Storylines announces winners of 2022 awards for children’s and young adult manuscripts

Storylines Children’s Literature Charitable Trust Te Whare Waituhi Tamariki o Aotearoa has announced the 2022 winners of its major awards for writers of manuscripts for children’s and young adult books. The five winners were selected from more than 230 entries.

The awards were presented at the annual Storylines Margaret Mahy National Awards Day held in Auckland on Sunday 3 April.

“We are delighted to have received so many entries, and that these entries exhibited such depth and breadth of creativity and talent among New Zealand writers,” commented Storylines chair Christine Young. “The entries demonstrated real enthusiasm to contribute to the richness and diversity of publications that reflect young people’s lives in 21st century Aotearoa New Zealand.

“Storylines congratulates not only the winners, who are deservedly acknowledged today, but also the shortlisted entrants. In many cases, the judges had difficult decisions to make in selecting a winner, and the standard of manuscripts received augurs well for the future of New Zealand children’s and young adult literature.”

The award-winners and shortlists are:

Storylines Tessa Duder Award for a young adult manuscript Shortlist:

The impossible story of Hannah Kemp by Leonie Agnew (Auckland)

#Quarantine by Louise Shaw (Geraldine)

The Paradise Garden by Sian Thompson (Miramar)

Flying and falling by Lynda Tomalin (Putaruru)

Winner: The impossible story of Hannah Kemp by Leonie Agnew (Auckland)

Te Kahurangi Kāterina Te Heikōkō Mataira Award for a manuscript in te reo Māori Winner: Kua Whetūrangitia Tōku Koro by Brianne Te Paa


I whānau, i tipu ake, i kuraina hoki a Brianne Te Paa i te tonga o Kaipara. He hononga tōna ki ngā mana whenua o taua rohe, o Ngāti Whātua, me ngā iwi o Ngāti Kahu, Ngā Puhi, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki, Te Whānau-a-Apanui.

I whakapōtaetia ia ki te Tohu Mātauranga i Te Whare Wānanga o Tāmaki Makaurau. Nāwai rā, ka hoki a Brianne ki te Kaipara hei kaiako Reo Māori ki tōna kura o mua. He Tumuaki Āwhina ia ki reira ināianei. He rite tonu tā Brianne tuhi ruri hei painga māna anō. Ko tōna whānau, ko ōna hoa hoki tōna ranga wairua.

Brianne Te Paa was born, raised and educated in South Kaipara. Her whakapapa connects her to the mana whenua of the area, Ngāti Whātua, as well as the people of Ngāti Kahu, Ngā Puhi, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Tuwharetoa, Te

Aitanga a Mahaki and Te Whanau a Apanui. After graduating from The University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Education, Brianne eventually returned to the Kaipara to teach Te Reo Māori at her former secondary school, where she is now an Assistant Principal. Brianne has always written poetry for her own enjoyment and draws inspiration from her whānau and friends.


Storylines Joy Cowley Award for a picture book text Shortlist:

Penguins Don’t Live There by Alex Eagles-Tully (Tauranga)

Maia’s Moa by Katie Furze (Auckland)

Tama and the Taniwha by Melanie Koster (Christchurch) Snoring Norman by Melanie Koster (Christchurch) Scruffy Duffy by Darlene Mohekey (Levin)

Winner: Tama and the Taniwha by Melanie Koster (Christchurch)

Born on the wild West Coast of the South Island, Melanie was brought up in a book- loving, story-telling family. She lives in Christchurch with her whānau of artists, inventors and tinkerers. A primary teacher, Melanie is the author of two picture books; The Reluctant Little Flower Girl, illustrated by Jenny Cooper, and Milly Maloo and the Miracle Glue, illustrated by Sarah Nelisiwe Anderson. She has been shortlisted six times for the Storylines Joy Cowley Award, published in Flash Frontier and in the Australian publication The School Magazine.

Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon Award for a junior fiction manuscript Shortlist:

The Godstick: Tunnels of Arras by Nissa Bearsley (Palmerston North)

Sounds Angel by Dorothy Fletcher (Gisborne)

A Perfect Failure by Feana Tu’akoi (Hamilton)

Winner: A Perfect Failure by Feana Tu’akoi (Hamilton)

Feana Tu‘akoi is a Kirikiriroa-based writer, with a strong background in educational writing. Her 220 titles include stories, poems, picture books, school readers, plays, chapter books and radio stories, with seven of her nine trade books for children named in various awards and many translated into several languages. Feana began writing when her four children were pre-schoolers, as she was unable to source books that included Tongan characters, Tongan ideas, or even Tongan legends. She is about to temporarily relocate to Papaioea, Palmerston North, for her role as the 2022 Massey University Writer in Residence.

Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon Special Award for a shortlisted unpublished writer Winner: The Godstick: Tunnels of Arras by Nissa Bearsley (Palmerston North)


Storylines Janice Marriott Mentoring Award for an unpublished junior fiction writer Shortlist:

Sam & Harman’s Guide to the Galaxy by Leah Carter (Papamoa)

The Boy Who Fell From The Clouds by Samantha Montgomerie (Dunedin)

Winner: The Boy Who Fell From The Clouds by Samantha Montgomerie (Dunedin)

Author Samantha Montgomerie spent her childhood in Whanganui. She studied English at Otago University and went on to train as an English teacher. She now lives on the Otago Peninusla.

She enjoys writing stories for young children and teenagers, and has had a number of educational readers published, as well as poetry for readers of all ages in various collections and publications.

In addition to the manuscript awards, two other major awards were presented:

Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal and Lecture Award for life-time achievement and an outstanding contribution to New Zealand’s literature for young people

Diana Noonan (Southland)

Diana Noonan has published more than 100 titles since her debut novel The Silent People in 1990, winning numerous awards for both her fiction and non- fiction. She has a background in teaching and was editor of the School Journal for older readers for eight years. Following the 2011 Christchurch earthquake she wrote the picture book Quaky Cat, illustrated by Gavin Bishop, which raised over $150,000 for the Christchurch earthquake appeal.

Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award for a much-loved book Sherryl Jordan (Tauranga) for Winter of Fire

Sherryl Jordan was initially published as an illustrator, but after writing 12 novels, her first published fiction, Rocco, won the AIM Book of the Year in 1991. It launched her career as one of New Zealand’s best fantasy novelists for both junior and young adult readers. Among her award-winning books are The Juniper Games, The Wednesday Wizard, Denzil’s Dilemma and most recently The King’s Nightingale. She has won multiple Storylines Notable Book awards and many of her novels have been published in Australia, USA and Europe.


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