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NZ bookshops: Thriving, Not just surviving

Celebrate our bookshops on NZ bookshop day on Saturday, 31 October

A new wave of optimism among New Zealand’s booksellers underpins the inaugural NZ Bookshop Day – Your Place, Your Bookshop being held in 180 book stores nationwide all day on Saturday, 31 October.
“The last few years have been tough for the book trade, but book sales are rising again and there’s a positive outlook amongst booksellers. We’re definitely thriving, rather than just surviving,” says Booksellers NZ Chair, Mary Sangster (pictured below).

“Booksellers were very pleased when Nielsen Data reported that, for the year to 3 October 2015, there’s been a 9.3% growth in New Zealand book sales’ volume, with a 3.7% growth in value. This is not just a New Zealand phenomenon; in the UK book sales are also up. Figures released by the UK’s Nielsen Bookscan show sales of print books, for the first 36 weeks of 2015, rose by 4.6% (worth £739.5m) when compared with the same period last year.

Hug a Customer this Christmas

There’s a healthy dose of optimism in the book trade at the moment. Here are some numbers: Nielsen Book Data’s latest year-to-date figures up to October 3rd have shown welcome growth in both volume (9.3%) and value (3.7%). For a few years now there’s been a clenching of jaws and girding of loins prior to such announcements, so this is a very good thing.

Author 'astounded' at fiction award

A Wellington author has scooped the fiction award at the Arts Festival Library Carnival in Nelson along with a very special vessel to mark the achievement. 
Catherine Robertson won the award for her book The Hiding Places, which was published in April. She was astonished when she found out about her win.
"I thought it was really lovely they nominated me, but when they told me I'd won I was astounded," she said.

Wellington grant recipients cover a wide variety of causes

More than $70,000 of grants were awarded at a grants function in Wellington on Monday night to a wide variety of social causes.
The event was part of Nikau Foundation’s annual grant-making process and the recipients were awarded grants from the Tindall Foundation through Nikau Foundation. Nikau is a funding manager for the Tindall Foundation in the Wellington region. The awards were presented by Nikau Foundation administration manager Brian Burge.

Panguru and the City shortlisted for W.H. Oliver Prize

Melissa Matutina Williams’s Panguru and the City: Kāinga Tahi, Kāinga Rua has been shortlisted for the inaugural W. H. Oliver prize. This follows the book’s placing in the shortlist for the 2015 Ngā Kupu Ora Māori Book Awards, earlier this year. 
Publisher Bridget Williams is delighted that Dr Williams’s book is being recognised. ‘Melissa writes with clarity and insight about the Panguru/Auckland communities, to which she belongs. And her work is contributing to a set of new interpretations of Māori history that BWB is proud to be publishing.’ 

Finalists showcase strength of NZ content in educational publishing

New Zealand students need strong local content to help them think critically, engage in their own environment and learn. The finalists in this year’s CLNZ Education Awards showcase the very real strength and breadth of our home-grown educational resources.
The 2015 finalists demonstrate that a need for local content on a subject area is most often identified and invested in by our own local publishers. The four resources named as finalists in the Te Reo Māori category – as well as the higher education finalists The New Zealand Dyslexia Handbook and Working with Māori children with special education needs highlight this. 

Festival of Colour announces profit and plans for future

The trust managing both the Southern Lakes Festival of Colour and the Aspiring Conversations festival of ideas has announced a modest surplus in its latest two-year accounting period that will be reinvested in future events.
The Southern Lakes Arts Festival Trust reported a net profit for 2014/15 of $34,834 at its AGM in Wanaka today, up from a virtual breakeven in 2012/13.

New Writer in Residence at the International Institute of Modern Letters

Novelist, poet and film writer Anne Kennedy has been appointed the Victoria University of Wellington and Creative New Zealand Writer in Residence for 2016. 
Since her 1988 novella 100 Traditional Smiles, Ms Kennedy, a Victoria University graduate, has been regarded as one of New Zealand’s most original and gifted writers. She has twice been awarded New Zealand’s top prize for poetry and her most recent novel, The Last Days of the National Costume, was a finalist in the 2014 New Zealand Post Book Awards.

2015 Prime Minister's Awards for Literary Achievement: Winners Announced

Creative New Zealand has announced the winners of the 2015 Prime Minister’s Awards for Literary Achievement.

They are social anthropologist Dame Joan Metge, playwright Roger Hall and poet Bernadette Hall. 

Each will be awarded $60,000 in recognition of their outstanding contribution to New Zealand literature. Dame Joan Metge will be honoured for non-fiction, Roger Hall for fiction and Bernadette Hall for poetry. 

Authors and horses run amok for NZ Bookshop Day

Bookshops all over New Zealand are buzzing with plans to celebrate NZ Bookshop Day on Saturday 31 October in style. We have horses in Wanaka, authors in windows in Auckland, readers’ trading cards in Havelock North, people-sized stacks of books being given away in Wellington, and authors chatting with readers over some beers in the shop window in Christchurch.