Saturday, June 23, 2012

Results: Author-in-Residence Competition

Central Auckland’s New Windsor primary school has a new “author in residence” after winning a nation-wide competition.

Mt Eden Children’s author, Melinda Szymanik, in association with publisher Pear Jam Books, held the competition to help engender a passion for reading and creative writing in schools. Ms Szymanik will take up “residence” in term 3, visiting the school on a fortnightly or monthly basis to work with students and teachers.

New Windsor’s selection as host school was based on what Ms Szymanik and Pear Jam Books felt was a compelling case. “Their entry outlined their strong school-wide commitment to books and reading but also spoke of the challenge they experienced in providing any additional literary initiatives for their students. Their plan includes opportunities for me to work with an extension class, a book club and give ‘in class’ talks.”

New Windsor Library Manager Donna Marquand said, “This is such wonderful news… Reading is one of the keys of our school culture.”

Ms Szymanik is a writer of children’s picture books and youth fiction. She was the NZ Post Children’s Book Awards “Children’s Choice” winner in 2009 for her picture book The Were Nana. Titles published most recently include picture book Made with Love (Duck Creek Press) and a psychological thriller novel for young teens, published by Pear Jam, called The Half Life of Ryan Davis. Ms Szymanik is also a regular visitor to schools and libraries, is a New Zealand Society of Authors “mentor”, and conducts writing courses and workshops for children and adults.

Three more Auckland schools - Auckland Normal Intermediate, Birkenhead Primary and Stella Maris Catholic Primary in Silverdale - also stand to benefit from the “author in residence” competition. As short-listed entrants, Ms Szymanik hopes to visit each school at least once over coming months.

“It’s a chance for me to share my love of reading and show how much enjoyment there is to be had in books: because if people enjoy something they will want to keep doing it. It’s also an opportunity for those who aspire to write themselves to meet a writer and discover that they are everyday people who live in their neighbourhood.”

1 comment:

Old Kitty said...

CONGRATULATIONS to New Windsor!!!!!! What a great event to have hosted and what a great chance to foster future authors and avid readers! Take care