Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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New charitable trust to govern NZ Book Awards

The New Zealand Books Awards and the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults will be governed by a new charitable trust, with ‘major changes’ planned for the timing and format of the awards.

The trust is comprised of members from the Publishers Association of New Zealand (PANZ), the New Zealand Society of Authors (NZSA) and Booksellers New Zealand. The trustees are PANZ president Sam Elworthy; NZSA president Kyle Mewburn; and Page & Blackmore Booksellers manager Stella Chrysostomou, representing Booksellers NZ. Independent members are Karen Ferns, former joint managing director of Random House Australia and New Zealand; businesswoman Sue Wood; and publisher and journalist Nicola Legat. .

The awards will be sponsored by the Auckland Writers Festival with former sponsor New Zealand Post Group withdrawing its sponsorship.

The timing of the awards will also change under the new structure. The next New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults will be held in August 2015 and the next New Zealand Book Awards will be held at the Auckland Writers Festival in May 2016. This means that the New Zealand Book Awards will not be held in 2015.

Chairperson Nicola Legat said of the decision: ‘To try to hold the awards next May, with only six months of books that would be eligible, was thought to be unfair to publishers and authors.’  

Legat also said that ‘other adjustments will be made to both sets of awards to make them relevant and fresh while retaining their inherent mana’. She added that the formation of the trust will allow ‘more flexibility to apply for grants and patronage’ and that ‘deep discussion’ about the changes would ‘continue on for a while yet’.

The period for submissions for the 2016 New Zealand Book Awards Awards will be extended to include books published from June 2014 and until 31 December 2015. Submissions for the 2015 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults will open on 3 November for books published from January 2014 and 31 March 2015. The trust is also seeking to appoint judges for the 2015 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults with application forms available online

For more information about the awards, click here.



Category: Local news