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200+ Events for the New Zealand Post Book Awards Festival

200+ Events for the New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults Festival

What could baking mouse poo scones, a wild food brekkie, creating wearable arts, decorating a double-decker bus, author and illustrator workshops and boring books have in common? They’re some of the 200+ events in this year’s New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults Festival being held 17-25 May nationwide.

During the Festival thousands of children and young adults from all over the country can meet the finalist authors and illustrators, and participate in unique activities at specially-themed events in their schools, local libraries, book shops and in their communities.

Promoting the importance of books and reading, this year’s Festival provides inspiration for New Zealand’s future writers and illustrators, as well as a generation of readers.

The Festival’s national coordinator, Erin Banks says, “This year’s Festival is shaping up to be our most fantastic yet. Our regional coordinators have created amazing events to bring the finalists’ books to life. We’re overwhelmed at the imaginations of our coordinators in developing these activities over the nine days of the Festival.

“Children and young adults will not only be able to listen to authors and illustrators talk about their books and take part in events related to the themes in those books, but they will also be able to work closely in workshops with some of the authors and illustrators to learn more about their craft and what makes writing and illustrating so satisfying. These are opportunities second to none, and we are proud to be able to offer these activities to New Zealand’s children. This year’s Festival has something for everyone.”

Some Festival highlights are:
· The Great New Zealand Post Bus Tour on Saturday, 17 May in Nelson. Join Young Adult Fiction finalist Karen Healey (When We Wake) on a free whirlwind book tour on a double-decker bus. Bus riders can decorate the bus with their favourite words and stories, listen to stories and vote for the favourite finalists’ book. Earlier that afternoon Karen talks about her book and has a group discussion at Nelson’s Café Affair.
· The Great Mouse Poo Scones Bake Off on Wednesday, 21 May in Feilding. Inspired by Junior Fiction finalist Dunger by Joy Cowley, junior cooks can bring in their own version of ‘mouse poo scones’ to be judged by a local chef.
· Wearable Art Creative Talk and Demonstration on Monday/Tuesday, 19/20 May in Gore, Invercargill, Winton and Te Anau. Fifi Colston, author of Wearable Wonders, gives a creative talk and demonstration to encourage young people to be innovative and inventive in creating something really special from materials around them.
· Boys’ Big Brekkie on Tuesday, 20 May at Palmerston North’s Youth Space. Join Non-Fiction finalist Paul Adamson, author of The Beginner’s Guide to Hunting + Fishing in New Zealand as he meets boys from Manawatu schools where they all get to try a variety of ‘wild foods’ for breakfast, at the same time as hearing Paul’s tips and tricks for hunting and fishing.
· How Not to Write a Boring Book on Thursday, 22 March at Mt Roskill Library, Auckland. Join Picture Book finalist Vasanti Unka, author of The Boring Book, for a workshop on how to write a book that is anything but boring!
· ‘Bugs’ reading and signing on Saturday, 24 May at Wellington’s Te Papa. Join Young Adult Fiction finalist Whiti Hereaka, author of Bugs, where she reads from her novel and signs copies of her book. The event also includes creative work for extension students from Hutt Valley High School who attended a writing workshop with Whiti earlier that week.
To read more about Festival events in your area, click here:

The chair of the Book Awards Governance Group (BAGG) which oversees the New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults and the Festival, Nicola Legat says, “We are delighted at the huge range of events and activities that are offered over the Festival. Celebrating the importance of books and reading, and focusing around the impressive quality of the finalists in the New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, these events will inspire young people to read, explore and enjoy New Zealand books in a fun and interesting way.”

The finalists in the New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults were announced on 8 April in the four categories of Picture Books, Non-Fiction, Junior Fiction and Young Adult Fiction. Also announced was the winner of the Awards’ inaugural Māori Language award, Keri Kaa for her book Taka Ki Ro Wai. The winners of each category will be announced on 23 June, together with the overall winner who will be awarded the New Zealand Post Margaret Mahy Book of the Year prize.

The New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adultsare managed by Booksellers New Zealand and sponsored by New Zealand Post. The awards are also supported by Creative New Zealand and Book Tokens New Zealand.


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