David Hill is announced as the 2019-2020 President of Honour

The New Zealand Society of Authors is delighted to announce that David Hill is their 2019-2020 President of Honour.  This prestigious honour is bestowed on a senior writer and long-serving NZSA member in recognition of his or her contribution to writing and writers and the literary arts sector in New Zealand.

The President of Honour delivers the annual NZSA Janet Frame Memorial Lecture – a free community event that each year looks at the current state of the literary and writing sectors. This year’s event will be held at the Ellen Melville Centre, High St in Central Auckland on September 12th (details below).

David Hill has won many awards for his writing in New Zealand and internationally. He has generously mentored and encouraged new and emerging writers through the NZSA mentorship and assessment programmes his mentees have won awards for writing as their careers progressed. 

David Hill was interviewed at length by Deborah Shepard for Stage 3 of the NZSA Oral History Project.   This interview appears in her book A Writer’s Life (2018, MUP). This year, the Janet Frame Memorial Lecture will be later produced as a podcast.


 I was born and grew up in Napier, completed a MA degree at Victoria University of Wellington, and was a secondary school teacher in NZ and the UK for 16 years (where I taught Princess Margaret’s son, who couldn’t spell). Since 1976, my wife Beth and I have lived in Taranaki, first in Inglewood, now in New Plymouth.
I’ve been a fulltime writer for thirty years. My 35-odd novels for children and teenagers have been published in New Zealand, Australia, the UK, the USA, Canada, France, Germany, Holland, Japan, Korea, China, Slovenia, Estonia.

Some of my titles include See Ya, Simon (winner of a Times Educational Supplement Award in the UK and The Gaelyn Gordon Award in NZ); Coming Back (Le Prix D’Adolire in France and a White Ravens book); Right Where it Hurts (a White Ravens book, and The Esther Glen Medal for Children’s Book of the Year); Take It Easy (a Kirkus Notable Book Award in the USA; also winner of a Significant Book Award in Slovenia). A number of my other novels have been short-listed for the NZ Post Children’s Book Awards.
  Recent titles include a picture book, The Red Poppy (Scholastic NZ 2011: published in NZ, Australia, Canada); and the early teenage novels Sinking (Scholastic NZ 2013: published in NZ and Australia); My Brother’s War (Penguin NZ 2012: Published in NZ, Australia, the UK, Slovenia: Winner of the Junior Fiction Award and Children’s Choice Award, NZ Post Book Awards; also Librarians’ Choice Award from the NZ Librarians’ Assn. Winner of Significant Book Award in Slovenia; White Ravens Award from the International Bureau of Books for Young Adults); Brave Company (Penguin NZ 2013, a Storylines Notable Children’s Book Award in NZ); First to the Top: the Edmund Hillary Story (Storylines Notable Book Award; Children’s Choice Award, 2016). Enemy Camp, (Penguin Random 2016 Storylines Notable Book and Children’s Book Awards Finalist); Flight Path (Penguin Random 2017); Sky High: The Jean Batten Story (Penguin Random 2017; Children’s Book Award Finalist); So Special (Duck Creek Press / NZDF, 2017); Finding (Penguin Random 2018); Peter Blake, Hero of the Sea (Penguin Random, 2018); Joan Wiffen: Dinosaur Hunter (forthcoming from Penguin Random NZ).
My short stories, plays, and rather dreadful verse have been published in/on The School Journal (NZ), Radio NZ, the BBC; Cricket and Highlights (both US); NSW School Magazines (Australia); Caterpillar (Ireland); Owl (Canada), A number of these works have also appeared in anthologies in the US, UK, Australia and NZ.
I also write for adult readers. Short stories and plays have appeared in/on Radio NZ, The Listener, Takahe, Landfall, Bravado, and in several anthologies. I write book reviews, attempted satire and occasional feature work for a variety of newspapers and magazines.
In 2005,  I received the Margaret Mahy Medal, for services to children’s literature. The previous year, I was awarded an MNZM for Services to Literature. Along with Elizabeth Smither, who received the same award for doing the same thing far better, I went out afterwards and we ate rather a lot.


David Hill, as the 2019-2020 NZSA President of Honour will deliver the Janet Frame Memorial Lecture at the Ellen Melville Centre, Central Auckland.

Hear him at the Pioneer Women’s Hall on the 12th September at 6:30PM. Wine and nibbles will be served.

Please book your free tickets here for catering purposes.

At this event, Paula Browning, CEO of Copyright Licensing New Zealand, will also announce the recipients of the 2019 CLNZ/NZSA Research Grants.

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