year’s Montana New Zealand Book Awards, is joined on the panel by author and literary agent, Barbara Else, plus librarian and children’s book specialist Lorraine Orman, to judge the best of the crop of children’s books published in New Zealand in 2003.

The panel of judges was selected by the New Zealand Post Book Awards Management Committee from a range of nominations put forward by literary organisations that have a particular interest in literature for children and young adults.

The judges adhere to strict guidelines when assessing and judging the best books for children and young adults published in New Zealand during the past year, and an advisor has been appointed to assist the judges in assessing books written in Te Reo Maori. Books are judged in four categories – Picture Book, Non Fiction, Junior Fiction and Young Adult Fiction. Five finalists from each category will be announced on 4 February 2004. The winners of each category will be announced in May 2004. One of the category winners will then be chosen as the New Zealand Post Book of the Year. Children and teens will also have the opportunity to vote for their favourite book from the list of finalists. The book which receives the most votes will be presented with the Children’s Choice Award 2004.

Glenn Colquhoun lives and works around Northland’s Hokianga region. He is no stranger to the awards process. He was a judge for the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards in 2002. Earlier this year, Glenn’s latest collection of poetry, Playing God, won the poetry category and the Reader’s Choice Award in the Montana New Zealand Book Awards 2003. He is also the author of the children’s picture book Uncle Glenn and Me, and has two further children’s books due for release in 2004.

Barbara Else is co-director of the Wellington-based TFS Literary Agency and TFS Assessment Services, and co-ordinator of the New Zealand Association of Manuscript Assessors. She has written two books for children and edited two anthologies. She is the respected author of five adult novels, including The Case of the Missing Kitchen, published this year.

Lorraine Orman says she first became hooked on books for young people when she worked in a secondary school library and then in a College of Education library where she was in charge of junior collections. Lorraine now reviews for Magpies, the children’s book magazine, is a working member of the Children’s Literature Foundation of New Zealand and the creator of a website called Story-Go-Round: A Guide to Children’s Books. Her first book for teenagers will be published in 2004, with another, a modern fairy tale for children following in 2005.

In the lead up to the Awards ceremony, children’s books and authors are celebrated during a special nation wide week of book-related festivities. The celebrations begin on 3 May 2004, when many of New Zealand’s leading children’s authors take to the roads, visiting schools, libraries and bookshops to talk and read to enthusiastic children around the country.

The New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults (previously known as the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards) celebrate quality and excellence in children’s books. These awards and the festivities which surround them have enjoyed the support of New Zealand Post as principal sponsor for seven years. New Zealand Post works closely with Booksellers New Zealand to encourage children to read and enjoy books. New Zealand Post is committed to building literate communities through its sponsorship of the Awards. The awards are also supported by Creative New Zealand and Book Tokens (NZ) Ltd and are administered by Booksellers New Zealand. Further information about the Awards is available on the official website, www.booksellers.co.nz.

END

Key Dates 2004:
Wednesday 4 February New Zealand Post Book Awards finalists announced
Tuesday 27 April Children’s Choice Voting closes
Monday 3 May Festival begins, writers on tour
Thursday 13 May New Zealand Post Book Awards winners announced

Digital copies of the new logo for the New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults are available.


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