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The 2015 LIANZA Children’s Book Awards launch this February

The 2015 LIANZA Children’s Book Awards launch this February

The Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA) is bringing back its iconic book awards this year with a soft launch in February followed by an awards ceremony on June 15 in Auckland.

The most prestigious and longest running awards in New Zealand have been promoting outstanding children’s books by Kiwi authors and illustrators since 1944. Each entry is subjected to thorough readings by the toughest of judges: librarians. The 2015 judges are Pamela Jones, Helen O’Carroll, Sue Maxwell, and Te Rangi Rangi Tangohau.

It is precisely the librarian judges themselves that make the LIANZA Children’s Book Awards so important, as they are able to provide a practical insight on what is required of award-winning children’s books.

Pamela Jones explains, “Librarians have the opportunity to shape young people’s lives and thereby shape the future of our communities. So with these Awards we have a real opportunity to add huge value to the lives of our young people.”

Previous winners of LIANZA’s top award, the Esther Glen Prize for Junior Fiction include such literary legends such as Magaret Mahy, Maurice Gee, Kate de Goldi, Fleur Beale and Joy Cowley.

The judges look for books that enrich children’s lives, challenge their ideas and help them to understand others. Jones adds, “Great books have the power to transform the lives of our readers. Those books can be found in the LIANZA Children’s Book Awards.”

Normally held in August, LIANZA has recently changed the awards month to June so as to avoid any potential overlap with the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.

LIANZA’s Executive Director Joanna Matthew is thrilled to have the continuing generous support of sponsor Hell Pizza, considering how the New Zealand Book Awards recently lost their sponsor NZ Post. “It’s our year to make a big splash”, she says which is why the awards will be held in Auckland this year.

Submissions for 2015 are currently open until February 10th. For further information contact the LIANZA office.

2015 Key Dates:

Monday 10th November 2014: Submissions Open

Tuesday 10th February 2015: Submissions Close

Tuesday 24th March 2015: Finalists Announced

Monday 15th June 2015: Awards Ceremony


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