Storylines Announces New Award for Writers working in te reo Māori

Storylines Children’s Literature Charitable Trust is delighted to announce a new award for manuscripts originally written in te reo Māori, and that the family of the late Dame Kāterina Te Heikōkō Mataira has agreed that it be named in honour of Dame Kāterina, a leading Māori language proponent, educator, intellectual, artist and writer. Her efforts to revive and revitalise the Māori language led to the growth of the Kura Kaupapa Māori (Māori immersion schools) in New Zealand.

The Storylines Dame Kāterina Te Heikōkō Mataira Award, sponsored by Huia Publishers, will be held annually, and is open to writers of an unpublished manuscript for children or young adults in te reo Māori in any genre (picture book, junior fiction, young adult fiction, non-fiction).
The manuscript submissions must be original works in te reo Māori and not translations of books that have already been published in English.

The deadline for submissions is 31 October of each year, with the award presented at the Storylines Margaret Mahy National Awards Day in April of the following year.

The award is open to any writer who meets the eligibility criteria outlined on the Storylines website

The winning author receives a guaranteed offer of publication of the winning manuscript by Huia Publishers and a cash prize of $1500 provided in 2020 by Massey University Te Pūtahi-a-Toi: School of Māori Knowledge.

Christine Young, Chair of Storylines Trust says, “Dame Kāterina died in 2011 and is remembered for her leadership and as a teacher and passionate advocate for revival of te reo Māori. Storylines is thrilled to announce the new award, as we are aware of the need to encourage and support literature written for te reo Māori-speaking tamariki.

'We are delighted that the family of Dame Katerina has agreed that we can honour her work in leading the way in writing in te reo Māori and her support for the language, that Massey University has for the first year provided support for the cash award for the successful writer, and that Huia Publishing is sponsoring and the Māori Literature Trust is supporting this new award.

'We hope that it will not only lead to publication of new works for Māori tamariki and rangatahi by writers in te reo Māori, but that it will also raise awareness of the need and opportunities to publish – and read – works in te reo Māori.'

Dame Katerina’s daughter, Katarina Mataira, on behalf of her whanau, says, 'The award honours Māmā’s constant presence and this convergence of her many passions: writing, education, te reo Māori, tamariki, creativity and curiosity. It will foster the continuation of connecting our narratives and our tamariki through storylines that lead them home to themselves, in the language that lets them know that they matter and to the home in their hearts where the voices of storytellers, and the stories that matter to them, connect us all.'

'Huia Publishers is delighted to support the tireless energy of Storylines with their continued efforts to pique the interest of young readers as well as grow the talent pool of writers,' says Eboni Waitere, Executive Director of Huia. 'Dame Kāterina holds a special place in the hearts and minds of Māori so Huia has the honour of upholding the spirit of her work by sponsoring this worthy award. We can't wait to meet the next generation of Māori storytellers.'

Entries are now open for the 2020 award, with submissions due by 31 October 2019.

Please visit for entry forms, eligibility criteria and guidelines.